McKeesport, Pa. – It has been a long, cold, and snowy winter, but the sun is shining and things are starting to warm up meaning the starts of baseball season is upon us. The Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball Team (0-0, 0-0) will start the season on Sunday when they battle Mercyhurst (4-0, 0-0) at Wild Things Park at 12:30 p.m.
PSUGA baseball is looking to have a rebound season in 2018 after finishing last season 8-15 overall and 6-6 in conference play. After winning their first game of the season, they dropped six of their next seven games to put them in a hole. They would win three in a row to end March before dropping their next nine games to start the month of April. They finished the year winning two of their last three games and they will look to build on that momentum in 2018.
They have a strong core of returning players including a group of four senior players who have experience making deep runs in the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs. Headlining the pitching staff are Luke Padezan (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) and Dan Daly (Glassport, Pa./South Allegheny) and on the offensive side of the ball slugger Josh Arroyo (Toa Alto, Puerto Rico/Levittown Baptist Academy) will return to the lineup.
Padezan had the lowest ERA on the pitching staff last season pitching to a 4.28 ERA over 61.0 innings of work. He also finished fourth in all of the PSUAC striking out 34 batters while walking just 29. Padezan has a career record of 11-10 in a PSUGA uniform and is looking to once again headline the top of the rotation.
Daly is also back for his senior season and had an up and down year in 2017. He pitched to a record of 2-6 and an ERA of 6.35. He had his strikeout pitch working leading PSUGA with 38 strikeouts throughout the course of the season while walking 30. Daly and Padezan will be the one and two starters for PSUGA as they look to lead a young rotation.
Arroyo brings his consistent bat to the lineup after having his best season in a PSUGA uniform in 2017. He led the team in average, .387, Homeruns, 2, and RBI, 14. For his efforts, he was able to win the PSUAC First Team All-Conference Award and will once again try to bring his consistent bat to the middle of the Lions lineup.
While PSUGA is just kicking off their 2018 season, Mercyhurst has had a hot start to the 2018 season winning each of their first four ball games. They swept a double-header on Friday against Glenville State College winning 9-2 and 3-0. They used a six run fifth inning to pick up the win in game on and scored three runs early to sweep the doubleheader.
Mercyhurst and PSUGA have met up five times since the 2010 season and Mercyhurst owns the all-time series with a record of 1-4. Last season, Mercyhurst took both games of a doubleheader between the two teams on their way to sweeping the season series.
First pitch for Sunday’s game is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Wild Things Park. You can watch the game live by going to bit.ly/PSUGAYT to follow along with all the action.