Panthers Split with Keuka

Photo credit to Wade Aiken.
Photo credit to Wade Aiken.

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team (10-17) split a non-conference doubleheader with Keuka College (12-10) on Wednesday afternoon at the Kessel Athletic Complex. 

The Panthers dropped a tough, 6-5, decision in the opener, before avenging that loss with a 10-5 victory in the nightcap.

"Dropping the first game in the manner in which we did, was a tough pill to swallow," said Pitt-Bradford head coach Bret Butler. "But, we have to extenuate the positive. We are young, and our rebound rate is good. They came out and played a solid second game and I am proud of the way they stick together – they are a team through the highs and the lows and that will pay dividends for sure in 12 months."

Jacob Rivers led the Panthers at the plate in the game two victory, going 2-2 with two walks and two RBI while Jay Clinger went 1-3 with a three run home run. Keagen Goodiff had a great day at the plate as well, going 3-4 with an RBI double while Josh Zielinski and Dalton Renn added two hits each and Sawyer Packard drove in two in the victory.

Ben Hayes picked up his first collegiate victory on the mound, allowing four runs while striking out one in 5.2 innings on the bump. Austin Hoggatt held the Wolfpack in check, allowing just one run on two hits over the final 1.1 innings.

"Ben Hayes pitched well in game two, and Jonathan Polanco had a pretty solid game in the first," Butler said. "All in all, I am proud of them, and we are set up for an exciting four game AMCC home stand this weekend. It's going to be exciting baseball – we do play hard for sure and we never, ever give up."

The Panthers fell to an early 1-0 deficit in the top of the second, but answered with three of their own in the home half to take a 3-1 lead after two innings of play. Goodliff crushed an RBI double to center while Packard roped a two-run single to left-center to cap the scoring in the inning.

Pitt-Bradford added three more runs in the bottom of the third with the first coming as Brody Wood was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Rivers then came up and hit a two-run single to center, making it a 6-1 ballgame after three.

The Wolfpack got one back on a Tyler Krowiak sac fly in the top of the fifth, but Clinger answered with a three-run blast, putting the game out of reach at 9-3 after five.

Keuka threatened with two runs in the sixth and one more in the seventh, but couldn't come all the way back as Hoggat got the Wolfpack to ground into a game-ending double play, preserving the 10-5 victory to earn the split.

The Panthers led for the majority of the first game, but the Wolfpack earned a 6-5 victory with two runs in the top of the seventh.

Tim Brown led the Panthers at the plate, going 2-2 with an RBI while Austin Parent and Packard added RBI doubles in the heartbreaking loss. Polanco was efficient on the mound, allowing three earned runs while striking out three over 5.1 innings while Abe Frech was hit with his first loss of the season, allowing two runs on one hit while striking out three in 1.2 innings.

Just like the second game, Keuka jumped out to an early lead, as Tyler Freedman and Kyle Dailey drove in one run each in the top of the first and the Wolfpack got another in the top of the second on a Panther's fielding error, taking a 3-0 lead into the home half.

Brown then brought the Panthers within 3-2 with an RBI triple and then scored on a passed ball later in the inning. 

The Panther's offense caught fire in the third, scoring three runs to take a 5-3 lead after three innings. Packard started the rally with an RBI double and the scored on a wild pitch. Parent then capped the Panther's scoring with a sacrifice fly to center.

Freedman got the Wolfpack back on track with a solo homer to right in the fifth, and the Wolfpack got two more in the seventh to take a 6-5 lead, and eventually the win.

The Panthers have a key four-game AMCC home stand coming up this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader against Mount Aloysius on Saturday afternoon at one. The Panthers then close out the weekend by hosting Penn State Altoona for a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at one at the Kessel Athletic Complex.