Ft. Myers, Fla. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team played a split doubleheader on Friday, taking on Plymouth State and Otterbein in a pair of 9-inning contests. The Panthers beat Plymouth State 14-4 in the opener and lost 10-2 to Otterbein in game two.
The Panthers' offense dominated the first game as the Panthers took defeated Plymouth State 14-4 in a game that was shortened to 7 innings.
- Playing as the home team, the Panthers fell behind Plymouth State early. They scored 1 run in the inning, but starting pitcher Shawn Mannering was aided by his defense to limit them from scoring more. After a leadoff single, the second batter doubled into the gap in the right-center. The Panthers were able to throw the runner out attempting to score from first as Tyler Aires hit the cutoff man Noah Meyers who fired home to get the runner. A two-out single for Plymouth State allowed the one run to score.
- Pitt-Bradford came right back in the bottom half of the first as they quickly tied the game. Kevin Rehak drew a leadoff walk and following a flyout, Evan Fragela doubled to right. Plymouth made an error on the play, allowing Rehak to scamper home. Jake McNabb drew a walk to continue the rally but a 4-6-3 double play ended the inning.
- Mannering settled down in the second, striking out the side around 2 Pitt-Bradford errors to get the offense back in the dugout. Mannering was quickly rewarded as Pitt-Bradford scored 5 in the frame. Bret Babcock singled through the left side of the infield and quickly came around to score as Noah Meyers lined a home run over the left-field fence to put the Panthers up three.
- Following a flyout, Nico Hall singled to left field and then stole second base as Rehak struck out for the second out of the inning. Tyler Aires came up with a double to left to bring in Hall and chase the Plymouth starting pitcher. Evan Fragela welcomed the new arm by singling back through the box to bring in Aires and moved to third as he stole second and took the extra base on a throwing error. He was able to score when Jake McNabb reached on an error.
- Mannering was able to keep the momentum going for the Panthers in the third as he allowed just a one-out single in the frame to get the Panthers back to the dugout and at the plate for the bottom half of the inning.
- Babcock led off the 3rd with another single and moved to second with one out when Jake Soricone singled through the left side. Kevin Rehak drew a walk to load the bases and Aires came through again, this time hitting a two-out triple to right that cleared the bases. Fragela followed this with his second extra-base hit of the day as he doubled to the gap in right-center. After a second pitching change, McNabb dropped a single into left-center to bring Fragela around, putting the Panthers up 11-1.
- Plymouth State was able to score two runs off Mannering in the 4th to cut into the lead. Manneringwalked the leadoff batter and then allowed back-to-back singles to bring in the first run. He was able to strike out the next two Plymouth State batters but gave up a second run-scoring single with two outs. McNabb ended the inning for his battery mate as he threw out a base runner attempting to steal second.
- Pitt-Bradford was kept off the board in the 4th, and Plymouth state used a two-out rally in the 5th to cut the Panther lead to 11-4. Mannering allowed a two-out single, followed by a double to right to bring in the run.
- Pitt-Bradford came back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring 3 times to restore their 10-run advantage. Rehak led off the inning with a double to left and scored following a pitching change as Aires singled up the middle. Fragela picked up his 4th hit of the game next, singling through the left side, and following a foul pop-up, moved to second and third on a wild pitch. With one out and 2 in scoring position, Justin Dattoli lined a double down the right-field line, bringing both runners around to score.
- Trent Bielak replaced Mannering to start the 6th, and quickly retired the side in order, to fly balls and a strikeout. Pitt-Bradford went down in similar fashion in their half of the 6th, and Bielak shut the door in the 7th, allowing just a one-out walk.
The offense was the story on the day as they scored 14 runs, the most they've tallied this season. Evan Fragela finished the game 4 for 4, including two doubles. He also scored 3 runs and drove in two more. Tyler Aires was 3 for 5 on the day. He had a double and a triple to go along with 3 runs scored and 5 runs batted in. Noah Meyers hit his second home run of the season.
