McKeesport, PA. – After taking some tough non-conference loses last weekend, the Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball team (5-5, 0-0) looks to get back to their winning ways when they open Penn State University Athletic Conference play against Penn State Fayette (2-8, 0-0) on Friday at 4 p.m. After competing with some tough competition, they will look to take their positives and build on those as they enter conference play.
Last time out, PSUGA got swept at the hands of Wilson College dropping the first game 7-4 and following it up with a 6-4 loss in game two. PSUGA continued their trend of scoring first as they got ahead in both games with big innings. In game one, it was a three-run first inning that got PSUGA out in front. However, Wilson responded with four runs in the top of the second and added two more in the fourth and one in the fifth to pick up the win.
Game two started with Wilson College putting up two in the top of the second before PSUGA took the lead in the bottom of the third on a two RBI single by Brett Yuhas (Munhall, PA./Steel Valley HS), who later stole home on a pick-off attempt and PSUGA was out to a -2 lead. But the Phoenix once again got hits in bunches putting up two in the fourth and a run in the fifth and sixth to pick up the doubleheader sweep.
Despite the losses it was a big day for senior Dylan Ernst (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) who went a combined 3-6 with two RBI on the day. Yuhas finished game two 1-3 with two RBI upping his season average to .333 and moving him to third on the team with eight RBI. Bert Hinton (Richmond, VA./Benedictine College Prep) and Jordan Williams (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) were solid out of the bullpen combining to throw five innings and giving up just two earned runs in relief.
With non-conference play behind them, head coach Kenny Creehan and his team shift their focus to conference play. Creehan says their mentality changes a little bit but their goal to throw strikes still remains.
“I think what you are going to see from our side is we are going to have to play the game offensively and try to get ahead early,” said Creehan. “Pitching wise it’s going to be the same. We have to throw strikes, we have to get ahead, and we have to work down in the zone.”
PSU-Fayette got back on the right track after dropping their first eight games of the season when they swept Christendom College in a doubleheader winning the first game 5-1 and picking up a come from behind 5-4 win in game two. Jeffery Doran led the way in game one going 2-2 with one run scored and Ross Mazer added a 2-5 1 RBI day in the second game leading to the win.
Last season, PSUGA had Fayette’s number winning all three of their matchups during the regular season. However, both teams have completely different landscapes with new coaching staffs and a new mentality as they head into the start of PSUAC play. For PSUGA, they are looking to score as many runs as they can and get ahead early.
First pitch for Friday’s conference opener is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the campus of Penn State Fayette.