Carrying on the tradition: Cabrini Night at the Phillies

By Nick LaRosa
September 21, 2011

Freshmen students Stephanie Parente and Chelsea Frank smile for the camera during Cabrini Night at the Phillies on Friday, Sept. 16. -- Nick LaRosa / Sports Editor

For one night only, the right field stands at Citizens Bank Park were full of bright blue t-shirts and knit caps instead of the usual sea of red Phillies apparel and rally towels. The sixth annual Cabrini Night at the Phillies game saw over 2,300 Cabrini College students, faculty and alumni cheering on the hometown Philadelphia Phillies.

“Cabrini Night at the Phillies continues to be one of the most anticipated events of the fall semester for the Cabrini College community,” Dr. Marie Angelella George, president of Cabrini College, said.

The Friday, Sept. 16 contest between the Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals was a memorable one for the Cabrini community, despite a 4-2 victory by the Cardinals.

“This is the best night I’ve ever had in my life,” freshman Stephanie Parente said. Parente was just one of the many students who packed the upper deck bleachers in right field.

As in past years, all first-year students received a complementary ticket for the game, allowing them to enjoy the night while surrounded by classmates and roommates. For some, the night at Citizens Bank Park was an entirely new experience.

“This is actually my first Phillies game,” freshman Chelsea Frank said. “It’s been an amazing night and I’m having a lot of fun.”

“This is my first-ever Phillies experience,” freshman Musulynn Massaley said. “It’s my first baseball game and I’m very excited to be here. I’m definitely a Phillies fan now.”

While the students enjoyed themselves in the stands during the game, many of the night’s big events took place behind home plate prior to the game’s start.

The game’s ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Mavrik Laxton, who was joined on the field by his mother Kimberly Wilkinson-Kahn and Edith Robb Dixon. Dixon and her late husband, Fitz Eugene Dixon, have been long-time benefactors of the college.

Mavrik Laxton is joined by Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard after throwing out the game’s first pitch. -- Nick LaRosa / Sports Editor

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard was on field before the game to catch Laxton’s first pitch despite not being in the starting lineup due to injury.

The Cabrini chorus was able to perform the national anthem prior to the start of the game and the Cavalier cheerleaders posed for photos with Captain Calvin the Cavalier, Cabrini’s mascot. In the top of the sixth inning, the Cabrini dance team had the honor of performing a routine on the playing field with the Phillie Phanatic.

With students stretched across the right field stands and members of various school groups and clubs at field level, the entire campus was well-represented.

“It’s wonderful that we have so many students in one place,” Dr. Anne Skleder, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said. “The choir did wonderful, the dance team did great and the cheerleaders did great.”

As for the game, the Phillies and Cardinals matched up evenly and were locked in a 1-1 tie until the eighth inning. Phillies starter Vance Worley pitched six innings and allowed six hits while St. Louis starter Jaime Garcia pitched seven innings and finished with four strike-outs.

After St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina hit a solo home run in the eighth inning to put the Cardinals ahead, the Phillies responded with a game-tying hit in the ninth inning. Howard hit a pinch-hit double in the bottom of the frame for the Phils, much to the crowd’s delight. Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz drove in Michael Martinez, who pinch ran for Howard, in the game’s very next at-bat and sent Cabrini Night into extra innings.

In the 11th inning, Adron Chambers and Tyler Greene came through with RBI hits to push the Cardinals out to a 4-2 lead, a lead that they would not relinquish.

Despite the extra-inning loss by the Phils, the night was still a memorable one for everyone associated with Cabrini College.


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Nick LaRosa

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