Slippery Rock baseball pulled out a big split against nationally ranked Seton Hill University on Wednesday at Jack Critchfield Park.
Seton Hill is ranked in the top-20 of all three of the national Division II polls and won the first game by a final score of 5-1.
In the second game, the Rock bounced back with a 4-3 victory. SRU scored all four of its runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Senior catcher Matt Accardi drove in two runs for SRU and then sophomore shortstop Will Kengor drove in another run.
The Griffins looked to get back into the game against SRU in the top of the fifth and closed the gap to one but couldn’t even the score.
Before playing the Griffins, SRU opened PSAC play against Gannon on Saturday and Sunday with two doubleheaders.
After splitting the doubleheader with Gannon on Saturday, the Rock split their home doubleheader against Gannon on Sunday to complete the weekend series with two wins and two losses.
The Rock scored two runs on six hits in their first game with Gannon, but it wasn’t enough to get the win. Zach Jeney pitched all six innings and recorded 10 strikeouts while on the mound for the Rock.
After taking the lead 2 to 1 in the top of the sixth inning, Slippery Rock allowed three runs in the bottom of the sixth to drop the first game against Gannon 4 to 2.
In game two, Slippery Rock’s bats came to life as they scored 12 runs on 15 hits to beat Gannon 12 to 5. Senior Carter Haponski had three hits in four at bats with two runs scored and another two runs batted in.
Will Kengor also recorded three hits in five at bats with two runs scored and an RBI. Slippery Rock scored five runs in the second inning and two runs in the third to take a 7 to 0 lead, which Gannon couldn’t recover from.
In their home doubleheader against Gannon, Slippery Rock won their first game, but suffered their worst loss since 1982 in their second game.
Ben Bechtol batted a perfect 3 for 3 and scored one of four runs in the first inning as the Rock jumped out to an early 4 to 0 lead. Slippery Rock had seven hits total and was able to hold on for the win 7 to 5.
In the second game, the Rock was shutout in a completely one-sided game in which Gannon dominated by winning 20 to 0.
It was Slippery Rock’s worst defeat since 1982 when they were beaten by West Georgia 28 to 8. Gannon faced six different Slippery Rock pitchers, but it didn’t matter as they managed to score 20 runs on 17 hits and only allowed Slippery Rock to have five hits with no runs.
The games played against Gannon and Seton Hill were Slippery Rock’s first home games of the season.
Slippery Rock beat Seton Hill previously at the RussMatt Invitational in Florida on March 8, by the score of 8 to 5 when Seton Hill was ranked fifth in the nation. The Rock played five games at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale, Florida and four games at Chain O’ Lakes Park in Winter Haven, Florida during spring break.
After a big win over a top ranked opponent in their first game of the RussMatt Invitational, the Rock struggled to find a winning trend during their time in Florida. The second game of the invitational against Notre Dame College (OH) lasted until the top of the tenth inning before a major rain delay ended the game at a scoreless tie. The scheduled doubleheader between Slippery Rock and Notre Dame College (OH) was cancelled due to the rain delay.
Slippery Rock lost to Ohio Dominican University the next game with a score of 5 to 4. After a four-run second inning, Slippery Rock allowed five runs to go unanswered as ODU won in extra innings. The Rock proceeded to split their next two doubleheaders with a 5 to 2 loss and 2 to 1 win against the University of Charleston and a 5 to 4 loss and 10 to 2 win against the University of Minnesota Dulluth.
In the first game against Charleston, Slippery Rock pitcher Nic McCowin pitched a complete game with seven strikeouts and four earned runs but was out-dueled by Charleston pitcher Tim Ponn, who had a complete game, 10 strikeouts, and two earned runs.
The Rock had eight hits, but only two runs to show for it in their game one loss. In game two, Slippery Rock tied the game in the fifth inning and scored the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single from first baseman John Schaffer.
Against Minnesota-Duluth, Slippery Rock found themselves down five runs early and couldn’t complete the comeback despite a three-run fifth inning, and another run scored in the sixth inning.
In the second game, Slippery Rock scored ten runs on 15 hits and won in decisive fashion, 10 to 2. Carter Haponski was a perfect 4 for 4 at the plate and had three RBIs.
The Rock was up 4 to 2 before they exploded for six runs on seven hits in the seventh inning.
Bechtol and John Schaffer each had two hits and two runs scored, while pitcher Anthony Constantino had three strikeouts in five innings pitched.
The Rock wrapped up their spring break with two losses to West Chester University of Pennsylvania and Winona State University.
Slippery Rock was up 5 to 2 before West Chester put together four runs in the eight and ninth innings to hand Slippery Rock a heartbreaking 6 to 5 loss.
Against Winona State, the Rock allowed a seven-run fifth inning and couldn’t come back. McCowin had six strikeouts but allowed six earned runs and was credited with the loss.
Slippery Rock had 11 hits but was only able to drive in three runs and lost the game with a score of 10 to 3.
The Rock ended their spring break trip with three wins, five losses, and one tie.
Slippery Rock has a record of 9-13-1 with a 2-2 conference record. The green and white continue their inner conference play against Lock Haven University on Friday, March 23 at Lock Haven, and on Saturday, March 24 at Jack Critchfield Park.