The Slippery Rock University baseball team took on Gannon University in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) match-up on Sunday afternoon at Jack Critchfield Park in Slippery Rock.
The Rock was led by a strong pitching performance by senior Preston Falascino and ultimately won the game with a final score of 5-1.
The afternoon was originally scheduled to play host to a doubleheader, but severe weather forced a stoppage in play and an eventual suspension of the game in the third inning of game two.
Slippery Rock would have the long ball working in their favor early on as senior right fielder James Divosevic led off the home half of the first inning with a home run to right-center field to give Slippery Rock an early 1-0 lead.The home run was Divosevic’s second of the season. Junior catcher Tyler Walters would lead off the bottom half of the fourth inning with a home run of his own, his eighth of the season, to give his team the 2-0 advantage.
The Rock’s fourth inning rally would continue as they would get the bases loaded on a hit-by-pitch, a single and a bunt single, respectively, before sophomore shortstop Joe Campagna would single down the left field line to score junior designated hitter Christian Porterfield from third.
Junior second basemen Mitchell Wood recorded a RBI on a fielder’s choice to give the Green and White a 4-0 lead. The Rock’s huge inning would not end there, however, as junior third baseman Matt Mandes hit a sacrifice fly to center field to score sophomore center fielder Frankie Jezioro from third to increase Slippery Rock’s lead to five.
Slippery Rock would not tally another run the remainder of the game, but that did not matter as Gannon could barely get anything done offensively with Falascino on the mound. Falascino was unable to record the shutout due to a solo home run by Gannon’s Mike Colosi with two outs in the top of the seventh inning.
Falascino finished the afternoon giving up one run on four hits and striking out five in all seven innings on the mound. The win is Falascino’s sixth of the season. His earned ERA currently sits at 4.44, the best of his career and second among Rock starters.
The Rock improved their overall record to 23-15 (.605) and to 14-9 (.609) in the PSAC. The men currently sit in third place in the PSAC West Division, trailing second place Seton Hill (30-15/15-9) and first place Mercyhurst (34-4/21-3) with six games remaining in the season.
The second game of Sunday’s doubleheader will be made up on Monday, May 8, if it is needed to qualify either team for the PSAC tournament or if it affects the seeding of either team.
Slippery Rock will travel to Walsh University this Wednesday for an out-of-conference doubleheader. First pitches are scheduled for 1 and 3 p.m.