Slippery Rock University’s baseball team won one of four games against Shippensburg University in their two doubleheaders against them on Saturday and Sunday.
Saturday’s doubleheader was played at the Ripken Baseball Academy in Aberdeen, Maryland, where the Rock lost both games. The first game of the doubleheader was a pitching duel between Shippensburg’s Nick Umberger and Slippery Rock’s Lou Trivino. Umberger pitched a three hit, complete game shutout against the Rock, while Trivino allowed one unearned run early in the game and finished with six scoreless innings to record the complete game. This was Trivino’s second complete game of the season, leaving himself with a one win, one loss record.
In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Slippery Rock had a two to nothing lead going into the sixth inning. Sophomore designated hitter Kevin Jovanovich had two walks and went a perfect two for two with an RBI in the third inning. Sophomore right fielder Brandon Myers doubled in the fourth inning to drive in the second of Slippery Rock’s runs. However, the Rock gave up three runs in the sixth inning, giving Shippensburg the 3-2 victory. Senior Zach Jeney pitched well in the second game, going four innings with six strikeouts, one hit, and no runs allowed. Sophomore pitcher John Kovalik was credited with the loss in his two innings of relief work.
After losing both games on Saturday, the Rock split Sunday’s doubleheader with Shippensburg to finish the weekend with a 3-5 record. In the first game on Sunday, Slippery Rock scored their only two runs in the second inning on an RBI single from junior outfielder Ben Bechtold, and a wild pitch allowed Myers to score from third. Shippensburg tied the game at two runs each in the 4th inning and scored the game winning run in the sixth to extend Slippery Rock’s losing streak to five games with another 3-2 victory.
The Rock exploded in the second game of Sunday’s doubleheader, earning the victory 11 to 3. Slippery Rock started the game off with three runs on four hits in the first inning and seven runs on four hits and three errors by Shippensburg in the second inning. Shippensburg ended the game with a total of five errors.
Centerfielder Derek Carr had four hits in four at bats and scored three runs for Slippery Rock, but he wasn’t the only Slippery Rock player to have an outstanding game. Bechtold went two for four and had two RBIs, senior Carter Haponski went three for four and had one RBI, and first baseman John Schaffer went one for four, but drove in two RBIs. Also, second baseman Lee Foxton went two for three, scoring two runs and batting in one. The Green and White were credited with six RBIs total and scored all 11 of their runs in the first three innings, providing pitcher Nic McCowin with enough run support to go five strong innings.
After the first two weekends of the season, Slippery Rock is three and five. Now the Rock will be gearing up for their annual spring break trip to Florida, where they will play seven games in the RussMatt Invitational.
Sophomore pitcher John Kovalik said that the team is working hard to fix minor errors as they plan to head to Florida for games on Spring Break.
“We’re working on fixing the small mistakes we have been making,” Kovalik said. “The three games we lost to Ship were all by only one run, so we just need to clean things up in every aspect of our game in order to prepare for the tough competition we are facing down in Florida.”
The Rock will start their trip against Seton Hill University on March 8th, Notre Dame College (Ohio) on March 9th, and Ohio Dominican University on March 10th.