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Panthers Split with Lions, Knocked Out of Postseason Contention

Panthers Split with Lions, Knocked Out of Postseason Contention

Altoona, Pa. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team was able to earn a split in their AMCC doubleheader with Penn State Altoona, however, the walk-off loss in game one eliminated them from playoff contention.

Game 1:

The openers saw the Panthers erase an early 4-1 deficit, eventually taking a 9-7 lead, however, they were unable to hold on late, falling 10-9 in walk-off fashion.

  • Pitt-Bradford jumped ahead immediately as Kevin Rehak started the game with a home run to left. It was his 4th blast of the season and the 2nd time he led off the game with a long ball. 
  • The hosts took the momentum away in their half of the inning, scoring 4 runs on starting pitcher Reid Tarnowski in the opening frame. The Lions scored two on a two-out, two-run double to left and then added two more on a single. On the play, the Lions batter got into a rundown, and the second runner was able to advance on the play, sliding under the tag at the plate for the 4th run. 
  • Pitt-Bradford came right back in the 2nd, tying the game up at 4 with a 3-spot of their own. Tyler Aires started off the inning with a slow grounder in the infield. Aires beat the throw to first for a single and moved to second as the throw to first was up the baseline for an error. He scored a batter later when Bret Babcock grounded a single up the middle. Babcock advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt and then after a Rehak fly out, scored on a single to left-center from Nico Hall. The next batter, Evan Fragela dropped a bloop single into centerfield, which was misplayed in the outfield, allowing Hall to score all the way from first to tie the game at 4. 
  • In the bottom half, Tarnowski walked the leadoff batter, but was able to escape unscathed as he retired the next three on a strikeout, fly ball to left, and a grounder back to the mound.
  • With the momentum on their side, Pitt-Bradford grabbed the lead in the third. With two outs, Tyler Aires took a 3-1 pitch the other way for a solo home run to right field. It was his 3rd home run of the season. The Panthers looked to tack on as Bret Babcock doubled to left-center and David Gebhard reached on an error, but Rehak flew out to right to end the inning. 
  • The Lions regained the lead in the bottom of the third with a two-out rally. The second of consecutive singles was misplayed in the outfield which allowed the first run to score all the way from first. The throw into the infield got away from the cutoff and trickled out of play for a second error on the play, allowing the batter to score and give Penn State-Altoona the lead. 
  • The Panthers struck back in the 4th, retaking the lead with 3 runs. After the first two batters of the inning were retired, the Panthers loaded the bases with a McNabb single, Dattoli walk, and Meyers single to left. Tyler Aires came up to the plate and delivered a clutch two-run single through the left side to put the Panthers up 7-6. The third run of the inning scored as Babcock reached on a throwing error.
  • The Lions got one back in the 4th as they put runners on the corners with two singles. Tarnowski was lifted after the second hit for Kyler Majka. With an 0-2 count, Majka was called for a balk, which allowed the run to score. He struck out the batter two pitches later to end the inning. 
  • Both teams combined for 15 runs over the first four innings but were held scoreless for the 5th and 6th innings. Both teams went down in order in the 5th, before the Panthers had a run cut down at the plate in the 6th. Noah Meyers was hit by a pitch with two outs before Aires delivered his 4th hit of the game, a double to right-center, on the play Meyers was thrown out at the plate to end the inning. Majka allowed a lead-off single in the 6th but retired the next three to strand the runner on base.
  • In the 7th, the Panthers were able to add an insurance run with 3 hits in the inning. With two outs, Nico Hal drilled a ball to center field one-hopping the fence for a ground-rule double. Evan Fragela followed the double by beating out an infield single which allowed Kevin Rehak to score.
  • The 2-run Panther lead evaporated quickly in the bottom half as the leadoff batter reached on an error and the next hit a game-tying home run to center. The home run was followed by a single, putting the winning run on base. After a fly ball to right, the Lions singled through the right side on a hit and run. On the play, the throw from the outfield got away at third base, going out of play which allowed the winning run to score and end the game.

Kyler Majka (3-4) picked up the loss after allowing 3 runs, 1 earned, in 2.2 innings of relief work. Starter Reid Tarnowski got a no-decision. He pitched 3.2 innings, allowing 7 runs, 5 earned, on 9 hits. He struck out two. Offensively, Tyler Aires finished 4 for 4 with 2 runs scored, 3 batted in, a home run, and a double. Bret Babcock finished 3 for 4 with a run and an RBI and Nico Hall and Evan Fragela also picked up multi-hit games. Kevin Rehak hit a leadoff home run.

Game 2:

The second game of the day saw the hosts erase a 3-0 Panther lead before Pitt-Bradford battled back to win 5-3.

  • Alex Miles started for the Panthers and worked through some early troubles, as he stranded 3 runners on base over the finest two innings.
  • In the second, the Panthers took a 2-0 lead without recording a hit. The first three batters of the inning drew walks to load the bases, and Tyler Aires was hit by a pitch to put the Panthers in front. After a strikeout, a wild pitch allowed the second run to score. The Lion starter was removed after the fifth free pass of the inning, and his replacement was able to escape the inning without further damage, getting a strikeout and fly ball to right.
  • Miles retired the first two batters in the second and after a two-out single and an error in the infield, got his 2nd strikeout of the inning to end the frame.
  • Evan Fragela led off the third with a line-drive single into right field and took second as the hit was misplayed in the outfield. He moved to third as Jake McNabb singled off the pitcher back up the middle, and then scored as Justin Dattoli grounded into a double play. 
  • Miles shut down the Lions in the third, working around a two-out error to post the shutdown inning. 
  • Both teams went down in order in the 4th, and after the Panthers were retired 1-2-3 in the 5th, the Lions tied up the game with 3 in the 5th. They started the inning with a double to left-center and an infield single. A sacrifice fly to left scored the first run before a 2-run home run tied the game.
  • Neither team was able to break the tie over the next two innings before the Panthers retook the lead in the 8th. With two outs, Justin Dattoli drew a walk to extend the inning. Noah Meyers stepped up next and hit a long home run to the right-center field to give the Panthers the lead. In the bottom half, Miles retired the side in order to send the game to the 9th with a 2-run Panther lead. 
  • In the 9th, the Panthers got a single o center from Kevin Rehak, ut a lineout to third and a strikeout ended the inning. The Lions started off the 9th with a pair of singles to chase Miles. He was replaced by Alex Fetter, who was able to get the first out of the inning on a fielder's choice at third. Both runners moved into scoring position on a balk, but Fetter was able to strike out the last two batters to shut the door.

Alex Miles (4-3) got the win after scattering 9 hits and allowing 3 earned runs in 8+ innings pitched. He struck out 3. Fetter picked up his first save of the season after retiring three in a row to end the game. He struck out 2 of the 3 batters he faced. Noah Meyers was 1 for 2 with a walk as he hit the game-winning two-run blast in the 8th. It was his team-leading 5th of the season. Evan Fragela recorded the only multi-hit game, finishing 2 for 5 with a run scored. Justin Dattoli was able to score twice for the Panthers. 

The Panthers are 12-22 after the split and have wrapped up their conference schedule with a 5-11 record. They have been eliminated from playoff contention as the best they can finish is tied for 7th. They will bring their season to an end on Tuesday, May 3rd when they host Wilson College in a doubleheader.