Justin Beimel and Ryan Northcott turned in two stellar pitching performances, leading the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team to a split in their season-opening doubleheader against Wisconsin-Lutheran.
The Panthers dropped a 1-0 pitcher's duel in the first game and topped Wisconsin-Lutheran 2-0 in the nightcap.
"I couldn't be more pleased with the outings of Northcott and Beimel. Anytime your guys put up performances like that you know you are going to have a good shot to win and that's all we ask for," said Pitt-Bradford assistant coach Zach Foster. " I am very proud of both of them for their gutsy performances."
Dalton Renn led the Panthers with two hits and one RBI while Jacob Rivers and Keagen Goodliff added doubles in the game two victory. Brock Blovsky had a great game defensively in left field while Goodliff picked off a runner leaning too far of a second base in the second inning.
"Our defense as a whole played tremendous and made it easy for our pitchers. We have so many movable parts and this trip will help us solidly that," Foster said. "It definitely takes some pressure off our pitchers when our defense plays like that."
Beimel was outstanding on the mound, tossing a complete game (7 innings), surrendering just three hits while striking out one in his first victory of the year.
Joe Hanson led the Wisconsin-Lutheran offense with two hits while Brock Vredeveid went the distance on the mound, striking out eight and allowing one earned run on four hits in the loss.
Neither team did much offensively throughout the game, but it was the Panthers that came through with some timely hitting in the top of the fourth. Rivers roped a ground rule double and later in the inning advanced to third on a passed ball and then scored when the catcher's throw down to third went sailing into left field.
Pitt-Bradford added an insurance run in the top of the sixth. Rivers drew a leadoff walk, stole second and then scored on Renn's double to left.
"We have a very aggressive and quick team. They were heads up on the base paths and it opened the game up for us," Foster said. "Rivers got us started and created some chaos and forced a bad throw from them. They grinded that pitcher down in the second game and it worked for us."
Much like Beimel in the second game, Northcott was just as dominant in the first game. Despite the loss, the right-hander tossed a complete game (seven innings), allowing just one hit and one unearned run while striking out seven and walking just two in the outing.
Wisconsin Lutheran's lone run of the game came in the top of the first when Josiah Boucher scored from third on a throwing error.
The Panthers threatened numerous times, but grounded into three inning-ending double plays in the first game.
"We left some guys on in the first game and just couldn't get the timely hit. We did a great job getting guys on, but we just couldn't execute and score them," Foster said. "That will come with time. Overall we hit the ball hard and made some loud outs. I was pleased with that."
With the split, Pitt-Bradford is now 1-1 while Wisconsin Lutheran is 3-1.
The Panthers return to action Wednesday morning at nine for a doubleheader against Wilmington (Oh.) at the Player Development Complex in Fort Myers.