Playing home games 107 miles away from home was never the plan, but it didn’t matter for the Slippery Rock University baseball team, who was able to sweep all four games in a series against the University of Pitt-Johnstown in which all four games were played in UPJ’s ballpark, due to weather.
The first pitch of game one was put into the seats, thanks to SRU’s stellar freshman third baseman Abraham Mow, his fourth home run of the year.
SRU and UPJ would trade runs for the next four innings, with the score at 4-3 SRU thanks to RBIs by senior catcher Christian Porterfield, junior shortstop Joey Campagna and an additional knock by Mow. The fifth inning is when SRU was able to strike big on both the scoreboard and the record books, when senior catcher Tyler Walters blasted a three-run home run to put SRU up 7-4, and also break the all-time Slippery Rock home run record, his 41st.
Campagna and Porterfield added additional insurance runs in the seventh inning, but UPJ also added two of their own, making the score 9-6 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Junior Wyatt Daugherty ran into some trouble, allowing a run on two hits in the seventh, but was able to close the door for his fourth save of the year.
Daugherty’s save preserved the win for senior starter Alex Pantuso (3-2), who struck out seven but allowed five runs in his four innings pitched. Junior Tanner Stanz pitched the fifth and sixth innings with no runs given up.
Game two saw some familiar faces making waves with Mow and Campagna driving in runs and Porterfield bringing in two, pushing his season total to 26. The corner outfielders rounded out the offensive production, with senior left-fielder Luca Fuscardo driving in two runs and junior right fielder Frankie Jezioro hitting a sacrifice fly in the seventh for The Rock’s seventh and final run.
Senior starter Matt Gordon had another outstanding start, having given up only two runs through the first six innings, striking out six and walking zero. Gordon tried to close out the game, but was only able to get one out in the seventh before Dan Clark hit a two run homerun for UPJ, leaving Gordon’s final line at 6.1 innings pitched and four runs given up.
Daugherty came in to close the game and made quick work of UPJ’s last two batters, needing only five pitches to claim his fifth save of the year.
SRU had the night to rest before their first “home game” held at UPJ the next day.
UPJ jumped out to a 3-1 lead, with the lone SRU run being brought in by Fuscardo. Two Rock runners then scored on an error in the third, leaving the game tied heading into the fifth inning.
The Rock loaded the bases, and then Campagna un-loaded them with a grand slam, putting SRU up 7-3.
Junior Chris Anastas allowed three runs, but only one of which was earned, in six innings. Stanz pitched a clean last inning to preserve The Rock win.
The final game of the series ended up being a barnburner, with SRU coming back from a 6-2 deficit for the game to be a 7-6 UPJ lead heading into the seventh inning.
SRU tied the game with a Mow double to centerfield. Thanks to his performance during the series, Mow was named the PSAC-West Athlete of the Week.
Senior second baseman Mitchell Wood walked the game off for SRU in the seventh with an RBI single.
The win went to Daugherty, who was the fifth pitcher in the game for The Rock. The win bumps Daugherty’s season line up to 2-1.
The four wins versus UPJ bump Slippery Rock’s win streak to nine games. SRU will look to extend their win streak with four games against Mercyhurst this weekend, weather permitting.