On the hill, Shawn Mannering got his first collegiate win after allowing 4 earned runs on 9 hits and a walk in 5.0 innings pitched. He struck out 7. Trent Bielak pitched the final two innings, giving up just one walk while striking out two.
The Panthers did not fare as well in game two, as they fell to the Otterbein Cardinals 10-2.
- Starting pitcher Ben Mulhall saw Otterbein jump ahead in the first, using 2 free passes and a hit to score one run. Mulhall walked the second batter of the game and following a strikeout hit a batter. With two outs, Otterbein hit a single to right-center off Mulhall to take the early 1-0 lead.
- Pitt-Bradford threatened to score in their half of the inning but were unable to come up with the clutch hit, stranding two runners on base after singles from Rehak and Fragela.
- Mulhall worked around a two-out walk in the 2nd to keep Otterbein off the board but was not so lucky in the 3rd. Mulhall walked the leadoff batter and gave up a one-out single to right to put runners on the corners. After a stolen base, Mulhall uncorked a wild pitch, allowing the second run of the game.
- Pitt-Bradford pulled one run back in the bottom of the third. Tyler Aires drew a two-out walk and Evan Fragela served a single into center to move him to second. McNabb came through with a single through the right side to score Aires and halve the Cardinal advantage.
- Pitt-Bradford's momentum did not last long as Otterbein scored the third run in the 4th on just one hit. With two outs the Cardinals had a batter beat out an infield single, and quickly move to third by stealing two bases. Mulhall walked the next batter and on the 4th ball threw another wild pitch, allowing the run to score.
- The Panthers went down in order in the bottom of 4 and Otterbein piled on in the 5th, chasing Mulhall after scoring three more runs. They led off the inning with a double and after a walk and bunt single loaded the bases, Mulhall walked the next batter to score the first run of the frame and saw the second score on a wild pitch for the third time in the game. He was replaced by Austin Kitcey after getting a foul pop up to second base.
- Kitcey entered and limited the damage to just one more run in the inning as he got back-to-back groundouts to end the inning. Pitt-Bradford went down in order again in the 5th before Otterbein added a 7th on 2 hits, a walk, and a throwing error.
- The Panthers were able to pull one back in the 6th. Fragela led off the inning with a triple to right and scored a batter later when Jake McNabb grounded out to shortstop.
- The Cardinals used a two-out rally in the 7th to restore their lead as they hit a single, double and another single on three consecutive at-bats to score the run.
- After a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 7th, and another inning Kitcey that left two runners stranded on base, Pitt-Bradford threatened to cut into the lead further. Otterbein recorded two quick outs, bat an infield single for Fragela, his 8th hit of the day and 4th of the game, followed by a McNabb Walk and an error loaded the bases for the Panthers. Bret Babcock was able to line up a pitch and hit it square, but lined out to center to end the inning.
- In the 9th, Branson Scarantine replaced Kitcey and quickly ran into trouble. He hit the first batter he faced and walked the second to put Otterbein in business. Following two stolen bases, Scarantine allowed a single to left field to bring them both in. Scarantine was able to settle down, allowing a 2-run single to left to push the lead to 10-2. Hall Middleton pinch-hit and singled through the left side.
Fragela posted another 4-4 performance, making him 8 for 8 in the competition. JAke McNabb had both Panther RBIs. Ben Mulhall (0-1) picks up the loss after allowing 6 earned runs on 5 hits, and 6 walks. He struck out 5 in 4 and 1/3 innings. Austin Kitcey threw 3.2 innings n relief, 3 runs on 6 hits and two walks. Scarantine threw the 9th, allowing 1 run on one hit and a walk.
The Panthers are 4-5 after the split. They will return to action tomorrow when they take on Bethel College. They will start the day with a normal contest, before finishing with a JV exhibition contest against the same team. First pitch is scheduled for 9:00 am.