The Slippery Rock baseball team kicked off their season winning three of four games against Walsh University (OH) last weekend.
Slippery Rock opened the series on Saturday with a 3-5 loss but bounced back in game two with an 11-3 win. Junior starting pitcher Kyle Schneider led Slippery Rock to a 3-0 victory in game three on Sunday, pitching a complete-game shutout. The Rock finished the series by defeating the Cavaliers 10-3.
“Anytime you play a doubleheader, you definitely don’t want to get swept,” head coach Jeff Messer said. “Winning game two was huge for us and we were able to carry the momentum and win the remainder of the series.”
Junior Garret Peterson pitched in game one, lasting five innings while giving up two runs (one unearned) on four hits and striking out five batters. Senior Ryan Oglesby entered the game in the sixth inning, pitched two and two thirds innings and gave up three earned runs on five hits.
Senior John Kovalik came in for relief in the bottom of the eighth but surrendered the game-winning hit off the bat of Walsh’s Michael Lee. Oglesby was credited with the loss.
The Rock’s scoring in game one began with a leadoff walk by Jake Weibley in the third inning, who then scored off a double from senior Will Kengor. Kengor then scored off junior Jake Nogalo’s triple.
Senior Kevin Jovanovich was also credited with an RBI in the sixth inning after grounding into a fielder’s choice, scoring junior Adam Urbania.
The Slippery Rock offense exploded in game two, with five runs scored in the top of the first inning.
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Vozar, sophomore Jordan Faretta, and sophomore Alente Johnson each had RBI singles in the first.
Junior Adam Urbania scored after a passed ball in the second inning, followed by an RBI-single by Jovanovich. Nogalo added an RBI-single in the third, while both Kengor and Faretta added RBI-doubles in the seventh.
Redshirt sophomore Jon Anderson started game two, pitched five innings and gave up three runs in five hits. Redshirt freshman Christian Kerns pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Anderson.
“A big key for the second game was how Anderson came in and shut them down early on,” Messer said. “After that, we got on a roll and started putting some numbers up.”
Sophomore Kyle Schneider highlighted game three with a complete-game shutout. Schneider allowed three hits, walked one batter and struck out two.
“Keeping the ball down in the zone and staying ahead in the count really helped,” Schneider said. “If it wasn’t for the defense behind me and the guys putting together key hits, the score could’ve been completely different.”
Kengor scored in the third after Urbania reached the base on an error. Urbania later hit an RBI single in the fifth, and Vozar was credited with an RBI after hitting into a fielders choice in the same inning.
The Rock’s offense came alive in the first inning of the final game. Urbania hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Kengor from third.
Vozar hit an RBI double in the fifth, followed by an RBI single from Bell. Vozar then scored off a groundout to second by Javanovich.
Urbania, Bell, Weibley all scored on defensive errors. Freshman Ty Zimmerman grounded into a fielder’s choice, but was credited with an RBI. Nogalo hit an RBI single and Vozar scored on a wild pitch.
Junior Anton Constantino was the starting pitcher in the final game and pitched four and one third innings, giving up two runs on two hits, three walks and three strikeouts.
Constantino was relieved by Kovalik, who pitched two and two thirds innings, allowed two hits, walked one batter, struck out four, and allowed one unearned run.
“It’s definitely a different feeling to get back outside and play after being inside for so long,” Kengor said. “It was nice to get back into the groove, get some real at bats and hit the ball hard. I’m looking forward to the next series to get back out there and get some good at bats.”
The Rock will travel to Bristol, T.N. this weekend to take on King College in a three-game series starting on Saturday, March 1.