Crimson Hawks sweep Lock Haven, fall short of postseason by one game
Published: Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 15:05
The Crimson Hawks ended the season with a four-game sweep of Lock Haven, but it wasn’t enough to make the PSAC Playoffs.
The Hawks finished one game behind Slippery Rock for fourth place in the West division.
“Playoffs are always the goal and falling short is a disappointing way to finish. All we can do is look failure in the eye and fight on,” said IUP Head Coach Jeff Ditch. “Credit to Mercyhurst, Gannon, Cal and Slippery Rock for earning the right to participate in the PSAC playoffs, the PSAC West is very competitive and we need to raise our level to be ready for 2013.”
In the first of two games at Lock Haven, the Hawks had Stephen Hill pitch the first game. He threw a complete game, and he allowed four hits and two runs to score. He also had seven strikeouts and four walks.
As for the offense, the Hawks had to rebound early from a 2-0 deficit. In the fifth inning, Austin Mock hit a home run to cut the lead to 2-1. In the sixth inning, Ryan Uhl singled home Jordan DeLuca to tie the game at 2-2. In the seventh, Dylan Tice doubled home two runs to put the Hawks up 4-2. The Hawks added an insurance run later when Dylan Songer singled home Tice. The Hawks went on to win 5-2.
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Hawks had Matt Szukics start the game. He went 4.2 innings, allowed just one run and had two strikeouts. That was enough for pitching for the Hawks to offense to take over.
In the first inning, Aaron Lupia sacrificed home Robbie Zinsmeister to give the Hawks an early 1-0 lead. Lock Haven tied the game in the third inning, but in the fifth inning Zinsmeister struck again when he hit a triple and scored Mike Lupia. Also in that inning, Tice doubled into left field and scored Zinsmeister.
The Hawks added some insurance runs later in the game. Uhl hit a grand slam that scored A. Lupia, DeLuca and Zinsmeister.
After the two wins at Lock Haven, the Hawks came home looking for the sweep of the weekend series.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Hawks had Craig Hibell start, but he lasted only 3.1 innings and didn’t have a decision. Jared Weed came in for relief and picked up the victory for the Hawks. He allowed two hits in 3.2 innings and had one strikeout.
The Hawks offense needed every run they could muster to pull out the victory in the first game. After an early 1-0 Lock Haven lead, the Hawks came back in the third inning when A. Lupia singled to center and it scored two runs when Tice and Zinsmeister scored to give the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
The Hawks found themselves down in the fifth inning 4-2 when Tice doubled to right and scored Zinsmeister to make it 4-3. Also in the fifth inning, Aaron Lupia singled home Tice to tie the game at 4-4.
In the sixth inning, the Hawks were able to add some insurance runs. Mike Lupia tripled home Mock to give the Hawks a 5-4 lead. The Hawks scored again when Mike Lupia scored on a wild pitch to give the Hawks a 6-4 lead that they would hold onto for the victory.
In the last game of the series, the Hawks had Greg Stewart start the game. He went 3.2 innings, allowed no runs and had two strikeouts. Stewart ended with the victory, but it was due the bullpen that closed the game out for him.
Brett Quiggle and Mock pitched 3.1 innings and allowed three runs, but it wasn’t enough to give up the lead for the Hawks.
The Hawks offense started early in this game when DeLuca singled to right field and knocked home Uhl to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. Also in that inning, DeLuca was caught stealing second, but the Hawks were able to score another run when M. Lupia scored on the steal attempt.
In the third inning, Aaron Lupia singled to left field and scored Tice and Cory Sawka, putting the Hawks’ lead to 4-0. The Hawks allowed three runs in the seventh inning, but were able to hold on to the 4-3 victory.
“We ended on a high note with five wins, including the four-game conference sweeps with Lock Haven,” said Ditch. “A goal of each team is to peak at the end of the regular season and have everything clicking for playoffs. That goal was accomplished the last couple weeks, but we lost our playoff chance winning only one game in each of the Cal, Clarion, and Mercyhurst series earlier this season.”
Even with the sweep the Hawks missed out the on the playoffs and finished the year 25-23-1.