ALFRED, N.Y. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team's (13-26) season came to an end with a doubleheader split Sunday afternoon at Alfred State (14-23).
The Panthers lost the opener 3-2, before capturing a thrilling 8-7 victory in the finale.
Sunday's doubleheader at Alfred State was also Bret Butler's final game as head coach of the baseball program. After 18 seasons, he will step down to focus on his duties as Director of Athletics and Recreational sports.
"The boys fought hard, as they have all season. It is always good to end the season with a win to gear up for next season," said Pitt-Bradford assistant coach Zach Foster. "We knew we wanted to send coach out on a high note. It has been an honor for me to coach by his side and learn from him. The program he built and all he has done is a testament to what type of coach, and man, he is."
Matt Hogue picked up the win on the mound with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, allowing just two hits while striking out three.
Andrew Ball and Pedro Mora led the Alfred State offense with two RBI each in game two while Robert Cardona and Shofi drove in one run each.
The Pioneers scored the first two runs of the game with one run in the first and another in the second to take a 2-0 lead.
However, the Panthers came roaring back to take the lead with a three-run top of the third. Keagen Goodliff led off the inning with a double to left while Zielinski drove him in with a double to right-center. Zielinski then scored on a line drive single to left by Sompel and later scored when the Pioneer's dropped Renn's long fly ball to right.
Alfred State came back and took a 7-3 lead after scoring four in the fourth and one in the fifth.
The Panthers, like they've done all season, refused to give in and scored five runs in the top of the sixth, taking an 8-7 lead. Rivers started the scoring with an RBI double to left and scored later in the inning on an error. Sompel then drove in two more, tying the game at 7-7 with a two-run single to center. Renn then gave the Panthers the lead, as the centerfielder mishandled a long fly ball.
Hogue and the defense then shut the Pioneers down in the final two innings to capture the 8-7 victory and send coach Butler off with a victory in his final game.
Abe Frech had a strong outing on the mound, allowing three runs on six hits while striking out three over six innings.
Thomas Shofi, Rafael Perozo and Dan Woodward drove in one run each for the Pioneers while Connor Odonoghue picked up the win with a complete game on the mound.
The Pioneers scored all three of their runs in the first inning on an RBI double and then back-to-back RBI singles.
Hoggatt brought the Panthers within 3-1 with an RBI single to right in the top of the second.
James then brought UPB within 3-2 with an RBI groundout to short in the top of the sixth.
However, Odonoghue and the Pioneers hung on for the 3-2 victory in the opener.