HOUGHTON, N.Y. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team fell in its first two Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference games to Alfred State at Houghton College Wednesday.
"We are on a tough stretch," Head Coach Zach Foster said. "We need to find our identity again. I know these guys though. They are tough kids and aren't going to lay down for anyone. We just have to get right mentally and we will get back on track."
The two teams traded the lead in game one but ultimately Alfred State broke a 5-5 tie in the last frame of the seven-inning affair to take the win.
In game two, Pitt-Bradford scored three runs in the top of the first but the Alfred State bats stayed hot and the Pioneers completed the sweep.
For Alfred State, the two wins are their first ever as a program in the AMCC, as the Pioneers joined the conference in baseball this spring.
Austin Parent was a home run shy of the cycle in game two, going 3-for-4 with a single, triple, double, three RBIs and a run scored.
Game One: Alfred State 6, Pitt-Bradford 5
Alfred State jumped out to a quick lead with three runs in the bottom of the first. The Pioneers cashed in back-to-back walks to start the frame on a two-run single and an error by the Panther catcher for its runs.
The Panthers quickly answered with a two-out rally in the second. Samuel Dreistadt walked with two down and moved up to second on a wild pitch. He later scored on a throwing error by the Alfred State pitcher off the bat of Jason Lucarelli.
Pitt-Bradford later got one back in the third as Tim Brown singled home Parent, bringing the score to 3-2 in favor of Alfred State.
Two more came across in the fourth inning for the Panthers, giving Pitt-Bradford a 4-3 lead.
Tyler Hoops led off the frame with a walk and then scored all the way from first on a throwing error by the Pioneers' shortstop hit by Sawyer Packard, who scored the leading run later on a sacrifice fly by Dalton Renn.
But Alfred State would regain the lead with a pair in the bottom of the fourth, gaining a 5-4 lead on an RBI single and a stolen base on a Panther throwing error.
The two teams went scoreless into the seventh until the Panthers tied the ballgame at five.
Jay Clinger led off the inning with a double to left center and later scored on an RBI single from Lucarelli.
However, Alfred State would break the tie in the bottom of the seventh and take the walk-off win.
The Pioneers worked a one-out double, and the runner later advanced to third on a wild pitch.
With two outs, another wild pitch allowed the runner to score and give the Pioneers the 6-5 win.
Ryan Boyer started the game on the mound and tossed six innings while striking out four and surrendering four earned runs.
Sam Gwiazdinski came in to throw the seventh inning and was the pitcher of record.
The Pitt-Bradford defense made five errors in the field while Alfred State made four defensive errors. Just five of the 11 total runs scored in the game went down as earned.
Brody Wood led the Panthers offensively, going 3-for-4 at the dish.
Clinger and Lucarelli had two hits apiece.
Game Two: Alfred State 14, Pitt-Bradford 4
The Panthers erupted for three runs in the top of the first.
Hoops and Packard both singled to lead off the game, and a triple from Parent scored them both.
Dalton Renn then stepped right up and knocked a double to left field, bringing home Parent and giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead.
But Alfred State stayed hot and used three hits and a Panther defensive error to score five runs in the bottom of the first.
Pitt-Bradford later got a run back in the third inning as Parent knocked a double that scored Packard for his second RBI extra-base hit of the game.
Alfred State got it back and then some, though, in the bottom of the third as they scored a run each on a triple and a ground out, taking an 8-4 advantage.
The Pioneers later built their lead with four runs in the bottom of the fourth, highlighted by a two-run home run.
Both teams went quiet until the Pioneers extended their lead to 10 runs in the eighth with a pair of runs, taking a 14-4 lead.
In the top of the ninth, the Panthers extended the game as Parent and Packard both reached on Alfred State fielding errors with two out, but neither was able to score and the Pioneers held on for the 14-4 win.
Andrew Bacha started the game for the Panthers on the mound and delivered three innings, striking out a pair while giving up 11 earned runs.
Benjamin Hayes came on in relief and tossed 4.2 strong innings, striking out seven, walking none and surrendering two earned runs. For Hayes, his seven strikeouts are the most of any outing of his career and they surpass his entire strikeout total of five last season.
Drake Renn recorded the final out necessary for the Panthers on the mound, inducing a fly out to the lone batter he faced to end the eighth.
Up next, the Panthers will host Penn College Saturday for a doubleheader Saturday starting at 1 p.m.