Butler, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball Team (14-13, 11-4) dropped their first round Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoff game against Penn State Beaver on Friday 7-3. PSUGA put themselves in a hole with three errors that all led to runs and the offense couldn’t fight back into the game.
PSU-Beaver would jump out to the early lead when Justyn Francona hit a solo home run over the left field wall to give his team a 1-0 lead in the top of the 2nd. They would add a run in the top of the third on an RBI groundout by Matt Capo that extended the lead to 2-0 before Zack Cossette grounded out to end the inning.
PSUGA would tie the game in the bottom of the fourth after a single and a walk put runners at first and second with one out. Zack Craven (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) would drive in the first run of the inning on an RBI single to left field and Hunter Hughes (Murrysville, PA./Franklin Regional) followed that up with an RBI double to right-center field to tie the game at two runs apiece.
The score would remain tied at two until the top of the sixth inning when Beaver would retake the lead. Stefan Romaniuk would drive in the first run of the inning on an RBI single and two batters later, Dan Vanderslice drove in another run with a single to left. The ball would be booted by the left fielder and it would allow another run to score to extend the Beaver lead to 5-2.
PSUGA responded in the bottom half of the sixth when Dylan Ernst (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) singled on a ground ball to short. Matt Smith (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) would hustle home, taking advantage of a double clutch by the short stop, to score and cut the Beaver lead to 6-3. However, Beaver put up another run in the top of the 7th to seal the deal and give Beaver the 7-3 win.
Ernst led the way offensively for PSUGA finishing 2-3 with an RBI and Pedro Escobar (Agaudilla, Puerto Rico/Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy) finished 2-4 with two singles on the day. Daniel Daly (Glassport, PA./South Allegheny) got the start and went six innings giving up five runs, four earned, on nine hits while walking one and striking out four.
PSUGA Baseball had a very successful 2018 season, especially on the offensive side of the ball. They finished the season hitting .301 as a team while reaching base at a .419 clip. This year’s senior class had such a big impact on this program and we wish them luck in wherever their future endeavors take them. As for PSUGA Baseball, they look to continue to improve and grow as we move into the future.