Myrtle Beach, S.C. – The Penn State Greater Allegheny men's baseball team opened up their 2015-16 regular season in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Sunday night, as the Lions went on to fall to Penn College, 8-5.
Greater Allegheny was first on the board in the bottom of the first inning as junior catcher Francisco Del Rio (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico/Carlos Beltran Academy) got on base with a walk. Freshman Marcos Lopez (Gurabo, Puerto Rico/Ramey High) came in to pinch run for Del Rio before freshman outfielder Dylan Finocchi (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) was hit by pitch, both batters advancing on wild pitch. Freshman first baseman Zach Craven (McKeesport, Pa./McKeesport) got on base with a walk before all runners advanced on another wild pitch, scoring Lopez, 1-0 GA.
Three hits and three runs were posted by Penn College in the top of the second as the next three innings went cold for both sides of the ball. Penn College was able to capitalize again in the top of the fifth, as the first three batters filled the bases with walks. A single and a ground out contributed to three more Penn College runs, 6-1 PC after the top of the fifth.
A double to center field brought yet another Penn College run in the top of the sixth before the top of the seventh added an additional PC tally, 8-1 after the seventh.
Greater Allegheny ignited in the bottom of the second as junior left-fielder Mark Hollis (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) got on base by a hit-by-pitch. Del Rio followed him up with a huge double down the left field line, batting home Hollis. Lopez came back in to pinch run for Del Rio before Finocchi hammered a inside the park homerun off the back wall, zipping both he and Lopez both home, cutting the deficit to a 8-4 Penn College lead.
The bottom of the ninth brought sophomore Luke Padezan (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) a single down the right field line as Hollis singled to the right field, filling the first two bases. Del Rio singled to left field to fill the bases as Finocchi sacrifice flied out to bring Padezan across home plate, finishing the game in a Penn College 8-5 decision.
Junior right-handed pitcher Daniel Daly (Glassport, Pa./South Allegheny) threw four innings, sitting down seven batters on strike outs, dishing out 49 strikes on 24 batters. Freshman right-handed pitcher Max Whiteman (Irwin, Pa./Norwin) came in for the final five innings, dropping three on strike-outs with 47 strikes on 23 batters.
Finocchi finished his first collegiate game going 2-of-3 from the plate with three runs batted in with one run added. Hollis and Del Rio both went 2-for-4 for the day, as Del Rio batted a run in and Hollis added a run himself.
The Cal Ripken Experience continues Monday morning, as Greater Allegheny (0-1) is set to square up with Olney Central College at 10:00 a.m. before the men take a break before they meet Henry Ford College at 6:30 p.m.