Ashland, Va. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team was back in action on Sunday afternoon in Virginia. Despite leading for five and a half innings, the Panthers were unable to keep Randolph-Macon off the board late, as they fell to the Yellow Jackets 14-4.
- Reid Tarnowski started for the Panthers and did a good job keeping Randolph-Macon at bay early. After a 123 bottom of the first, he was rewarded, as the Panthers' offense scored a pair of runs to jump ahead. Tyler Aires was able to reach base on a throwing error to start the rally, however, he had to be replaced due to an injury on the play. After pinch-runner Maxwell Rogers stole second and moved to third on a groundout to first, freshman Jake Soricone delivered a two-out double into the gap in right-center to open the scoring. Nico Hall was able to bring him around in the following at-bat as he laced a single to right-center.
- Tarnowski walked the leadoff batter in the next inning, but quickly induced a double-play ball and got a third out on a grounder to first to get the Panthers back on offense. They continued to build momentum as they tacked on another run in the third. Evan Fragela led off the inning and doubled to left field. He moved to third on a wild pitch and scored when Jake McNabb drove a line drive into left, which was caught for a sacrifice fly.
- Tarnowski put up two more zeros in the 3rd and 4th innings and saw his lead increase in the 5th. With two outs, Noah Meyers tattooed a no-doubt home run into left field. It was the Panthers' first long ball of the early season and Meyer's first career home run. Unfortunately, the Yellow Jackets were able to answer with a home run of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
- Things started to fall apart for the Panthers in the 6th. After an infield single started the inning, a throwing error on an attempted double-play ball and a walk loaded the bases with no outs. Tarnowski was able to get the next batter to hit a ground ball to third, where Bret Babcock fielded and fired to home plate to record the force out. His luck did not last as the next batter drove a single to right field to bring in two runs and force a move to the bullpen. Shawn Mannering entered for the Panthers and was unable to get out of the jam as he allowed a three-run home run to the first batter he faced. He was able to record three strikeouts over the last 4 batters, but three throwing errors, one after a strikeout and two on a stolen base attempt, led to the hosts scoring two more in the inning.
- Trailing 8-4, the Panthers looked to regain momentum in the 7th. Kevin Rehak led off the frame with a single down the third base line. After a groundout moved him to second, Jake McNabb reached on an infield single, and pinch hitter Justin Dattoli was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Unfortunately, the Panthers were unable to take advantage of the threat, as the next two batters struck out to end the inning.
- The Panthers would regret being able to pull any momentum back onto their side as Randolph-Macon's bats stayed hot as they were able to score 5 more runs off of Ben Mulhall in the bottom half of the inning. They went on to tag Mulhall for one more run in the 8th and went on to close the game out in the final inning.
Reid Tarnowski (0-1) picked up the loss after the tough 6th inning. He finished the day allowing 5 runs, 4 earned, on 5 hits, and 2 walks in 5 and 1/3 innings pitched. He struck out two. Mannering picks up a rather dubious honor as he struck out three batters in only 2/3 of an inning pitched. He gave up 3 runs, 1 earned. Mulhall pitched the final two frames, allowing 6 runs on 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Offensively, Evan Fragela led the way as he went 2 for 4 with two doubles and a run scored. Kevin Rehak also picked up two hits. Noah Meyers finished the game 1 for 4 with the home run.
The Panthers fall to 0-3 on the season after a tough weekend in Virginia. They will have more than two weeks to prepare as they will be idle until the first game of their Spring Break trip to Fort Myers, Fla. They will take on Rockford on Monday, March 7th with first pitch scheduled for 12:00 p.m.