Myrtle Beach, S.C. – In a nail-biter of an extra innings battle, the Penn State Greater Allegheny men's baseball team battled to win over New River College in eight innings, 13-12, before the gas ran out in game two over Carl Sandburg, 7-4.
Greater Allegheny came into the first inning and was set back a quick 4-0 within just the top. The bottom of the second came up big for GA as it started with a senior third baseman John Nusser (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brashear) walked to first base. Sophomore outfielder Sam Ligeros (Munhall, Pa./Steel Valley) singled to right field before freshman shortstop Brandon Koglin (Pittsburgh, Pa./Fox Chapel) singled to center field to bring home Nusser to get GA on the board.
Koglin went on to steal second before he and Ligeros both stole the next base, Ligeros scoring. Freshman first baseman Jordan Graziano (Pittsburgh, Pa./Carrick) walked to first base before sophomore second baseman Adam Jacko (North Versailles, Pa./East Allegheny) bunt singled to bat in Koglin and cut the deficit to 4-3 New River.
Steam-rolling from the second inning, Greater Allegheny continued to score in the bottom of the third. Freshman outfielder Dylan Finocchi (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) singled to the shortstop before Nusser walked to first base. Nusser and Finocchi advanced on passed balls as Finocchi scored to tie the game at four. Koglin proceeded with a single to shortstop to bat home Nusser, now Greater Allegheny leading 5-4.
The top of the fourth inning brought another New River College run, tying the game back at five.
New River came back in the top of the fifth to elevate their score five more tallies, now standing off Greater Allegheny 10-5. The visitors added another run when a runner scored off a wild pitch, 11-5.
Jacko walked to base in the bottom of the sixth before the second baseman went to third on passed balls. Junior catcher Francisco Del Rio (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico/Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy) walked before both Del Rio advance on a wild pitch, Del Rio adding the Lions sixth run of the contest.
With time running out, New River attempted to secure their win with another run in the top of the seventh. But Greater Allegheny was not giving up that easy. Nusser walked to lead off the inning followed by a sophomore right-handed pitcher Luke Padezan (Elizabeth, Pa./Elizabeth Forward) single to center field. Koglin singled down the left field line before Jacko walked to bring home Nusser. Junior outfielder Mark Hollis (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) tripled to center field to bring home all runners on base; Jacko, Koglin and Padezan. Del Rio doubled to left field to score Hollis before freshman pinch runner Marcos Lopez (Gurabo, Puerto Rico/Ramey High) came in to courtesy run. Freshman designated hitter Cody Calfo (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin) came in for a huge single to second base to score Lopez, Greater Allegheny now all tied up with New River, 12 all.
Greater Allegheny now had the game rolling. The top of the eighth inning rolled around as Ligeros came in to close the game from the mound. The sophomore let up just one hit but Greater Allegheny's defense saved the inning with a double play to lead to the Lions last at bat through the first game.
Ligeros reached first base on a catchers interference before Graziano singled to second base. Jacko slammed a single to center field to bat in Ligeros, who won the game for the GA Lions, 13-12.
Ligeros is on a hot-streak, earning his second win of the season on the mound. The lefty threw eight strikes on 12 pitches through the closing inning of the game. Freshman right-handed pitcher Mark Pfleger (Pittsburgh, Pa./Taylor Allderdice) threw four innings, sitting down three batters on strikeouts over 24 batters, four innings.
Jacko went 3-for-4 from the plate with three RBIs and two runs scored himself while Koglin hit 3-of-5 with two runs and two RBIs. Ligeros hit 2-of-4 with two runs tallied himself.
Trying to continue the momentum from the first game, Greater Allegheny immediately rolled into their final game of the trip over Carl Sandburg College.
Up in the top of the first, Jacko singled to right field before he was caught stealing at second. Koglin singled before getting pushed home by a Del Rio inside the park homerun, GA up 2-0. With a little jam up with a passed ball in the bottom of the first, Carl Sandburg managed to post a run on the board, slicing the Lion lead in half, 2-1.
Carl Sandburg posted two more runs in the bottom of the second inning, getting up and over Greater Allegheny now 3-2.
Jacko singled to left field before Koglin singled down the right field line. Hollis singled to center field to fill the bases as Ligeros walked to push Jacko to score, game tied at three after the top of the third inning.
A series of hits swelled Carl Sandburg to a 6-3 lead before the top of the fourth rolled back around.
Pfleger singled to left field before Jacko doubled to left center. Koglin grounded out to second base to push Pfleger to score, 6-4.
Another Carl Sandburg run in the bottom of the fifth secured the triumph as Greater Allegheny was not able to obtain another run, CS taking the win, 7-4.
Padezan threw five innings in the game, sitting down five of his 26 batters faced on strike-outs. The sophomore threw 71 strikes on 107 pitches. Ligeros came in to close the final inning with two strike outs on four batters faced.
Pfleger went 3-for-3 from the plate with one run tallied while Jacko hit 3-of-4 with one run scored himself.
Greater Allegheny (2-5) looks forward to a nice break to rest up after a long week of action. The men's next game will be against Point Park on Wednesday, March 16th in a double header set for 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.