Behind Ryan Boyer, Panthers Earn AMCC Postseason Bid

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

ROCHESTER, N.Y. - The Pitt-Bradford baseball team punched its postseason ticket Wednesday, sweeping Medaille to secure the final spot in the AMCC tournament. The Panthers won game one, 18-1, and prevailed 5-0 in the nightcap.

It was a continuation of the teams' AMCC opener from March 30. With Pitt-Bradford leading 18-1 in game one, play was suspended at the top of the seventh inning due to weather. Originally rescheduled to be played Monday, the most recent round of severe storms pushed the games back to today.

Ryan Northcott quickly closed out the opener, pitching around a leadoff single to finish off his fourth win of the season. He was the starter in the game played on March 30 and yielded four hits, walked one and struck out three in seven total innings.

Tasked with pitching his team to a playoff berth, sophomore right-hander Ryan Boyer was dominant, surrendering five hits over eight scoreless innings in game two. He pitched into the ninth before running into trouble after allowing the first two hitters to reach.

Northcott came on in relief to retire the side in order to preserve the shutout. Boyer walked three and struck out a career-high nine to even his season record at 4-4.

Medaille starter Ryan Wojcinski walked the bases full with one out in the third and uncorked a wild pitch, scoring Tyler Hoops from third. The Panthers stretched the lead to 2-0 in the fourth after Brody Wood singled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on an error.

Hoops walked to begin the fifth, and after moving into scoring position, reached home on Dalton Renn's RBI single. Wojcinski would plunk Austin Parent in the next at bat, forcing his exit, and reliever Peter Grunzweig hit the first two batters he faced to push across the Panthers' fourth run.

Pitt-Bradford added an insurance tally in the top of the ninth on Blovsky's sacrifice fly. Hoops was involved once again, tripling to lead off the inning.

It was more than enough for Boyer, who seemed to get better as the game wore on. He stranded a runner at third in the first and then started to settle in, retiring seven straight batters before giving up a one-out hit in the fourth.

In the fifth, the Mavericks had runners at the corners with only one out, but Boyer responded with a strikeout and inning-ending groundout. He struck out two in each the sixth and seventh innings and worked around a two-out base hit in the eighth.

Hoops went 1-3 with a pair of walks and three runs scored, and Wood finished 2-2 with a RBI.

Pitt-Bradford improves to 13-22 on the season and finishes conference play with an 8-8 record. The Panthers will travel to Penn State Altoona Saturday for the first round of the AMCC tournament and a best-of-three series.

The two teams met last weekend with the Lions winning both games by one run. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.