The Slippery Rock baseball team completed a four-game series sweep of California University of Pa. Monday by winning 8-7.
The series began with a doubleheader on Friday at California, where the Rock took both games by scored of 3-1, and 7-6. The next two games, which were originally scheduled for Saturday, were postponed due to weather and were eventually played on Monday. Slippery Rock won both games, 5-3 and 8-7.
“That was probably as big a four-game series as I’ve had in my 29 year career,” head coach Jeff Messer said. “Any time you can sweep a team in a four game series it’s huge.”
Senior pitcher Garret Peterson was on the mound for Slippery Rock in game one. Peterson threw five strong innings before being replaced in the sixth, allowing only one run on one hit, striking out three and walking five. Senior John Kovalik pitched the final two innings of the game, and did not allow any runs and gave up just one hit. Kovalik recorded his fourth save of the season, while Peterson’s record improved to 3-1.
Junior Jake Nogalo got Slippery Rock on the board in the third inning with and RBI single to right field, scoring senior Graeme Zaparzynski. The Rock then took the lead in the sixth after junior Adam Urbania scored off of redshirt sophomore Kyle Vozar’s RBI single to right. Jordan Faretta then recorded Slippery Rock’s final run in seventh with an RBI single scorin Nogalo.
Slippery Rock’s offense got going early in game two when Urbania hit an RBI single in the first inning, followed by an RBI sacrifice fly by Faretta. Senior Jake Weibley scored in the second inning after California’s second baseman Blake Henderson’s throwing error on a ground ball. Zaparzynski hit an RBI single fourth, and later scored along with Kengor on a two RBI single by Nogalo. Senior Kevin Jovanovich hit the game winning hit in the top of the eighth, scoring Jordan Faretta.
Junior Anton Constantino started game two for Slippery Rock, throwing four and one thirds innings, striking out five and walking three. Senior Ryan Oglesby relieved Constantino in the fifth, pitching one full inning and giving up two runs on two hits. Kovalik then entered the game in the middle the sixth, and remained in for the rest of the game. Kovalik gave up just two hits and did not allow any runs, and his record improved to 2-0.
Junior Kyle Schneider pitched a complete game in game three. He allowed three runs on eight hits, struck out six and walked one. Schneider’s record is now 4-1.
Kengor recorded the first run for Slippery Rock in game three after California’s pitcher Justin Taylor balked while Kengor was on third base in the first inning. Later that inning Urbania smacked a solo home run, his first since transferring to Slippery Rock. Zaparzynski hit an RBI single in the second, immediately followed by an RBI sacrifice fly from Kengor. Kengor also scored in the fifth on a California fielding error.
Redshirt sophomore Jon Anderson started at pitcher for Slippery Rock in game four. He went five innings allowing five runs on six hits, walking four and striking out three. Freshman Preston Falascino entered the game in top sixth, but only lasted one third of inning after allowing two runs on two hits. Kovalik replaced Falascino, and stayed on the mound for the remainder of the game. He did not allow any runs and gave up just two hits.
“When I go out there, all I think about is not letting the other team score,” Kovalik said. “I feel like if there aren’t zero’s up on the board, then I didn’t do something right.”
Slippery will host a doubleheader against Clarion on Tuesday, followed by a home and away four-game series with Gannon University starting Friday at Jack Critchfield Park.