Butler, Pa. - The Penn State Greater Allegheny men's baseball team hosted Saint Joseph's (Vermont) on Wednesday morning in a United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) double-header, falling in two seven-inning contests, both by the margin of 13-1.
In the top of the first in game one, St. Joseph's (VT) managed to grab two hits with two runs to go up a quick 2-0. Freshman outfielder Dylan Finocchi (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) singled up the middle before he advanced to third on a stolen base and a wild pitch. Junior catcher Francisco Del Rio (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico/Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy) walked to first base before junior outfielder Mark Hollis (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) singled up the middle to bat in Finocchi, 2-1 St. Joseph's.
St. Joseph's managed to put another pair of runs on the board as GA managed to keep up with the at bats. Freshman first baseman Zach Craven (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) singled to right field befoe senior third baseman John Nusser (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brashear) singled to center field - both runners advancing a base on wild pitch. Freshman outfielder Mark Pfleger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Allderdice) walked to first to fill the bases before the next two batters struck out swinging.
The top of the fifth brought St. Joseph's fifth run of the game before GA went down one-two-three in the bottom of the inning. Back up to bat, St. Joseph's hammered five hits to gain four more runs, visiting team up 9-1.
Top seven proved too much for Greater Allegheny to overcome, St. Joseph's coming up for another four runs. Greater Alegheny now down in game one, 13-1.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Marcos Lopez (Gurabo, Puerto Rico/Ramey High) threw in five 2/3 innings while sitting four of his 29 batters faced. Lopez tossed 62 strikes on 95 pitches. Freshman right-handed pitcher Max Whiteman (Irwin, Pa./Norwin) game in for the final inning of action, facing 12 batters with 20 pitches on target.
Nusser went 2-of-3 from the plate while Hollis, Finocchi and Craven earned themselves a hit each.
The two teams rolled into the next seven-inning contest.
Junior second baseman Adam Jacko (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) started off the first inning of game two with a single to right field before Nusser sinled up the middle. Finocchi snagged a single to left field, batting in Jacko, 1-0.
After the first inning, Greater Allegheny did not notch another run on the day.
St. Joseph's tacked on atleast one run in every inning left in the game, besides four, five and seven - where four and five brought two runs each and seven saw six.
Sophomore designated hitter Luke Padezan (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) bunt singeld in the second inning as Nusser, Finocchi and Del Rio singled in the bottom of the third. Craven and sophomore outfielder Sam Ligeros (Munhall, Pa./Steel Valley) singled down the left field line in the bottom of the fourth. Nusser reached first on a single to center field before the seventh inning rode out with a Pfleger double to left field.
Junior right-handed pitcher Dan Daly (Glassport, Pa./South Allegheny) threw five innings while sitting two of his 23 batters faced down on strike-outs. aly threw 45 strikes on 69 pitches. Freshman left-handed pitcher Jordan Graziano (Pittsburgh, Pa./Carrick) came in for the final two innings of the day, tossing 30 strikes to 15 batters.
Nusser finished the second game 3-of-4 from the plate as Finocchi went 2-of-4 with one run batted in.
Greater Allegheny (2-10) takes a break to get back on track before diving into Penn State University Athletic Conference (PSUAC) action. Sunday, April 3rd brings a home double-header against Penn State Wilkes-Barre. The first pitch of game one is set for 12 p.m. at Woodland Hills High School in Pittsburgh, Pa..
--Photography Compliments of Buzz Craven