Rock baseball braves Spring chill to avoid sweep

Published by adviser, Author: Justin Kraus - Sports Editor, Date: March 27, 2018
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In a series that already had it’s dates moved twice, low-40s temperatures were the least of Slippery Rock baseball’s worries headed into Monday’s game’s against Seton Hill.

“When I got here in the morning, [the field] was frozen solid,” SRU head coach Jeff Messer said. “We were happy we were able to get [the game] in at all.”

Game one started off promising enough with senior catcher Christian Porterfield bringing home a run in the first inning to jump The Rock out to an early 1-0 lead. That run, however, would be one of only two that SRU was able to plate during the game, the other being brought home by senior left fielder Luca Fuscardo.

“I didn’t think their pitcher was going to be as dominant as he was, but he did everything he needed to do,” Messer said of Seton Hill’s Don McWreath, who pitched all seven innings only allowing two runs.

SRU’s pitching didn’t fare much better, with junior Ryan Tapp being dealt his first loss of the season after giving up eight runs in five innings.

“In the first game, they beat us in every area, we didn’t do anything as well as they did,” Messer said.

Coming into game two, Slippery Rock had one goal that they had to achieve at all costs.

“You gotta avoid the sweep, no matter who it is, especially at home,” Messer said.

SRU let up one run in the top of the first but responded by scoring two runs in the bottom of the inning, the first of which a sacrifice fly by Porterfield. The other run came thanks to a Griffons throwing error, with senior second baseman Mitchell Wood scoring on the error.

Slippery Rock’s next six innings were scoreless; they didn’t need any help however as the duo of juniors Chris Anastas and Wyatt Daugherty pitched six consecutive shutout innings. Anastas, mostly a reliever last year, went five innings and struck out seven.

“Huge pitching effort by Chris Anastas to come out and give us five strong innings,” Messer said.

Daugherty earned his second save of the year, this time hurling the final two innings for The Rock, allowing only one base runner.

“Daugherty, that’s what he can do. He was one of the best [closers] last year in the conference. It was a big day for him.”

Slippery Rock’s next scheduled games are a Friday home doubleheader against Clarion, weather permitting. If the games have to be rescheduled, they will be bumped to next week, due to Easter being this Sunday.

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