After losing 9-3 in game one, Rock baseball (10-35) bounced back to earn a 12-7 victory over Seton Hill (33-12) to split Sunday afternoon home doubleheader at Jack Critchfield Park.
“We had to face two of the better pitchers in the conference,” Rock head coach Jeff Messer said. “It was very important for our team to win that last game because then they know that they are as good as the teams we are playing against, even though they question that sometimes.”
SRU was shut out in the first three innings of play in game one until junior James Divosevic hit an RBI single down the left field line, quickly followed by an RBI double by junior Preston Falascino to cut the Griffins lead to 6-2. Divosevic added was credited with another RBI after grounding out to the second baseman in the sixth inning, scoring senior Alex Bell.
On the pitcher’s mound, sophomore Matt Gordon was given the ball to the start the game for The Rock. Gordon lasted five innings and took the loss after allowing seven runs on nine hits while striking out five. Sophomore Andrew Null came in to relieve Gordon midway through the sixth inning after Gordon failed to produce an out. Null allowed two runs through 1.1 innings of work before being substituted with junior Josh Coleman in the seventh inning. Coleman recorded the final two outs.
Slippery Rock was able to bounce back from an early 5-1 deficit in game two as sophomore starting pitcher Shawn Holman was able to bounce back from a rough first three innings to pitch scoreless fourth and fifth frames and earn his first win of the year. Holman allowed an additional two runs in the sixth inning but remained in the game to pitch through the seventh inning.
“Shawn gets himself in trouble sometimes just by throwing too many pitches,” Messer said. “I think that once we got a few runs it calmed him down a little bit. He pretty much mirrors our team that we have too many highs and too many lows and not much is even. Once he settled in and slowed the game down he got better.”
Sophomore Tyler Walters recorded two RBIs on the day for SRU, his first coming in the first inning with a sacrifice fly and later hitting a solo home run in the sixth inning. His home run was his number 25 in his short two-year career with the Green and White.
Junior Ty Zimmerman recorded two RBIs on three hits, both RBIs coming off doubles in the fourth and fifth innings. Bell also recorded an RBI with a single in the third inning while Falascino hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Divosevic added an RBI single in the fourth as well while sophomore Christian Porterfield hit a two-RBI double in the sixth to put secure SRU’s 12-7 win.
The Rock will finish its season next weekend as it will a home-and-away series with division rival Clarion (7-29).
“We’re planning trying to win every single game,” Messer said. “For both us and Clarion it’s our playoff. Our guys haven’t rolled over and they’ve fought and competed. We’re better than what our record indicates and we are going out to win four baseball games.”
SRU hosts the Golden Eagles Friday at 1 p.m. to begin a doubleheader before heading to Clarion on Saturday to finish the season with a doubleheader there. SRU will celebrate its three seniors on Friday for Senior Day.