BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team (6-12, 1-3) fell to two early deficits, fought back, but came up just short in both games of a doubleheader with AMCC rival, Penn State Behrend (14-6, 3-1) on a blustery Wednesday afternoon at the Kessel Athletic Complex.
The Panthers fell 8-6 in the first game and then dropped the nightcap, 14-10.
Dalton Renn had a monster day for the Panthers, beginning with a 2-3 performance in game one. Tim Brown was outstanding in game one, going 2-3 with three RBI while Jean Turber and Jacob Rivers drove in one run each. Brock Blovsky added two hits in the loss.
Ryan Northcott was effective with the exception of two tough innings. The right-hander went the distance giving up just four earned runs while striking out three and walking three to fall to 2-3 on the year.
Scott Sada drove in three runs for the Lions while Brian Bohman drove in two more and Brandon Bergstrom and Kyle Hunt chipped in with one RBI each in the victory.
Sean Rutkosky improved to 2-0 on the mound, tossing 5.2 innings, allowing one earned run on nine hits while striking out one. Eric Mikulan came in with two outs in the bottom of the seventh to get his fifth save of the year.
The Lions got out to a hot start, scoring three runs in the top of the first and four more in third to take a 7-0 lead after three.
The Panthers got their first run of the game when Brown roped a single to right, scoring Austin Parent from third and bringing the Panthers within 7-1 after four.
Behrend added their eighth and final run of the game in the top of the fifth, before the Panthers began their comeback effort in the sixth.
Turber started the comeback with an RBI single and Brown scored on a throwing error, cutting the Panther's deficit to just 8-3 after six.
Pitt-Bradford made things interesting in the seventh as they picked up one run on a wild pitch with the bases loaded and Brown then cleared the bases with a two-run single to center. However, 8-6 was as close as the Panthers would come as the Lions hung on for the victory in the opener. The Panthers left nine on base in game one.
Renn continued to crush the ball in game two, going 3-4 with a grand slam and five RBI while Sawyer Packard went 3-3. Pat James went 2-3 with two RBI while Austin Parent and Brock Blocksy drove in one run each in the tough loss in game two.
Despite a rough start, Ryan Boyer settled in nicely and didn't allow a run over his final four innings and struck out five.
Just like in game one, Penn State Behrend came out swinging a hot bat as they scored five in the first and four in the second to take a 9-0 lead into the third.
The Panther's offense exploded for four runs in the the bottom of the third on Renn's grand slam and then picked up three more in the home half of the fourth. Clinger drew a bases loaded walk and James followed with an RBI double to center, bringing Pitt-Bradford within 9-7 after four.
Penn State Behrend added one in the seventh, one in the eighth and then picked up three in the top of the ninth to make it a 14-7 ballgame heading into the home half.
Despite the Lion's big inning, the Panthers refused to quit. Renn started the rally with an RBI double and Parent brought James home with a ground out to short for the second run of the inning. Blovsky drew a bases loaded walk, forcing the Lions to go to their bullpen as the Panthers came within 14-10. However, Sada came on and got the Lions out of the jam with a game ending strikeout.
The Panthers are scheduled to continue AMCC play on Saturday afternoon at one for a doubleheader against Penn State Altoona at the Kessel Athletic Complex.