Rock baseball (5-16) began the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) portion of its schedule on a rough note Saturday afternoon, dropping both games against the University of Pitt-Johnstown (UPJ) by scores of 14-3 and 2-1 at Point Stadium.
Fielding errors proved costly for the Rock early on in game one, as Pitt-Johnstown scored 11 runs in the first inning due in part to three fielding errors. Nine of the Mountain Cats first 11 runs came as unearned. UPJ would add another run in the second inning to jump out to a 12-0 lead over SRU.
The Rock would avoid a game one shutout by scoring three runs in the fourth inning. UPJ would add another two runs in the fifth inning to seal a game one victory.
Junior Ty Zimmerman got The Rock on the board with a lead-off home run in the fourth inning, and senior Alex Bell added to the scoring with a two-run homer later in the inning. That would be the only bright spot of the day as SRU recorded only one more hit over the final three innings of play, which was a single by sophomore Mitchell Wood in the fifth inning. Freshman Frankie Jezioro and sophomore Christian Porterfield would also record base hits, as well as Jezioro scoring one run on the Bell home run.
Sophomore Alex Pantuso (0-2) got the start for The Rock. Pantuso gave up 11 runs but only two were earned on five hits, three walks and four wild pitches. Pantuso was relieved with two outs in the first inning by sophomore Andrew Null, who recorded the final out of the inning. Freshman Jay Cortese threw the remaining five innings and allowed three runs on five hits and four walks.
The Rock would get off to a quick start in game two, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning on base hits from Bell, Zimmerman, and sophomore Tyler Walters. Zimmerman would lead-off the game with a double and advanced to third on a Walters single, then score off a base hit from Bell. Junior James Divosevic would account for the final Rock base hit.
Bell has now reached base safely in eight straight games, and now ranks second on the team in both home runs (four) and runs batted in (RBI) with 21. Zimmerman now has a .354 batting average from the leadoff spot on the season and leads the team in runs scored (21) and is second in hits with 29.
The SRU bats had a difficult time the rest of the game, as UPJ starter Camden Hess would allow only two more hits over the next five innings. Ty Treaster would come on in relief and toss a scoreless seventh inning for the Mountain Cats.
Redshirt-senior Jon Anderson (2-2) got the nod in game two for The Rock. Errors in the field would once again come back to haunt SRU in the second inning, as UPJ would tie the game at 1-1 on two errors. Anderson would bounce back following the second and toss four straight scoreless innings to keep the game tied.
Anderson would get the first out of the seventh inning, but allow a single to Dillon Boyer on the next at bat. Anderson struck out Nate Negri the next, but Boyer would steal second base and then come home on the following at bat off of another Rock error to win the game.
Anderson would finish the day going 6.2 innings, with two strikeouts and two unearned runs. Anderson in five games started has only allowed more than two runs in one game this season.