Tarentum, PA. - The Penn State Greater Allegheny Baseball team nearly mounted a come from behund victory on Friday scoring five runs in the bottom.of the ninth against Penn State Beaver. However, they just fell short as Beaver came into the inning leading 9-2 and held off the PSUGA comeback to pick up a 9-7 win in the series opener.
Entering the inning trailing by seven PSUGA got off to a hot start with back-to-back singles leading things off. Two batters later, Randy Berroa (Harlem, NY./Atonement Douglas HS) lined a single through the hole up the middle scoring Alex Fudge (Donalsonville, GA./Seminole County HS) to cut the deficit to 9-3.
Pedro Escobar (Aguadilla, Puerto Rico/Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy) kept it going with an RBI single of his own and the comeback was officially on with PSUGA trailing by just five.
After extending his on-base streak to 17 straight games, Dylan Ernst (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) drew a bases loaded walk and an RBI groundout from Brian Koglin (Fox Chapel, PA./Fox Chapel HS) made it just a three run ball game but out two outs on the board.
Brett Yuhas (Munhall, PA./Steel Valley HS) would find the left-center field gap for an RBI double scoring Escobar and PSUGA had the tying run in scoring position with two outs. However, Beaver's Justyn Francona forced a pop out to the infield ending the game and giving Beaver the 9-7 win.
It was a pitcher's duel early on as PSUGA's Matt Smith (North Versailles, PA./East Allegheny HS) and Francine allowed just one base runner combined in the first two innings. It wasn't until the top of the third that Beaver broke through with a two RBI double to get them ahead 2-0 after two and a half.
PSUGA answered in the bottom half after Blake Flocker (McKeesport, PA./McKeesport HS) got hit by a pitch and Berroa singled with one out. Berroa would then go yo swipe second and, on the throw, Flocker would steal home scoring PSUGA's first run of the game and making it a 2-1 Beaver lead.
PSUGA would tie things up in the bottom of the fourth after Ernst hit a leadoff single to start the inning and Yuhas drove him in with a double to the the game at two. After a scoreless fifth inning, Beaver put the game away scoring seven runs in the top of the sixth and it was enough for them to hold on for the 9-7 win.
Koglin led the offense going 2-5 with two RBI while Ernst added a 2-4 day with an RBI of his own. Berroa had a big day from the number nine spot going 3-4 with an RBI. Smith lasted 5.1 innings giving up nine runs, seven earned, while walking one and striking out five.
The loss drops PSUGA to 4-6 in conference play and has them in a must win situation as the series shifts to Monaca, PA. A series loss would be detrimental to PSUGa's chances of making the playoffs for the sixth time in the last 10 years.
First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is scheduled for 2 p.m. with the second game following at 4 p.m. The games will be played at the PSU-Beaver baseball field.