Baseball splits weekend series with Gannon, prepares for Seton Hill
Ryan Barlow, Rocket Contributor
April 9, 2014
The Slippery Rock baseball team (20-10, 9-5 PSAC-West) was forced to settle with a series split against Gannon (9-21, 4-10 PSAC-West) on Sunday, both teams winning two games each.
SRU lost the series opener on Saturday 6-11, but were able to bounce back in game two 7-6.
They carried the momentum into Sunday to win game three 5-4, before dropping the final game 3-4.
“It wasn’t a good weekend,” head coach Jeff Messer said. “No matter who you play, you don’t want to split the series. But we can’t make excuses about it, and in the end, we just didn’t get the job done.”
Senior Garret Peterson was on the mound for Slippery Rock in game one.
Peterson was replaced in the fifth inning after being unable to record an out, allowing five runs on five hits, only two runs being earned.
Senior John Kovalik entered the game to replace Peterson, but was unable to get out of the inning after giving up three hits.
Freshman James Divosevic then replaced Kovalik, and remained in for the rest of the game.
Gannon totaled 10 runs in just the fifth inning. Divosevic went to throw one and two thirds innings, allowing three unearned runs on three hits, striking out two and walking one.
Slippery Rocks offense got going in the fourth inning when freshman Carson Kessler hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, scoring junior Adam Urbania.
Senior Kevin Jovanovich added to the Rock’s offense with an RBI single in the fifth, giving Slippery Rock the 2-1 lead before Gannon scored 10 runs in fifth. Senior Graeme Zaparzynski hit a two RBI single in the sixth to cut Gannon’s lead to 11-4.
Urbania scored in the seventh on an error by Gannon’s second baseman, followed by another run by Jovanovich after another Gannon error.
The game ended when junior Jake Nogalo hit a fly ball to right field, stopping the Rock’s late attempt a rally.
Slippery Rock’s offense was able to get going early in game two, as Jovanovich homered in the second to give the Rock the 1-0 lead.
Senior Brandon Myers then hit and RBI triple, and later scored on an RBI single by redshirt sophomore Kyle Vozar.
Senior Will Kengor was able to bring in Vozar with an RBI single through the right side before the early second inning rally came to an end.
Myers tied the game up in the third with an RBI single to right, and the Rock took the lead in the seventh when Urbania drew a walk with bases loaded.
Jovanovich then followed with his second RBI of the day, singling home Kengor from third.
Junior Anton Constantino was the starting pitcher for Slippery in game two, but only pitched for three and two thirds innings. He was pulled in the fourth after allowing six runs on six hits, but did strike out four.
Freshman Preston Falascino was then able to come in and earn his first collegiate win, allowing no runs and striking out four.
Junior Kyle Schneider threw a complete game for the Rock in game three.
He allowed four runs on five hits, walked one and struck out one. Schneider was able to improve his win loss record to 5-1 on the year.
Urbania got the offense rolling in the third with a two RBI single scoring both Kengor and senior Jake Weibley.
Slippery then entered the seventh inning down 4-3, but with two outs Will Kengor was able to tie it up with a clutch RBI single.
Jake Nogalo then came up with the big hit to win it, scoring Zaparzynski from third.
Redshirt sophomore Jon Anderson hoped to give the Rock the series win in game four, but was unable to do so.
Anderson pitched a solid five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, striking out one and walking three.
He was replaced by Kovalik in the sixth, who threw the final two innings of the game without allowing a run.
Kengor was able to score on an error in the third inning, and later hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to tie the game at two.
Sophomore Alex Bell was credited with an RBI after grounding out to the shortstop in the seventh, cutting the Gannon lead to 4-3.
Vozar later came up to the plate with the bases loaded with two outs, but popped up to right field to end the game.
Slippery Rock will play a four-game weekend series against Seton Hill, with a doubleheader in Greensburg April 11 and a doubleheader at home April 12.
The Griffins currently lead the PSAC-West standings with a 13-1 conference record.
The Green and White are four games behind Seton Hill and are in third place.
Mercyhurst is in second with a 10-4 record. SRU was originally scheduled to face Mercyhurst earlier in the week but the game was postponed to allow the Lakers to make schedule adjustments.