Glens Falls, NY -- Beaver Baseball Falls to Cleary in the 1st Round of the USCAA National Tournament, 7-6.
Beaver got on the board quickly to start the game as Nick Casasanta (Moon Twp, PA / Moon) singled to score Tyler Thellman (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk) who reached on a lead off single. They continued to score in the second inning as Jake Debo (New Brighton, PA / New Brighton) and Stephen Antolic (Freedom, PA / Ambridge) doubled back to back to put two more runs on the board for Beaver. Unfortunately, Cleary University was scoring at the same pace as Beaver, putting up runs of their own in both the first and second innings and then taking a one run lead in the third, 4-3.
With Beaver still trailing by one run after two scoreless innings, their bats came alive again in the top of the sixth. Leading off again was Thellman who singeld and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. After a walk and another single, the Lions had the bases loaded and with one out, Derek Bozic (Beaver Falls, PA / Beaver Falls) was walked to score the first of three runs in the inning. The defense of Cleary continued to struggle as Matt Capo (Moon Township, PA / Moon) was hit by a pitch to bring in the second run and Shawn Shaner (Adrian, PA / Kittanning) single would wrap up the scoring as he scored Antolic who singled in his at bat earlier in the inning.
With a 6-4 lead, Beaver tried to hang on to the first round victory, but Cleary was able to fight back and put up 3 runs of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain a one run lead. Despite the exceptional hitting of Thellman, who hit a double in the seventh to try to create a spark, Beaver wasn't able to rally back and would fall by a final score of 7-6.
Leading the offense was Thellman who went 3 for 5. Taking the loss on the mound was Matt Sweikowski (Zelienople, PA / Seneca Valley) who faced 33 batters. Beaver now falls into the loser's bracket where they will face PSUAC rival, Penn State Dubois on Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.