The Slippery Rock baseball team dominated a double header against Clarion University Tuesday, winning game one 27-10, and game two 13-4.
Team captain and All-American shortstop Will Kengor led the Rock’s offense in both games, racking up seven RBI’s in game one, and two more in game two.
“Everybody really showed up and hit the ball,” Kengor said. “It’s nice when everybody comes together like that. It’s easier on the pitchers, and it’s easier on the team when everybody contributes.”
Slippery Rock had 26 total hits in game one, and actually trailed Clarion 2-1 before the offense explosion in the fourth inning. Senior Kevin Jovanovich hit a three-run homerun in the fourth, and had four RBI’s in game one.
Junior Jake Nogalo and senior Graeme Zaparzynski each had three RBI’s. Freshman Carson Kessler took advantage of starting game one at first base and contributed two RBI’s. Redshirt freshman Logan Brown, junior Adam Urbania, redshirt freshman Ryan Hill, freshman Ty Zimmerman, senior Brandon Myers, and redshirt freshman Dakota Hoffman had one RBI each.
Slippery Rock had 25 total RBI’s in game one, the other two runs scored were unearned by Clarion.
Redshirt freshman Christian Kerns was the starting pitcher for Slippery Rock in game one, allowing seven runs through five and one thirds innings of work.
Kerns gave up nine hits, struck out six, and walked three before being replaced during sixth inning by redshirt sophomore Geoff Sanner.
“I wish I could’ve pitched a little bit better, but it’s nice to know you have a nice defensive team behind you,” Sanner said after finishing the game on the mound for Slippery Rock, having thrown one and two thirds innings, and giving up two hits and allowing three runs.
Senior Anthony Naso was started as pitcher for Slippery Rock in game two. After giving up an early home run to Clarion third baseman Mike Lockhart, Naso settled down and did not allow another run until the sixth inning, where he was unable to get anybody out after facing three batters and giving up two more runs.
Naso’s final line showed five complete innings of work, allowing four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out six. Senior John Kovalik entered the game to replace Naso during the sixth inning, and stayed in for the remainder of the game. Kovalik got out of the sixth inning without allowing any more Clarion base runners to score, and earned his fifth save of the season.
“It’s very nice when we can have a breakout game like that offensively,” head coach Jeff Messer said. “We’re not going to take anything for granted. It’s been a good six games, but that’s all it was. We still have 18 games to go and we have to be ready.”
Slippery Rock will play a four game series this weekend against Gannon University (6-18, 2-8 PSAC).
The Golden Knights are currently enduring a seven game losing streak while SRU looks to continue their seven game winning streak.
Games one and two will be played at Slippery Rock’s Jack Critchfield Park on Friday before the series heads north to Erie on Saturday. Game one in Slippery Rock is set to start at 1 pm, and game two is estimated start around 3 p.m.