Lions Upended by Pitt-Bradford in AMCC First Round
ALTOONA, Pa. - #4 Penn State Altoona baseball was outsed from the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Baseball Tournament on Saturday by #5 Pitt-Bradford at Stewart Athletic Field.
Pitt-Bradford won game one 6-2 before taking game two 3-1. The losses stifled the Lions' hopes of a second AMCC title in as many years.
The Panthers jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the first inning on three RBI singles and a run-scoring groundout.
Penn State Altoona got a run back in the bottom of the first on Derek Danver's (Clearfield, PA/Clearfield) two-out RBI double to right-center, scoring Jimmy Baum (Shermans Dale, PA/West Perry).
Pitt-Bradford added two more runs to its lead in the fourth when Derek Smith hit a two-run home run to right. Smith entered the game as the top hitter in NCAA Division III baseball.
The Lions cut their deficit to 6-2 in the fifth on Baum's RBI triple to deep center.
But Pitt-Bradford's strong pitching and defense proved to be too much to overcome, as the visitors won the first game of the day.
In game two, the Panthers received a stellar start on the mound from Aaron Cressley. Cressley had a no-hitter going through five innings before Matt Schmauder's (Ellicott City, MD/Mount Hebron) leadoff infield single to shortstop in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Lions their first hit of the game.
Pitt-Bradford scored first on Smith's RBI single to center in the top of the third inning, then added two more runs in the sixth that were aided by a pair of Penn State Altoona errors.
The Lions' starting pitcher, Chris Keeler (Oxford, PA/Oxford), posted a strong performance and kept his team in the game. In 5 2/3 innings, he allowed just one earned run while recording a season-high 10 strikeouts.
Matt Gehret (Altoona, PA/Altoona) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief to keep the window of opportunity open for a comeback.
Sure enough, Penn State Altoona started a rally in the bottom of the seventh when Danver and Ken Terpack (Rennerdale, PA/Chartiers Valley) each reached base on a pair of Pitt-Bradford errors.
Danver advanced home on a balk, making it 3-1. Nate Bennett (Monroeton, PA/Towanda) followed with a single up the middle to put the tying run on base, but the Panthers were able to seal up the final two outs in the inning.
Pitt-Bradford will advance to the next rounds of the AMCC Tournament at La Roche College beginning Thursday, May 10.
Photo: Penn State Altoona senior centerfielder Jimmy Baum stands at the plate during game two on Saturday against Pitt-Bradford at Stewart Athletic Field.
TAGS: men's baseball