Rock baseball (7-22) came away with a split in its double-header on Friday afternoon against Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), dropping game one 13-11 and winning game two 13-3.
SRU received offensive contributions from all areas of the lineup, but its core group at the top of the lineup was the key to a victory. The group of senior Alex Bell, junior Ty Zimmerman and sophomore Tyler Walters would once again provide great offensive efforts in the double-header. The Rock would collect a total of 28 hits over the course of both games.
In game one, IUP would jump out to a 2-0 lead early due to a two run, two out triple by Rick Jones in the bottom of the first inning. The Rock would answer the Crimson Hawks in the top of the second, scoring four runs of their own. Freshman Frankie Jezioro would get the offense going with a three-run home run, and would be followed up by a solo shot from sophomore Mitchell Wood. SRU would take a 4-2 lead heading into the bottom frame.
Jezioro would statistically have one of the best games of his career thus far. He we would finish the day going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, two home runs and collecting five RBI’s.
The lead would not last long as the Crimson Hawks answered back with a three-run shot of their own off the bat of Hunter Bigler. IUP would quickly take back the lead 5-4 heading into the third inning.
The Rock was never able to pull ahead of IUP for the remainder of the game, as the Crimson Hawks would go on to outscore The Rock 8-7 in the final five innings of play. The Rock scored six runs over the final two innings, but would come up short of a comeback and drop game one 13-11.
Walters would continue his impressive season as he finished the game 2-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs. Red-shirt-junior Logan Brown would collect three hits as well as an RBI, and junior James Divosevic would also add two hits.
The Rock starter for game one red-shirt senior Jon Anderson (2-4) would surrender 12 runs, eight of those being earned on nine hits and four walks in 3.1 innings of work. Sophomore James Null would come on to relieve Anderson, and toss 2.2 shutout innings of relief work. Null allowed just one run on two hits and recorded two strikeouts.
SRU would come back strong in game two as it scored 10 runs in the first three innings. The Rock would follow up its 15-hit show in game one with a solid 13-hit offensive showing in game two en route to a 13-3 win.
Walters would knock in Zimmerman in the first inning off of an RBI triple, which got the offense going early on. The Rock would add another four runs in the second, followed by five runs in the third. Following a second inning in which IUP put three runs on the board, SRU got out to a 10-3 lead and didn’t look back.
The Rock would add another run in the fourth inning off an RBI-single from Zimmerman, and add another two in the seventh off a two-run home run from Zimmerman.
Sophomore Alex Pantuso (1-3) would get the nod in game two, and go on to throw a complete-game four-hitter against the Crimson Hawks. After allowing three runs in the second inning, Pantuso would allow just one hit and two walks for the rest of the game. The complete-game would be the first of the year for Pantuso, who would go on to strike out seven over the course of the game.
Zimmerman would lead The Rock offensive attack going 3-for-4, scoring four runs, four RBI and a home run from the leadoff spot.
Bell knocked in four runs on two base hits, while Jezioro and Wood would add two base hits each. Sophomore Kyle Wise would add two RBI of his own, going 1-for-4 with two runs scored.
SRU hosted the final two games of the series on Saturday against IUP at Jack Critchfield Park.