McKeesport, PA. – As the Penn State University Athletic Conference Baseball season comes down to its final weekend, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball team (10-13, 5-7) is fighting for one of the final three spots. It all comes down to their final series with Penn State New Kensington (3-15, 2-10) that kicks off on Wednesday at 2 p.m., where they have to win at least two out of the three games to guarantee them a spot in the tournament.
They currently sit in fourth place in the PSUAC West Division, one game behind PSU-Fayette entering play on Wednesday. PSUGA owns the tie-breaker over Fayette, so they have to win just one more game than Fayette does to guarantee them a spot. With Fayette set to take on #2 seed PSU-Mont Alto this weekend, it could come down to the final game of the season to see who grabs the number three seed in the division.
PSUGA is coming into the series with PSU-New Ken with some momentum on their side coming off a 9-6 come from behind win in their series finale with PSU-Beaver on Saturday. They entered the seventh down 5-3 before the offense exploded for six runs in the top of the seventh, including three straight RBI singles, that put them ahead for good helping them salvage a game in the three-game series.
Dylan Ernst (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport HS) led the way going 2-4 with two RBI in the win and extended his season-long on-base streak to 19 straight games. Ernst has been on fire as of late hitting .500 (8-16) over his last three games with six RBI and has been a steady presence in the middle of the PSUGA order coming down the stretch. Brian Koglin (Fox Chapel, PA./Fox Chapel HS) also had a big day going 2-2 while Hunter Hughes (Murrysville, Pa./Franklin Regional HS) went 1-2 with two RBI in the game.
PSU-New Kensington enters on a different trend after being swept in their previous conference series at the hands of PSU-Fayette. After dropping the first two games of the series, New Kensington fell behind 3-1 early but tied things up in the fifth and eventually sent the game into extra innings. However, Fayette would capitalize on an error in the bottom of the eighth allowing a run to score and hand New Kensington a 4-3 loss. Vinny Ribar led the way for New Kensington going 2-4 with two RBI in the loss.
In six previous matchups with PSU-New Kensington, PSUGA has yet to loose going a perfect 6-0 against the third-year program. Last season, they picked up a series sweep over New Kensington outscoring them 43-10 in the three-game series. They capped it off with a 10-0 win on the second to last game of the regular season where Hughes went 2-4 with three RBI and Ernst going 2-4 with an RBI of his own.
First pitch for Wednesday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. and will be played at No-Offseason sports located at 1601 Saxonburg Boulevard in Tarentum, PA. The PSUGA Seniors and 2+2 players will be honored before the game as part of our senior recognition ceremony.