DuBois, PA. – Resiliency. That is the one word to describe Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball’s (10-13, 7-4) effort on Wednesday night when they fell to Penn State DuBois (21-7, 11-1) 14-13 in 11 innings. PSUGA completed three comebacks to take the lead late but fell just short as a walk-off single by DuBois’s Joey Depitro would be the final blow in the loss.
PSUGA trailed 5-4 entering the top of the eighth and were able to get runners to second and third with one man out. Caleb Smith (Irwin, PA./Norwin) would then tie the game lifting a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Zack Pollack (Cecil, PA./Canon-McMillan) bringing the score to 5-5. It would bring Dylan Ernst (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) to the plate with two outs and the go ahead run in scoring position.
Ernst would come through crushing a two-run home run, his first of the season, to right field to give PSUGA a 7-5 lead. PSU-DuBois responded in the bottom half of the eighth retaking the lead on a two-run home run and an RBI double to send the game to the ninth with DuBois leading 9-7 and PSUGA looking to find a way to come back again.
After a single, walk, and hit by pitch, it was Smith who would once again come to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded with his team down by two. Smith would come up with the biggest hit of his young PSUGA career so far lining a double into right center field that cleared the baes and put PSUGA back out in front 10-9 as the game moved to the bottom of the ninth.
However, DuBois would not go quietly as after the first two batters were retired quickly, a two-out home run tied things at 10 and sent the game into extra innings. After neither team scored a run in the 10th the game moved to the 11th with the two teams still knotted up at 10. PSUGA was able to load the bases once again with two-outs as Marcos Lopez (Caglas, Puerto Rico/Ramey) came to the plate looking to take the lead for the third time in the ball game.
Lopez promptly line the second pitch of the at bat into left-center field scoring all three runs and giving PSUGA a 13-10 lead. PSUGA headed to the bottom of the 11th needing just three outs to secure their best comeback victory of the season. Their plans would be spoiled, however after two bases loaded walks and the walk-off single by Depitro sealed the fate for PSU-DuBois as they took the 14-13 win.
There were many clutch performances up and down the lineup for PSUGA. Ernst and Smith each drove in three runs with Ernst finishing 1-5 including the home run and Smith going 2-5 with his RBI double. Pollack led PSUGA in hits going 4-6 with an RBI and three runs scored while being tied for the game lead in hits as one of two players on either team to collect four hits.
Luke Padezan (Elizabeth, PA./Elizabeth Forward) started the game and kept his team in a position to make the comeback going five innings giving up five runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out three. Dave West (Hempfield, PA./Hempfield) would add three innings giving up four runs, three earned, on four hits and Daniel Daly (Glassport, PA./South Allegheny) threw the final three innings giving up five runs on five hits while striking out one batter.
The loss moves PSUGA to 7-4 in Penn State University Athletic Conference Play and has them in second place in the PSUAC West Division. They have a one game lead over PSU-Mont Alto and with one more matchup with PSU-Mont Alto scheduled for the 23rd, PSUGA is looking to win as many games as they can so they can try to capture the number two seed.
PSUGA is back in action on Friday when they go on the road to take on PSU-New Kensington in doubleheader action at 2 p.m. The doubleheader will be the first two games of a three-game series with the finale being played on Saturday as a single game with first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m.