Cabrini College and the Philadelphia Phillies have partnered up for one game every year where Cabrini literally takes over Citizens Bank Park. For the first time in the seven-year history of the event, the Phillies were not at the forefront of a playoff race.
But that didn’t put a damper on the evening at the ballpark that was Cabrini Night at the Phillies on Friday, Sept. 7. Another nice turnout highlighted a beautiful nice for baseball, good friends and carrying on a school tradition.
Citizens Bank Park is usually always a sea of red. But the upper deck in right field truly was a sea of red with Cabrini students, faculty, staff and alumni packing the stands to root for the Fightin’ Phils.
“It gets better every year,” Dr. Anne Skleder, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. “It’s wonderful to see the students, faculty, the wonderful choir performance, the wonderful first pitch, everything that has to do with Cabrini. It was a fabulous night.”
Prior to the game, Dr. Marie Angelella George, president of Cabrini, presented two high school students, Kendall Brodie of Central Bucks High School South and LeShawn Johnson-Snydor of Delaware County Christian School, with plaques as winners of the Cabrini extraordinary scholar contest in conjunction with the Phillies.
A ceremonial first pitch was thrown for a perfect strike by Luke Kania, followed by a rousing rendition of the National Anthem from the Cabrini College chorus. It was the perfect way to open the night.
Around the ballpark, students reflected on what makes Cabrini Night the successful event it has become. For freshmen, it is the perfect way to continue socializing with new people. For returning students, it is the perfect setting to enjoy time with their friends away from campus.
“Cabrini Night at the Phillies has been great,” Dan Luner, freshman communication major, said. “I got to perform with the chorus down on the field, which was awesome, and I’m enjoying the game with my friends. It’s overall just a really great time.”
“You get to have fun with your friends and you get to see your hometown team,” junior English major Rachel Layden said. “A lot of freshmen aren’t from Philadelphia, so it’s something new. It’s definitely a big bonding experience between roommates and orientation groups.”
Midway through the game, the Cabrini dance team joined the Phillie Phanatic on the field.
As for the game, the Rockies jumped to a 2-0 first-inning lead off Phillies’ starter Cliff Lee that held up for most of the night. Lee pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing two runs and striking out seven.
In the seventh inning, pinch-hitter Laynce Nix hit a two-run double to tie the game at two.
The Phillies managed to get the game to the bottom of the ninth still tied with the help of relief pitchers Josh Lindblom, Jake Diekman, Phillippe Aumont and Jonathan Papelbon.
The game ended on a high note as Nate Schierholtz hit a walk-off single scoring Jimmy Rollins to send Cabrini students and all Phillies fans home happy with a 3-2 victory.
But the night was about the massive gathering of Cabrini students coming together to enjoy a night as a school community. It was all capped off with a dramatic Phillies’ win, the perfect ending to a perfect night at the ballpark.
With a successful turnout every year, this is something that will remain a part of Cabrini tradition for years to come.
“I think there is an extraordinary amount of commitment from President George all the way down to first-year students as they come in,” Skleder said. “I don’t think that’s going to change.”