By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. — After fighting its way back from a 5-1 deficit in the top of the fourth, the Penn State Beaver men's baseball team fell to PSUAC rival Penn State Fayette in a close game Friday afternoon, 7-6.
Beaver made the first move offensively at the bottom of the second with Beaver's first batter, junior Justyn Francona (New Brighton), doubling and then advancing to third on a wild pitch. Freshman Jacob Beck (Beaver) went up next to bat and flew out to centerfield to advance Francona to score (1-0). But Fayette made Beaver pay in the top of the fourth after the opponents made runs hits off six hits to put the Lions in a 5-1 deficit, but Beaver answered back with a second run from freshman Kyle Redding (Gettysburg), who singled-in freshman Christian James (Mechanicsburg/Cumberland Valley) to cut the deficit 5-2. Fayette then followed up its dominant inning by taking another run in the top the next inning (6-2). By the Lions didn't quit and made a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, which started with freshman Johnny Rowland (Wellsboro) reaching first on an error by Fayette's third baseman to send freshman Trey Luffy (Baldwin) to second, junior Shelton Hilliard (Baden/Ambridge) to third and Redding to score (6-3). Beaver earned its next run after Romaniuk flew out to right field to put Rowland on second, Luffy on third and drive Hilliard home (6-4). Junior Scott Hughes (Aliquippa/Central Valley) then singled-in Luffy to score (6-5) followed by Beck walking-in Rowland to tie the game 6-6. Despite the notable comeback, Fayette landed a seventh run in the top of the ninth and the Lions were unable to tie the game again in the bottom of the inning, giving them a 7-6 loss for the day.
Hughes picked up the loss on the mound today (L, 0-1). He pitched 4.0 innings and gave up seven hits and also tallied up three strikeouts from the 19 batters he faced.
Rowland led the offense in game one, where he went 1 for 2 and had 1 RBI followed by Beck, who went 1 for 3 with 2 RBIs.
After today's loss against Fayette, Beaver sits at an 8-10 record for the season and is 1-3 in the conference.
Beaver will now face Penn State Fayette in a road doubleheader tomorrow, Mar. 30. Game one begins at 2 p.m. and game two is at 4 p.m.