The Slippery Rock University baseball team kicked off its season Friday with a four-game series against King University in Bristol, Tennessee, where SRU won three of its four contests.
The Rock won game one 5-0, followed by a game two victory of 6-2. Slippery Rock then struggled in game three on Saturday, losing 15-6, but bounced back in game four to win 12-10 and take the series.
“That was the first time our guys were actually on the field,” Rock head coach Jeff Messer said. “We were pretty impressed with our guys on Friday because we did pretty much everything right. Our pitchers threw strikes, and our position players made all the plays they needed to make and it was great progress.”
Rock senior Ryan Oglesby was the starting pitcher in game one. Oglesby threw four complete innings, allowing no runs on just three hits. He also allowed just one walk and struck out four opposing batters. Redshirt junior Jon Anderson entered the game in the fifth inning to relieve Oglesby and remained on the mound for the remainder of the contest. In his three innings of work, Anderson allowed no runs and struck out two batters while walking two. Anderson was credited with his first save of the season.
SRU scored in the first inning as junior second baseman Jordan Faretta hit a two RBI single to left. The remainder of the Rock’s scoring in game one came in the fourth inning as senior shortstop Jake Nogalo hit an RBI single down the left field line, followed by a two run RBI single by sophomore infielder Preston Falascino.
“Jake’s been with us for four years, and we are expecting him to have a really good year,” Messer said. “It’s just a matter of keeping healthy because he’s had past injuries, but when he is in the lineup we are a better team.”
Senior Kyle Schneider began game two on the mound for SRU. Schneider lasted five innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits. He also struck out five. Sophomore James Divosevic replaced Schneider in the sixth, pitching the final two innings of the game and allowing one run on two hits. Divosevic earned his first save of the 2015 season.
“Ryan and Kyle are our two most consistent pitchers that have been with us for a while,” Messer said. “They throw strikes and come right at batters. They attacked the zone, the only issue they had was some of their breaking pitches but I credit that to the poor weather.”
Nogalo had another big game for SRU, going 2-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. The Rock pulled away with the victory in the top of the seventh inning, scoring four runs. Freshman catcher Tyler Walters hit and RBI triple, quickly followed by another RBI triple by Falascino. Senior Adam Urbania capped off the Rock’s scoring attack with an RBI double.
Senior Anton Constantino started game three for SRU. Constantino threw just three innings, allowing five runs on four hits. Falascino entered the game as pitcher in the fourth, but only lasted one inning after allowing six runs on five hits and four walks. Redshirt junior Geoff Sanner also threw one inning, allowing two runs on two hits. Constantino was credited with the loss.
Redshirt sophomore led the Rock’s offense in game three, mashing SRU’s first home run of the season. Brown finished the game 1-2 with two RBIs.
The Rock bounced back in game four to jump out to an early 6-0 lead in the first inning. Senior pitcher Garret Peterson started the game at pitcher, throwing four innings and allowing four runs on three hits and one walk. All runs were earned. Freshman Alex Pantuso entered the game and pitched one and two thirds innings. Pantuso allowed four runs on six hits. Sanner entered the game for relief and was creditied with his first save of the year.
Slippery Rock’s offense got going after Falascino hit an RBI triple. He finished the game going 2-5 from the plate. Faretta went 3-5 with three RBIs, highlighted by three separate RBI singles.
The Rock will have a few weeks off before heading to Clearwater, Florida, where they will take on six different teams over spring break.