Rock stands in fourth place

Published by adviser, Author: Cody Gray - Rocket Contributor, Date: April 25, 2013

The Slippery Rock baseball team took three out of four games from conference-rival Indiana University of Pa. in a home series over the weekend and improved their record to 27-15 (9-7).

The Rock currently stands in fourth place in the western division of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. California is in first, followed by Gannon and Mercyhurst.

On Sunday, Slippery Rock hosted IUP for an afternoon doubleheader and came away with the clean sweep.

In game one of the Sunday doubleheader, the Green and White sent sophomore Kyle Schneider to the mound. Schneider gave his squad an excellent outing, going the full seven innings shutting out IUP while giving up three hits and one walk. The sophomore also struck out four batters.

The Rock batters gave Schneider plenty of run support.  Juniors Will Kengor and Graeme Zaparzynski combined to score three runs. Zaparzynski and senior John Shaffer drove in the three runs for SRU. That trio combined to have six of Slippery Rock’s ten hits throughout the game. The Rock would take game one 3-0.

“It felt awesome getting the shutout over one of our biggest rivals,” Schneider said, “especially knowing we needed that win. I kept the ball down in the zone and had an amazingly solid defense behind me.”

The second game of the doubleheader was a much closer game. Redshirt freshman Jon Anderson took the mound for Slippery Rock. Anderson pitched four and two thirds innings, three earned runs off of three hits, while walking three and striking out two.

Freshman Jordan Faretta started off the scoring for the Rock with an RBI double, scoring junior Jake Weibley. An IUP wild pitch scored junior Austin Benshadle to give the Rock a 2-0 lead. A rocky fifth inning for Anderson saw IUP take a 3-2 lead. Slippery Rock bounced right back in the bottom of the fifth, twice capitalizing off of IUP errors to take a 4-3 lead.

Sophomore Anton Constantino came in relief for Anderson in the top of the fifth with two outs left. Constantino was lights out the rest of the game, giving up only two hits and walking one. The sophomore didn’t allow any more IUP base runners to cross home plate and earned his first save of the season as Slippery Rock completed the doubleheader sweep, 4-3.

Slippery Rock travelled to IUP on Saturday for a doubleheader. Junior Lou Trivino took the mound for SRU in the first game. Trivino pitched well, giving up one run off of five hits while walking one batter and striking out five. The SRU offense could never get going in the game, only mustering up three hits for Trivino.

A sixth inning error, the only one of the game for SRU, ended up being very costly for the Rock, as a poor throw ended up giving IUP the 1-0 win in game one. IUP committed two errors, but Slippery Rock couldn’t capitalize.

Game two of Saturday’s doubleheader saw a lot more offense from both teams compared to the first game. Sophomore Garret Peterson took the mound for the Green and White. Peterson went four and a third innings, giving up three runs, two earned, on four hits, while walking one and striking out four.

Slippery Rock started off the scoring in the third inning when Faretta hit a double to right center field to bring in redshirt freshman Royce Copeland. Zaparzynski drove in Faretta with a single to take a 2-0 lead.  In the fourth inning, Faretta drove in Benshadle on a bases loaded fielder’s choice. Kengor then drove in junior Brandon Myers on a sacrifice fly to give the Rock a 4-0 lead.

IUP came right back in the fifth inning to tie it back up at four. Junior Anthony Naso came in to relieve Peterson with one out in the fifth. Naso allowed one unearned run before junior John Kovalik came into the game. Kovalik would finish the game allowing one earned run off of three hits.

The Rock retook the lead in the sixth inning and didn’t look back. Zaparzynski drove in Kengor for his second RBI of the game. Shaffer would then drive in Zaparzynski to give SRU a 6-4 lead. IUP would add one more run in the sixth, but that would be all. Kovalik earned his third win of the season as SRU took game two 6-5.

This was a pivotal PSAC series, as both teams entered Saturday with a 6-6 conference record. IUP fell down to sixth place in the PSAC.

Slippery Rock will take on PSAC leading Cal, who stands at 29-12 (11-5), in a home and home series on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s games will be held at Jack Critchfield Park.


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