The Slippery Rock baseball team dropped three out of four games against the first place Seton Hill Griffins this past weekend.
Slippery Rock, who is in third place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division, was defeated 4-1 in game one on Saturday.
Seton Hill carried their momentum into game two, coming away with an 11-8 victory.
Slippery Rock came ready to play Sunday afternoon in Greensburg, Pa., taking a 9-3 win in game three. The Griffins took the series with a 4-3 win in game four.
“We definitely feel that we have a better team than they do, but you can talk about it all you want,” head coach Jeff Messer said. “They’re in first place and we are in third, and the time for talking is over. We haven’t been able to execute like they have and that’s why we are a bit down in the standings.”
Slippery Rock’s offense was nearly silenced in game one.
The Rock was only able to collect four hits and score one run off of Seton Hill’s starting pitcher Mike Bittel, who almost finished a complete game before being replaced in the seventh.
The Rock’s lone run was recorded after redshirt-sophomore Kyle Vozar hit an RBI single in the seventh inning during the Rock’s late attempt at comeback.
Senior Garret Peterson was the starting pitcher for Slippery Rock in game one. Peterson threw a strong five innings before being replaced in the sixth, and suffered from some poor fielding mistakes from the Rock’s defense.
Peterson allowed six hits and four runs, only one run being earned.
Senior Ryan Oglesby entered the game for Slippery Rock in the sixth inning, and finished the game on the mound.
Peterson was credited with the loss, and his win-loss record now stands at 3-3.
The Rock’s bats came alive in game two, but it was still not enough to get the win against a tough Seton Hill offense. The Rock scored two runs in the first inning following an RBI sacrifice fly by junior Jake Nogalo, and an RBI single from redshirt-freshman Logan Brown.
After a six run top of the second by Seton Hill, Slippery Rock responded with a four run inning.
Sophomore Alex Bell hit and RBI single, followed by a two RBI double by junior Adam Urbania.
Brown then got his second RBI of the afternoon after a sacrifice fly.
Senior Will Kengor added to the Rock’s offense in the third with an RBI single, and also recorded their final run of the game in the seventh after an RBI sacrifice fly by Urbania. Freshman Preston Falascino began the game on the mound for Slippery Rock in game two, but was only able to last one and a third innings after allowing eight runs on four hits and five walks.
Falascino was replaced by senior Anthony Naso who also pitched one and a third innings.
Naso walked four batters but did not allow any runs before being replaced by redshirt-freshman Christian Kerns. Kerns allowed three runs in two thirds of an inning before freshman James Divosevic entered the game.
Divosevic threw two and two thirds innings without allowing a run, and redshirt-sophomore Geoff Sanner entered the game in the seventh to pitch for the remainder of the game. Falascino was pegged with the loss, and his record is now 1-1.
Junior Kyle Schneider pitched a strong game in game three, going six and two thirds innings and allowing three runs. Oglesby replaced him in the seventh inning with one out, and Oglesby was able to record the final two outs to secure the Rock’s victory.
The Rock took an early lead in the first inning after an RBI single from Urbania. Slippery Rock added to their lead with a two run homer from senior Jake Weibley, and an RBI single from Kengor.
The Rock scored another five runs in the fifth, highlighted by a two RBI single from senior Graeme Zaparzynski, who later scored on a wild pitch. Will Kengor also scored later that inning after a second Seton Hill wild pitch.
Redshirt-sophomore started on the mound for Slippery Rock in game four, and lasted four innings after allowing just two runs on five hits.
Senior John Kovalik entered the game in the fifth, but was credited with his first loss of the season after losing the Rock’s lead in the sixth inning. Kovalik’s record now stands at 3-1.
The Rock scored their first run of game four in the fourth inning after and RBI double from Urbania.
The Rock then took the lead in the sixth inning after an RBI single from senior Kevin Jovanovich, and an RBI fielders choice by sophomore Jordan Faretta.
The Rock was unable to tie the game up in the seventh, and the game ended after Jake Nogalo popped up in the infield to Seton Hill’s shortstop.
“We showed we hang with them and be just as good of a team any day,” Urbania said. “We knew we had to come ready to play on Sunday, and hit the ball hard. We ended up taking that first game on Sunday and probably should have taken the second one but things just didn’t go our way.”
Slippery Rock will play a four game series this weekend with the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.
Games one and two will both be played Friday in Johnstown before both teams travel to Slippery Rock to finish the series on Saturday.