The Slippery Rock University baseball team (20-15) split a non-divisional matchup with Shippensburg University (19-19) Tuesday night, cruising to a 12-2 victory in game one before losing 10-9 in an extra innings thriller in game two.
“When you play those mid-week games, pitching is always limited,” Rock head coach Jeff Messer said. “We always use our top guys and save them for weekend series, so it was good to see other guys out there. We fought well but you can’t win them all, but getting a win from a good PSAC-East team is always welcome.”
The Rock’s offense struck first, as redshirt sophomore Logan Brown hit a two RBI single to right field in the first inning.
The Green and White capitalized on its early lead by scoring six runs in the bottom of the third, beginning with a solo home run from senior Adam Urbania.
The inning continued with a pair of RBI singles from sophomore Carson Kessler and junior Jordan Faretta, a two RBI double from sophomore Ty Zimmerman and an RBI double by senior Jake Nogalo. Urbania added an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth, followed by freshman Tyler Walters scoring off of an error and an RBI double by Brown.
Freshman Alex Pantuso earned his second win as starting pitcher in game one.
Pantuso allowed just two runs on six hits, while striking out seven through five innings of work.
Senior Zac Anderson came on for relief in the sixth and stayed in for the remainder of the game. Anderson struck out three Shippensburg batters.
Coach Messer praised Pantuso for his performance.
“Alex has big potential,” Messer said. “It’s a confidence booster, especially for a freshman. It’s not whether a team is gonna beat Alex, it’s whether he ends up beating himself. He’s potentially a big time pitcher for us.”
Slippery Rock used four different pitchers in game two, starting with freshman Stephen McKee. McKee pitched four innings, allowing five runs on nine hits.
He was replaced in the fifth inning by sophomore James Divosevic, who allowed two runs in one inning of work. Redshirt junior Geoff Sanner entered the game in the sixth inning and remained in the game for four innings as the game moved into extras.
Sanner did not allow any runs and gave up just one hit with three strikeouts.
Senior Anton Constantino entered the game in the 10th inning, giving up three runs and allowing the Raiders to take a 10-7 lead heading into the bottom of the inning. He was credited with his fourth loss of the season.
Redshirt junior Kyle Vozar hit an RBI sacrifice fly in the second inning to put Slippery Rock on the board in game two, and later hit a two RBI single in the third. Walters hit a two run home run in the the third inning, and Nogalo added another two run home run in the sixth. Junior Alex Bell hit a two run double in the bottom of the 10th inning.
SRU returns to action Friday, as it begins a four game home and away series with Clarion University (7-20).
“We are heading into this series with big expectations,” Messer said. “Going in, we’d love to win four, but we have to take it one game at a time and hopefully we get the best effort from our players. It’s always difficult to win all four games no matter who you are playing, but we have the talent and we are going to be ready.”