Slippery Rock baseball split their four-game series against No. 23 Mercyhurst with two home losses on Friday and two road victories on Saturday.
Mercyhurst showed their dominance early on by shutting out Slippery Rock in the first game of the series, 10-0. The Green and White was only able to get four hits against last year’s conference champions.
Senior Zach Jeney allowed three earned runs through six innings pitched on six hits. Jeney struck out nine Mercyhurst batters while on the mound, three of which came in consecutive fashion in the fourth inning.
Mercyhurst added insult to injury by tacking on five unearned runs on five hits in the seventh inning off sophomore relief pitcher Anthony Naso to put the game out of reach.
The loss snapped Slippery Rock’s eight-game winning streak.
Game two in Slippery Rock was a rout as Mercyhurst scored 19 runs to Slippery Rock’s six. The second inning and the fifth inning were the two biggest innings for Mercyhurst, where they scored seven runs and nine runs respectively.
The Rock scored in the first inning after senior centerfielder Derek Carr walked, advanced to third on a Lee Foxton single, and crossed the plate as John Shaffer grounded into a double play. Slippery Rock was only able to score one more run in the fourth inning before Mercyhurst extended its lead to 19 to 2 in the top of the next inning.
In the seventh inning, Slippery Rock was able to score four runs on five hits, but the lead Mercyhurst built was insurmountable.
Freshman Garret Peterson was given the loss after going one and two-thirds innings and allowed seven runs, two earned, to score on eight hits.
Kyle Schneider came in relief and allowed an additional seven earned runs to score on six hits. Freshman Anton Constantino and Naso also received action on the mound.
Left fielder Austin Benshadle led the way offensively for the Green and White with two hits and two RBI’s in three at-bats.
Slippery Rock was able to turn their fortunes around in Erie on Saturday, April 14 with back-to-back victories over Mercyhurst to complete their four-game series.
Sophomore pitcher Lou Trivino earned PSAC West Pitcher of the Week honors this week for his effort on the mound Saturday afternoon. Trivino pitched a complete game, two hitter and had seven strikeouts and earned his seventh victory of the season.
Foxton said that the team has high expectations for the rest of the year.
“Our ultimate goal for the remainder of the season is to make the PSAC playoffs and win them,” Foxton said. “We plan on achieving this goal by playing with confidence and believing in one another.”
Also looking forward to the rest of the year, Peterson said the league competition is very close this season.
“We are looking at the games from here on out with the mentality of one game at a time,” Peterson said. “The PSAC competition is so close this year, and a few games here and there could take us from being first in the conference to last relatively quickly and vice-versa. I believe that the team has come together over the last few weeks to be contenders in the PSAC.”