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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Panthers' Season Ends in AMCC Tournament Semifinals

By Scott Elliott
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - The Pitt-Bradford baseball team’s season came to end Saturday in the AMCC tournament semifinals against Penn State Behrend. The Panthers were edged, 5-4.

Pitt-Bradford trailed 4-1 entering the eighth inning, but Tim Brown swatted a three-run home run, his second long ball in as many days, to level the score.

Ryan Northcott relieved starter Matthew Hogue in the bottom half of the inning and promptly served up a leadoff walk. Pinch-runner Holden Stevanus moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and stole third base. He scored moments later on Ryan Hamm’s fly ball to left field.

The Panthers’ Brock Blovsky led off the top of the ninth with a base hit, but Penn State Behrend’s Scott Sada retired the next three batters in a row to save the game. Sada entered in the eighth inning with go-ahead run at first, and after walking the first batter he faced, struck out Tyler Hoops to keep the game tied.

Pitt-Bradford fell behind early, yet starter Matthew Hogue battled to keep the Panthers in the game. The Lions got to Hogue for three runs in the second and another in the fifth, but the lefthander yielded just two hits over his final two innings of work. For the game, Hogue gave up eight hits, four runs, one earned, while walking three and striking out three.

Lions’ starter Jack Herzing stymied the Panther offense, limiting the Blue and Gold to only four hits over the first 7.2 innings. Dalton Renn accounted for Pitt-Bradford’s only run in the early going, a RBI groundout in the third.

Renn led off the eighth with a double but was thrown out when attempting to stretch it into a triple. After Jay Clinger struck out, Austin Parent walked and Brody Wood was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Brown’s blast.

Pitt-Bradford advanced to the tournament semifinals by defeating Mt. Aloysius early Saturday morning, 9-7, in an elimination game.

Pitt-Bradford fell behind Mt. Aloysius, 1-0, after the top half of the first, but the Panthers mounted a two-out rally to grab the lead. Hoops walked to lead off, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt, and advanced to third on a passed ball. After Renn struck out looking, Clinger was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corner. The next four batters—Parent, Wood, Brown and Austin Hoggatt—singled to plate four runs.

Renn added a RBI sacrifice fly in the second, and Brown extended the lead to 6-1 in the third with a run-scoring knock. Two batters later, Samuel Dreistadt stretched the advantage to seven with a two-run hit.

After allowing a RBI single in the first, Pitt-Bradford starter Ryan Boyer retired the next eight batters in a row. However, he ran into the trouble in the fourth, issuing three free passes. Mt. Aloysius’ Vincent Jacob cleared the bases with a triple, and he scored on Dalton Garlock’s base hit to cut the deficit to 8-6.

The Mounties threatened again in the fifth, but Boyer stranded a pair of runners to keep the Panthers in front. Both teams loaded the bases in the sixth, yet neither team scored.

Boyer worked a 1-2-3 seventh, and Northcott pitched the eighth, escaping a near disaster after giving up back-to-back singles to start the inning. In the bottom half of the frame, Blovksy doubled with one out and came home on Renn’s single. It was Renn’s 100th career hit.

Mt. Aloysius cut the deficit to 9-7 in the ninth, but Northcott retired the final two hitters to complete the save, his first of the season.

Boyer earned his sixth win of the season, allowing six runs on seven hits while walking five and striking out nine. Parent and Brown each had three hits apiece, and Renn finished 2-4 with two RBIs.

Pitt-Bradford finishes the season at 16-25 under first-year head coach Zach Foster.

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