The Slippery Rock University baseball team traveled to Washington Wild Things Park last Friday to take on California (Pa.) in doubleheader action. Both teams came into the matchup boasting healthy winning records up to this point in the season.
Sophomore Luke Trueman was on the bump for The Rock, looking for his second win. He faced off against Nick Riggle of the Vulcans, who was at the time unbeaten.
Cal U hit the ground running in the home half of the first, scoring twice off the bats of McCaskey and Conte. The Rock didn’t let the Vulcans run away with the early lead, however, as Alex Robenolt shot a double out into left, plating two and tying things up in the top of the third.
The Vulcans’ Jax Miller broke the tie in the bottom of the inning, poking one out over the center field wall. Slippery Rock’s Nick Renyosa laced a double down the line in the fourth bringing the score even again at 3-3. Trueman would surrender one more run in the sixth, finishing his day striking out 8 and giving up four runs through six admirable innings of work. The Vulcans held the slimmest of leads at 4-3 heading into the 7th.
With their backs against the wall, Slippery Rock shined, powering four runs in the top of the 7th with run-scoring contributions from Connor Hamilton, Vince Donato and Koby Bubash. Protecting a 7-3 lead, Andy McClymonds came out of The Rock bullpen to put the game on ice, striking out one and picking up the save.
Slippery Rock’s offense had a solid day, posting a 14-hit effort. Hamilton led the team with three hits, including a double and an RBI. Robenolt and Bubash each provided 2 RBIs. Donato and and Renyosa had a pair of hits.
Trueman picked up his second win and Nick Riggle was charged with his first loss after his six innings of work.
The back end of the double header saw a 3:20 p.m. start with a pitching matchup of Slippery Rock’s Christian Seelhorst and Cal U’s Dylan Brosky.
The second hitter for The Rock, Jon Kozarian, opened up the scoring with a solo homer deep into the left center gap.
This would be all of the offense the run production we would see from either side over the first five innings as the bats fell silent and the starters shined.
In the bottom of the sixth, Seelhorst was relieved by McClymonds after surrendering two walks. The Vulcans’ David Lee capitalized on the opportunity by homering out to left, giving his team their first lead of the game at 3-1. This closed the book on Seelhorst’s day as he finished with 5.1 innings of work, a pair of earned runs, and seven punchouts. Slippery Rock’s JT Wolke would come out of the pen to mop up in the sixth, surrendering one run.
The Rock didn’t go quietly again in their last opportunity as Joel Spishock started the rally with a run producing double. Donato and Trueman placed a pair of RBI singles, giving the Rock a 4-3 lead.
Slippery Rock couldn’t pull off the heist again, though, as they surrendered a walk-off double off the bat of Patrick Brogan that scored the games tying and winning runs for the Vulcans.
California’s Jackson Miller earned the win and Wolke picked up his second loss of the season for the Rock. Dylan Brosky went 6.1 innings for the Vulcans, striking out 4 and surrendering 4 earned runs.
The Rock’s bats were largely held in check as Donato was the only player to register multiple hits and an RBI. Hamilton, Spishock, Trueman and Kozarian all added timely RBIs.
The teams traveled back to Slippery Rock Saturday looking for a series win with a sweep of the day’s double header.
The Rock’s red-hot Ricky Mineo would look to continue his dominance on the mound as he would get the start. He’d be opposed by Cal (Pa.)’s Zach Rohaley, who was looking for his first win.
Trueman continued his busy weekend by getting the Rock on the board with a long ball over the right field wall, putting Slippery Rock up 2-0 in the second. The Rock added a run in the 3rd and 4th innings off the bats of Robenolt and Kozarian, giving them a commanding 4-0 lead. In the top of the 6th, the Vulcans would score their only run off a wild pitch. Mineo pitched 5.1 lights-out innings allowing, only three hits and striking out nine.
Slippery Rock padded their lead in the 6th, plating four more by way of a Bubash single and run scoring-doubles from Kozarian and Robenolt. Travis Holman came into earn the long save for the Rock, his second on the year.
Kozarian, Robenolt and Trueman all had multi-hit and multi-RBI performances for The Rock.
The last game of the set featured a rubber match of The Rock’s McClymonds and the Vulcan’s Jacob McCaskey, with Slippery Rock seeking the series victory.
The Rock stormed out to a lead by scoring eight in the first two innings, highlighted by a Connor Hamilton double and an Eddie Morris homer in the second. The Vulcans put two runs on the board in the second from a Louden Conte longball. Each team would go on to add one more run, but Slippery Rock’s lead proved to be insurmountable, as they’d go on to win 9-3.
McClymonds threw a solid three complete innings, scattering two runs and earning his second victory of the year. Holman held true in relief, shutting out the Vulcans over his four innings and earning his third save.
The top of SRU’s lineup was crucial to their offensive success as Abraham Mow, Hamilton, Robenolt and Morris all provided multiple hits.
The Rock’s upcoming weekend series with Gannon has been tentatively pushed back to April 5 and 6 due to COVID-19 protocols.