SRU drops series in Tennessee

Published by adviser, Author: Ryan Barlow - Rocket Contributor, Date: March 6, 2014

The Slippery Rock baseball team lost in extra innings on Sunday to close out a three game series with King University by a score of 9-8.

Slippery Rock lost game one 7-3 on Saturday afternoon, but bounced back in game two to win 7-4. The Rock eventually dropped game three and brought their overall win-loss record to 4-3 in seven games.

Head coach Jeff Messer believes his squad should have come out of the series winning two out of three games, but it isn’t keeping him from being optimistic about the games ahead.

“We play 20 games before our conference schedule starts,” Messer said. “We need to know what we can and can’t do, and after seven games we know more about ourselves and are getting more comfortable before those conference games start up.”

Redshirt sophomore Jon Anderson was the starting pitcher for Slippery Rock in game one. Anderson went five innings giving up three runs on six hits, walking four, and striking out three. Junior Anton Constantino replaced Anderson in the sixth inning, but gave up four runs on four hits and a walked batter, extending King’s lead to 7-2 by the end of the sixth inning. Freshman James Divosevic pitched the final two innings of the game, giving up no runs and only surrendering one hit. Divosevic also struck two batters and walking one.

Slippery Rock scored their first run of the game in the third inning after Redshirt-Sophomore Kyle Vozar singled to right field, advancing Junior Adam Urbania to third.  Urbania then scored after a throwing error by King’s right fielder Tyler Raymond. Senior All-American Will Kengor scored in the fifth inning after a sacrifice fly by  Urbania. The Rock’s offense was silent until the top of the ninth when sophomore Alex Bell hit an RBI single up the middle, scoring Urbania from second. The game ended after senior Jake Weibley struck out looking, sealing Slippery Rock’s fate in game one.

The Rock got on the board in the second inning after Kengor hit a three RBI double to right center, scoring sophomore Alente Johnson, freshman Ty Zimmerman, and senior Graeme Zaparzynski. Slippery Rock then scored four more runs in the fifth inning. Sophomore Bell hit a two RBI single with the bases loaded, scoring junior Jake Nogalo and  Urbania. Bell later advanced to third on a fly ball, but he and Vozar were able to score as the result of a throwing error.

Junior pitcher Garret Peterson was on the pitcher’s mound for the Rock in game two. Peterson threw four innings, giving up two runs on four hits, walking two, and striking out nine. Senior Ryan Oglesby entered the game in the fifth inning. Oglesby lasted two innings, allowing two runs on four hits, and walking one batter. Senior John Kovalik came in to pitch the final inning. Kovalik pitched a scoreless seventh, allowing two hits and striking out two.  Kovalik earned his second save of the season.

“I was able to control my slider pretty well and I was able to throw the ball wherever I wanted it to be at around the plate,” Peterson said. “Along with me having a good day on the mound, our guys had a good game at the plate and gave me some run support.”

After an early 3-0 deficit in game three, sophomore Jordan Faretta smacked a three run homer in the fifth inning, scoring Weibley and sophomore Logan Brown. Bell hit an RBI double in the sixth, scoring Urbania. Two batters later, Logan Brown hit an RBI single through the left side of the infield, scoring Bell. Nogalo ripped an RBI single in the seventh, quickly followed by Bell’s second RBI double of the afternoon. Weibley had the Rock’s final RBI in the game, hitting a single in the top of the tenth inning scoring Logan Brown from second.

The starting pitcher in game three on Sunday for Slippery Rock was Junior Kyle Schneider, who was coming off a three hit, complete-game shutout versus Walsh University last weekend. Schneider went six innings, allowing four runs on four hits, walking two, and striking out two. Redshirt-freshman Christian Kerns came in to pitch the seventh, but only lasted one third of an inning. Kerns allowed two runs on three hits, and walked one batter before being replaced by Kovalik. Kovalik threw for two and two thirds innings, allowing one run on two hits, walking one and striking out three. Senior Anthony Naso came in to pitch the top of the tenth inning, but unfortunately was unable to find the strike zone. He surrendered a leadoff walk, which was quickly followed up by a single. The base runners then advanced to second and third after Naso threw a wild pitch. Naso was then forced to intentionally walk King’s righty Stephen Mullins. Naso then walked the next King batter, scoring the runner from third base to tie the game. The game ended after Naso threw his second wild pitch in the inning, scoring King’s Tyler Gaby from third. Naso’s final line read one third of an inning pitched, two runs earned on one hit, and three walks.

“It was obviously a tough loss, especially since we battled throughout the whole game,” Logan Brown said, who led the Rock with three hits and an RBI on Sunday. “We just have to get back to work and prepare for Shippensburg because we know that they’re a tough team.”

The Rock will travel to the CONSOL Energy Park in Washington, Pa. this weekend to take on the Shippensburg University Raiders (4-2) in a doubleheader for their first taste of PSAC action.


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