Rock falls 2-3 in stretch

Published by adviser, Author: Cody Gray - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 11, 2013
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The Slippery Rock baseball team’s record stands at a 21-11 after going 2-3 during a stretch in which they played five games in four days beginning last Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Rock split a doubleheader at conference rival Mansfield University. The Rock had another offensive explosion in the second game, their sixth game this season scoring nine or more runs.

Slippery Rock split another doubleheader on Saturday against Seton Hill, but then lost the series after dropping the final game against the Griffins.

Head coach Jeff Messer was not pleased with the split against Mansfield, but was satisfied with his team’s effort against Seton Hill.

“Seton Hill is a top two team in our region,” Messer said, “We matched up well with them.  Hopefully we will get to play them later.”

In the first game against Mansfield, Slippery Rock sent sophomore Anton Constantino to the mound to start the game. Constantino pitched four and a third innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs while walking five and striking out three. The Rock offense could only produce five hits, as they fell 4-3.

Senior John Shaffer along with juniors Graeme Zaparzynski and Jake Weibley drove in SRU’s runs.

“We battled from behind the whole game,” Messer said, “We had opportunities, but couldn’t pull it out.”

The second part of the doubleheader was much better for Slippery Rock, as they produced 14 runs off of 18 hits. Junior Kevin Jovanovich blasted his second home run of the season, a two run shot, in the first inning. Jovanovich ended the game going three for four with four RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Austin Benshadle, junior Will Kengor, Zaparzynski and Shaffer also recorded multi-hit games.

There was plenty of offense for junior pitchers Mike Dunn and John Kovalik, who combined to give up four runs on ten hits. Dunn earned his fourth win of the season after walking only two batters and striking out three.

The Rock began a three game set with 25th ranked Seton Hill last Saturday at Jack Critchfield Park. Seton Hill sent out their ace, who according to Messer is one of the premier pitchers in the country, in the first game. Slippery Rock countered with their ace, junior Lou Trivino.

Trivino pitched a complete game, giving up three earned runs off of eight hits, while striking out seven and walking only one.

“Trivino had a great outing,” Messer said, “however, we didn’t play stellar defense.”

SRU committed two errors in the contest, but the Griffins committed three.

Jovanovich led a balanced Slippery Rock attack going three for four with two runs scored and an RBI. Five other SRU batters drove in runs as they took the first game 6-3.

In the second game of the doubleheader, sophomore Garret Peterson took the mound for the Green and White. Peterson cruised through the first inning, but hit a rough patch in the second inning in which Seton Hill scored seven runs. He was pulled with one out in the second after giving up seven earned runs on five hits while walking and striking out two. Replacing Peterson was redshirt freshman Jon Anderson who finished the game giving up only one run off of four hits.

By Cody Gray

Rocket Contributor

 

The Slippery Rock baseball team’s record stands at a 21-11 after going 2-3 during a stretch in which they played five games in four days beginning last Saturday.

On Tuesday, the Rock split a doubleheader at conference rival Mansfield University. The Rock had another offensive explosion in the second game, their sixth game this season scoring nine or more runs.

Slippery Rock split another doubleheader on Saturday against Seton Hill, but then lost the series after dropping the final game against the Griffins.

Head coach Jeff Messer was not pleased with the split against Mansfield, but was satisfied with his team’s effort against Seton Hill.

“Seton Hill is a top two team in our region,” Messer said, “We matched up well with them.  Hopefully we will get to play them later.”

In the first game against Mansfield, Slippery Rock sent sophomore Anton Constantino to the mound to start the game. Constantino pitched four and a third innings, giving up six hits and four earned runs while walking five and striking out three. The Rock offense could only produce five hits, as they fell 4-3.

Senior John Shaffer along with juniors Graeme Zaparzynski and Jake Weibley drove in SRU’s runs.

“We battled from behind the whole game,” Messer said, “We had opportunities, but couldn’t pull it out.”

The second part of the doubleheader was much better for Slippery Rock, as they produced 14 runs off of 18 hits. Junior Kevin Jovanovich blasted his second home run of the season, a two run shot, in the first inning. Jovanovich ended the game going three for four with four RBIs and two runs scored. Senior Austin Benshadle, junior Will Kengor, Zaparzynski and Shaffer also recorded multi-hit games.

There was plenty of offense for junior pitchers Mike Dunn and John Kovalik, who combined to give up four runs on ten hits. Dunn earned his fourth win of the season after walking only two batters and striking out three.

The Rock began a three game set with 25th ranked Seton Hill last Saturday at Jack Critchfield Park. Seton Hill sent out their ace, who according to Messer is one of the premier pitchers in the country, in the first game. Slippery Rock countered with their ace, junior Lou Trivino.

Trivino pitched a complete game, giving up three earned runs off of eight hits, while striking out seven and walking only one.

“Trivino had a great outing,” Messer said, “however, we didn’t play stellar defense.”

SRU committed two errors in the contest, but the Griffins committed three.

Jovanovich led a balanced Slippery Rock attack going three for four with two runs scored and an RBI. Five other SRU batters drove in runs as they took the first game 6-3.

In the second game of the doubleheader, sophomore Garret Peterson took the mound for the Green and White. Peterson cruised through the first inning, but hit a rough patch in the second inning in which Seton Hill scored seven runs. He was pulled with one out in the second after giving up seven earned runs on five hits while walking and striking out two. Replacing Peterson was redshirt freshman Jon Anderson who finished the game giving up only one run off of four hits.

Slippery Rock’s offense couldn’t recover from Seton Hill’s second inning outburst and fell 8-3 to split the doubleheader. Zaparzynski drove in two runs for the Rock.

“We have to maximize our opportunities and minimize our mistakes,” Messer said, “One bad inning will affect you.”

Slippery Rock traveled down to Seton Hill on Sunday for the rubber match of the series.

SRU jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the fifth with RBI singles from senior Matt Curtis, Jovanovich, and Zaparzynski.

The Griffins would go on to score seven unanswered runs to jump out to a 7-3 lead in the eighth inning. Slippery Rock could only add two more runs in the top of the ninth and fell 7-5.

Sophomore Kyle Schneider pitched seven and a third innings, giving up four runs on five hits while walking four and striking out one.

Kovalik pitched two-thirds innings giving up three runs on two hits with a strikeout.

Messer’s philosophy of “maximize opportunity and minimize mistakes” applied to this game as well. Slippery Rock produced thirteen hits, but also committed five errors.

“We played well enough to win all three games,” Kengor said, “They’re a good team, but I think we are just as good.”

Slippery Rock has an away and home set of PSAC doubleheaders coming up against Mercyhurst University today and tomorrow.

Saturday’s games will be held at Jack Critchfield Park at 1 and 3:30 p.m.

 

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