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Panthers Struggle in Late Innings, Fall to Bethel

Panthers Struggle in Late Innings, Fall to Bethel

Ft. Myers, Fla. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team erased an early 4 run deficit but were unable to stay with Bethel late, losing to the Royals 10-6.

  • The contest got off to a slow start as neither team was able to get on the board for the first two innings. Evan Fragela hit a two-out double in the 1st but was left on base as Jake McNabb grounded out to end the inning. Alex Fetter started the game on the mound for the Panthers and struck out 5 of the first 6 batters he faced. In the second, he allowed a leadoff double, and saw the runner move to third on a wild pitch, but struck out the next three batters to leave the runner at third.
  • In the third, Bethel was able to break the ice, scoring three runs. Fetter retired the first batter but saw the next three batters reach on a single and two doubles. He struck out a batter after two runs scored, but gave up a third double in the frame to bring the third run across the plate. He struck out the final batter of the inning as well. 
  • Jake McNabb hit a one-out single in the 4th, but Bethel tacked on to their lead in the 4th. Back-to-back Panther errors put a runner on third with one down, and the Royals were able to single through the left side of the infield to go up four.
  • Neither team provided offensive action in the 5th, but the Panthers were finally able to get on the board in the 6th. Tyler Aires and Fragela both reached on errors to start the inning, and Justin Dattoli was able to single to right-center to bring in Aires for the first run. Both runners moved up a base on the throw home and would score on the next play. Bret Babcock hit a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing home Fragela, and an errant throw from the outfield allowed Dattoli to come around and score as well. This cut the Royal lead to 1 run.
  • Fetter pitched an important shutdown inning in the 6th, keeping the momentum with the Panthers. The lead-off batter reached on a bunt single, but Fetter quickly retired the next three batters with a fly ball, strikeout, and ground out.
  • The Panther rally continued into the 7th inning as they scored 3 more runs to jump ahead of the Royals. David Gebhard started the inning with a single to right-center and then moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a fly-out, Tyler Aires hit a single back up the middle to bring in Gebhard and tie the game. Evan Fragela followed this with a double to the gap in right-center. Aires was able to score from first on the play, with Fragela taking third on the throw to the plate. Pitt-Bradford tacked on another run in the next at-bat as McNabb singled through the left side of the infield to bring in Fragela.
  • The Panthers made a pitching change in the 7th as Trent Bielak entered the game from the bullpen. The freshman righty allowed a one-out double and a walk before getting a second out on a fielder's choice. Bielak hit the next batter with a pitch to load the bases and got a ground ball to the left side that got by Justin Dattoli at third to bring in two runs to tie the game. Brayden Hageter came in after the runs scored and got a quick groundout to sleep the game tied.
  •  The Panthers went down in order in the 8th, but the Royals were able to tag Hageter for 4 runs n the 8th to retake the lead. They started the inning with a triple to center and were able to score the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly. Hageter then loaded the bases on two free passes and a single, before allowing three runs to score on an infield single and back-to-back hit batters. He was replaced by Joe Long, who faced one batter and got a popup in the infield to end the inning.
  • Kevin Rehak led off the 9th by drawing a walk, but the game quickly came to an end as Aires was set down on strikes and Fragela grounded into a game-ending double play.

The Panthers had four hitters record multi-hit games. Evan Fragela led the way, going 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and an RBI. Jake McNabb, Justin Dattoli, and David Gebhard each picked up two singles in the game. Alex Fetter received a no-decision in the game after allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits. He struck out 10 batters. Trent Bielak allowed 2 unearned runs in 2/3 of an inning. Brayden Hageter (0-1) picked up the loss after allowing 4 runs in 1.0 innings pitched. Joe Long threw one pitch to record the final out for Pitt-Bradford.

The Panthers (4-6) will return to action for one final day in Ft. Myers on Sunday. They will take on Lasell College in a doubleheader beginning at 9:00 a.m.