Rock hardballers sweep IUP
Kyle Schneider pitched a three-hit shutout to lead SRU (27-15 overall, 9-7 PSAC-West) to a 3-0 win in Sunday's first game before The Rock overcame an IUP comeback to win Game 2 by a 4-3 score
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University's baseball team swept a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division doubleheader Sunday vs. Indiana U. of Pa., 3-0 and 4-3, at Jack Critchfield Park to move into sole possession of fourth place in the division standings.
The wins gave The Rock (27-15 overall, 9-7 PSAC-West) a 3-1 record in the weekend/season series vs. IUP and a 4-2 record for the week.
IUP fell to 21-16 overall, 7-9 in PSAC-West action, the latter mark putting them in sixth place in the seven-team division standings.
The Rock and Crimson Hawks each have four division games left to play this spring as they seek to earn one of the four PSAC tournament berths that will be awarded to Western Division teams.
SRU faces a stiff challenge in its bid for a postseason berth. The Green and White have four games each vs. division co-leaders California (Pa.) and Gannon left on their schedule, starting with Friday's 1 p.m. home doubleheader vs. California. The Rock and Vulcans (27-12, 11-5) are scheduled to close out their series with a 1 p.m. twinbill next Saturday at Consol Energy Park in Washington, Pa.
The Rock travel to Gannon (19-13, 11-5) for a May 3 doubleheader (1 p.m. first pitch) before closing out their regular-season schedule with a 4 p.m. doubleheader May 4 at Critchfield Park.
Sophomore right-hander Kyle Schneider pitched a three-hit shutout to lead The Rock to their Game 1 win Sunday. Schneider, who improved his season win-loss record to 5-3, struck out four and walked one in the process of recording his fifth complete-game performance of the season.
Three players were each 2-for-3 to lead a 10-hit Rock offensive attack. Junior right fielder Graeme Zaparzynski had a single and an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth inning and scored two runs, senior first baseman John Shaffer had two singles, including an RBI single in the sixth, and junior shortstop Will Kengor had a pair of singles and one run scored.
Zaparzynski and Shaffer had back-to-back singles to open the bottom of the fourth, when The Rock took advantage of two IUP errors to score their first run of the game.
Kengor singled and scored all the way from first base on Zaparzynski's RBI double to left field. Zaparzynski promptly came around on Shaffer's RBI single to give SRU a 3-0 lead and ultimately close out the scoring.
IUP did not get a runner to second base until two outs had been recorded in the top of the seventh and final inning of Game 1. Schneider then induced a game-ending popout to shut the door.
SRU scored two runs in the bottom of the second inning in Game 2 to take an early lead, only to see IUP score three times in the top of the fifth.
Sophomore third baseman Jordan Faretta's RBI double highlighted SRU's second-inning rally. The second Rock run scored on a two-out wild pitch.
IUP manufactured its three fifth-inning tallies from four hits and a base on balls issued by Rock starting and winning pitcher Jon Anderson
Undaunted, The Rock scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain the lead and ultimately win the game. Key hits in the rally were a leadoff double by Kengor and an RBI single by junior center fielder Jake Weibley.
Sophomore southpaw Anton Constantino relieved Anderson with two outs in the top of the fifth, after IUP had scored two runs, and was greeted by an RBI single but quickly settled down and was credited with his second save of the season and second in his last two relief appearances.
Constantino induced an inning-ending ground out to extinguish the IUP rally in the fifth, sidestepped a leadoff single to retire IUP quietly in the sixth and got a double-play ground out to erase the potential tying run in the top of the seventh.
Anderson, who improved his season record to 4-0, allowed three earned runs on three hits, struck out two, walked three and hit one batter in the first four and two-thirds innings.
Constantino allowed two hits and walked one in the final two and one-third innings.
Kengor and Weibley had two hits each to lead a seven-hit Rock offensive attack.
Notes: With their wins Sunday, The Rock surpassed their final win total of one year ago, when they settled for a 25-25-1 final record … The next Rock win will give the Green and White their first 30-win season since the 2009 team finished with a 36-15 record … Kengor ended the day with a .438 batting average, which ranks as the top mark among PSAC players this spring. He also leads the conference in total hits with 60 and in sacrifice flies with eight. Kengor ranks third in triples (5) and on base percentage (.497), sixth in slugging percentage (.584) and ninth in runs scored (32) … Schneider ranks second among PSAC pitchers with a 1.33 ERA and is seventh in opposing hitters' batting average with a .209 mark … Rock junior right-hander Lou Trivino
Sports Information Director
Slippery Rock University
1 Morrow Way - Room 201 Old Main
Slippery Rock, Pa. 16057
A ROCK SOLID Education