The Rock baseball team (29-16) closed out the regular season Saturday, sweeping the University of Pitt-Johnstown (7-37-1) in a four-game home and away series. The Rock won the first two games in Slippery Rock 13-11, and 16-3, then traveled to Johnstown winning both games 16-3 and 12-11.
“We had already solidified a spot in the playoffs, but just had to wait for seedings,” Rock head coach Jeff Messer said. “It helped keep us in the hunt for regional tournament bid, and it’s good to end the regular season with a sweep heading in to the tournament.”
The Rock got on the scoreboard in the first inning with an RBI double by freshman Ty Walters. Walters also hit a two-run home run in the sixth inning. Sophomore Preston Falascino went 4-5 with an RBI single in the first inning, and a three-run home run in the seventh. Junior Alex Bell hit a solo home run in the fifth inning, and also recorded an RBI in the seventh inning after reaching first base on a Mountain Cat error. Sophomore Ty Zimmerman added to the Rock’s lead in the seventh inning with an RBI groundout, and redshirt sophomore Logan Brown hit an RBI single. Redshirt junior Kyle Vozar scored on a wild pitch in the seventh inning.
“We know we can put runs on the board, we just need to solidify our defensive presence,” Messer said. “We knew we could score runs against UPJ, but it was just a matter of our pitching staff stepping up and keeping them off the board as well.”
Senior Ryan Oglesby was on the mound for game one. Oglesby went 5.2 innings with five earned runs on eight hits.
Senior Geoff Sanner entered the game in the sixth. Sanner finished the game and allowed no runs, earning his third win of the season.
SRU jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning of game two thanks to an RBI double by Bell, a three-run homer by senior Jake Nogalo and a solo homer by Walters. Walters also hit an RBI single in the fourth.
Brown also hit a three run home run in the fourth inning. Vozar hit a solo home run to right field in the fifth, quickly followed by an RBI double by senior Adam Urbania.
Rock senior Kyle Schneider pitched a complete game in game two. He allowed three runs on five hits while striking out eight.
SRU’s first five runs in game three involved home runs by Urbania, Bell, Walters and junior Jordan Faretta.
Faretta also hit an RBI single in the fifth, and an RBI double in the seventh.
Walters hit an RBI triple in the seventh, later followed by a pair of three-run home runs by Nogalo and Brown. Falascino was the starting pitcher in game three. He pitched six innings while allowing just three runs. Sophomore James Divosevic pitched the seventh inning and closed out the game for SRU.
Falascino hit a three-home run in the third inning of game four to score Slippery Rock’s first runs of the game.
Zimmerman hit a solo home run in the fourth, and sophomore Carson Kessler hit a three RBI double in the fifth.
The Green and White scored four runs in the seventh inning to take the lead over UPJ, capitalized by an RBI single to left field by Brown.
The Rock kicks off the PSAC Tournament on Tuesday with a 9:30 a.m. matchup against West Chester.
The tournament is a double elimination style, and the winner of the game will play game two on Thursday at 3:30 p.m., while the loser will play Thursday at 9:30 a.m.
Oglesby will is scheduled to start on the mound for SRU in game one, Schneider in game two.