The Slippery Rock University baseball team split a doubleheader at Gannon University on Friday, which brings SRU into a three-way tie for second-place in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) western division.
Game one featured an average start from Slippery Rock ace pitcher senior Alex Pantuso. Pantuso allowed an uncharacteristic six hits and four walks over four innings, surrendering three runs. Pantuso received a no-decision for the start, keeping his record at 4-1.
Slippery Rock busted out with an incredible first inning, highlighted by a three-run home run by sophomore shortstop Joey Campagna, his fourth of the year. That was Campagna’s only hit of the day, who finished 1-3.
The Slippery Rock outfield continued producing, driving in the other three runs of the inning. Two runs were driven in by sophomore center-fielder Frankie Jezioro who finished 2-3, and the other run was plated by junior left-fielder Luca Fuscardo, who finished 1-3 with a walk.
The six runs in the first inning were unfortunately all that The Rock could muster, and that lead finally fell in an incredible seven-run fifth inning by the Golden Knights of Gannon. The usually Stellar senior relief pitcher Josh Coleman struggled and could not finish the fifth inning, giving up four runs and getting only two outs. Sophomore reliever Wyatt Daugherty finished the fifth, but also surrendered a run.
Junior reliever Andrew Null gave up another run in the sixth to push the score to 11-6 in favor of Gannon and that is where the score stayed, handing the Rock a loss in game one.
Game two was a much more stable adventure for the Rock, featuring a stellar outing by junior pitcher Matt Gordon. Gordon pitched 5.2 innings whilst only giving up three runs off of ten hits, but not walking a single batter.
The Rock’s outstanding three and four hitter combo came alive in game two, with the combination of catchers/DHs junior Tyler Walters and senior Christian Porterfield driving in three runs in the third inning, punctuated by a Porterfield two-run home run. Porterfield finished 2-4, while Walters finished 1-4, with both players scoring a run.
The other offensive standout was senior right-fielder Jimmy Divosevic, who went 2-4 and drove in a run. Those two hits pushed Divosevic’s season average up to .376, second best on the team behind only Fuscardo.
Gordon was relieved in the fifth inning by Daugherty; who closed out the game pitching 1.1 innings while only giving up one hit and no runs, finishing the game with a score of 5-3 in the favor of SRU. This gave Daugherty his third save of the season, and gave Gordon the win, pushing his season record to 5-2.Slippery Rock won the game 5-3.
Slippery Rock sits at a 22-15 overall record, and 13-9 in conference play after Friday. This puts The Rock in a three-way tie for second place with Indiana (Pa.) and Seton Hill. Slippery Rock will finish the series against Gannon at home on Saturday, with the games slated to start at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.