In their first action of the 2017 season, the Slippery Rock University baseball team split four games in the Dinwiddie Invitational in Dinwiddie, Va. SRU beat fellow Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) school East Stroudsburg on Friday, split a doubleheader against PSAC-East school West Chester on Saturday and fell to St. Thomas Aquinas on Sunday.
On Friday, The Rock blew past East Stroudsburg 9-4 by scoring six runs in the game’s final two innings. Leading the way for the Green and White were junior Christian Porterfield, who was the designated hitter in this game, and senior outfielder Jimmy Divosevic. Porterfield collected four hits, driving in two runs and Divosevic had three hits, one being a triple, two runs batted in and three runs scored.
Junior Alex Pantuso was the starting pitcher. He went five scoreless innings, striking out seven until The Rock was able to score three runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to secure the win. Sophomore reliever Wyatt Daugherty pitched the final two innings of the game, giving up one unearned run and earning a save.
In game one on Saturday, West Chester ran through Slippery Rock 9-0 on the back of Jon Fishers’s seven-inning three-hitter.
Junior Tyler Markovic made his Slippery Rock debut, pitching 4.2 innings, giving up nine runs, five earned. Junior Matt Mandes committed two errors playing third base.
In the night-cap of the doubleheader, The Rock won out in a 2-1 pitchers’ duel. Junior right fielder Luca Fuscardo brought the offense for Slippery Rock, knocking in the team’s only two runs with a single in the third inning.
Senior Preston Falacino got the start on the mound, turning in six innings of one-run ball, striking out five. Junior Shawn Holman pitched the final two scoreless innings to secure the win and earn himself a save.
In the final game of the invitational, The Rock lost 13-9 to St. Thomas Aquinas in a barn burner. Fuscardo tallied three hits with two runs batted in and sophomore second baseman Ray Scala had two hits with three runs batted in to lead The Rock. Mandes committed two more errors at the hot corner.
Junior Matt Gordon could not contain the St. Thomas offense, giving up seven runs (five earned) in 3.1 innings.
Following the invitational, Porterfield and Fuscardo lead the team with seven hits each, Fuscardo leads the team with six runs batted in and Divosevic and junior Tyler Walters lead the team with three runs scored each. Pantuso was named the PSAC-West pitcher of the week following his five shut-down innings against East Stroudsburg.
The Rock is back on the road this weekend, playing four games against PSAC-East opponent Kutztown University in Bel Air, Md. on March 4 and 5.