Butler, PA. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball Team (14-13, 11-4) secured home field advantage for the first round of the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs by defeating Penn State Mont Alto on Monday 4-3. They were led by a strong pitching performance by senior Luke Padezan (Elizabeth, PA./Elizabeth Forward) who went the distance in the win.
Padezan gave up three runs, none of them earned, in the victory while walking three and striking out four on his way to his first victory of the season. All three runs allowed by Padezan came in the bottom of the fourth when an error put Mont Alto in business and a single, a sac fly, and a wild pitch brought home the runs. Padezan came through in the clutch when PSUGA needed him the most and he delivered turning in his best start of the season.
Adam Jacko (North Versailles, PA./East Allegheny) got PSUGA on the board first in this one courtesy of an RBI groundout that brought home Hunter Hughes (Murrysville, PA./Franklin Regional) to give PSUGA a 1-0 lead in the top of the 3rd. After falling behind 3-1 at the end of four, the PSUGA offense would start to slowly chip away at the lead.
Jacko once again delivered for PSUGA in the top of the fifth poking an RBI single into left field scoring Hughes and cutting the Mont Alto lead to just one. PSUGA would then tie the game one inning later after Josh Arroyo (Toa Alta, Puerto Rico/Levittown Baptist Academy) got hit by a pitch and Caleb Smith (Irwin, PA./Norwin) reached on an error with one out.
Zack Craven (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport) would come to the plate and deliver hitting a groundball through the hole on the left side to bring home courtesy runner Matt Smith (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) tying the game at three. PSUGA would then take the lead for good in the top of the 7th with a runner on and one out.
Pedro Escobar (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico/Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy) would ground out to third for the second out, but Marcos Lopez (Cagalas, Puerto Rico/Ramey) would move to third and an errant throw would allow him to come home to score and give PSUGA the 4-3 advantage.
Padezan would take control from there only allowing one of the final six men he faced to reach base and rolling a 4-6-3 double play to end the game and give PSUGA the 4-3 victory. Jacko led the offense going 1-4 with two RBI while Craven finished 1-3 while driving in the tying run in the top of the 6th. The win gives PSUGA the season series victory over PSU-Mont Alto and guarantees them the opportunity to host the first round of the PSUAC Playoff Tournament.
The first round will be played on Friday April 27th as PSUGA takes on PSU-Mont Alto once again at 12 p.m. at Pullman Park in Butler, PA. It will be a single, seven-inning, game with the winner moving on to the PSUAC Playoff Tournament in DuBois, PA. at Showers Field.