Panthers Start Florida Trip With Rockford Split

Panthers Start Florida Trip With Rockford Split

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford baseball team took the field for the first time during its nine-game slate in Florida Monday, splitting a doubleheader with Rockford.

Pitt-Bradford stormed to a 12-4 victory in game one then fell 5-3 in game two.

"We saw some good things today," Head Coach Zach Foster said. "Our young guys made some huge contributions and we did what we had to do on the mound. In game two, we had our chances but couldn't capitalize. We are excited to get out and play tomorrow. Proud of the boys."

Matt Hair led the Panther offense in game one, going 3-for-4 with four RBIs while Kevin Rehak doubled twice and drove in two runs.

Tyler Aires chipped in a pair of RBIs in game one while Jake McNabb doubled.

As a team, the Panthers mounted 12 hits and walked seven times.

An RBI single from Hair in the first inning gave Pitt-Bradford an early 1-0 lead, and then Pitt-Bradford took a commanding 6-0 early deficit with a five-spot in the second.

A two-run double from Rehak followed by a two-run single from Hair got the Panthers started. Then Austin Parent capped the inning scoring on a ball put in play by McNabb and throw wayward.

But Rockford tightened the gap with a run in the third and three more in the fourth to bring the Panther lead to 6-4.

That's as close as RU would get, though, as the Panthers doubled their run total in the sixth inning.

After RBI knocks from Hair and McNabb, Aires sent home two on a single to right.

Justin Dattoli and Tyler Hoops added RBI singles to round out the big inning.

Andrew Bacha started the game and went 3.1 innings, striking out three while surrendering three earned runs and walking a pair.

He was relieved by Nate Renick, who delivered 1.2 innings of scoreless ball. Alex Miles and Ben Suter came in and threw an inning apiece. All three Panther relievers struck out two apiece while holding Rockford scoreless.

Game two saw less offense.

Down 2-0, Dattoli dropped in the Panthers' first hit of the ballgame in the fifth on a single to right.

Rockford added three more in the bottom of the fifth and extended its lead to 5-0.

RBI singles from Sawyer Packard and Matt LaBadie in the sixth trimmed the deficit to 5-2 and kept the Panthers in the ballgame.

The Panthers threatened in the ninth.

With two outs, Hoops walked and scored on a double off the left-field wall from Rehak.

Parent then walked, and the potential winning run Hair reached base on a strikeout dropped by the catcher, loading the bases for Packard.

But a popout to second ended the threat.

Pitt-Bradford will be in action next on Tuesday taking on Haverford for a twin bill starting at 9 a.m.