IUP baseball splits four-game series against Gannon
Published: Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 13:04
Despite scoring only a combined 10 runs, the Crimson Hawks were able to split a four-game series against PSAC opponent Gannon.
Stephen Cooke got the start for the Crimson Hawks in game one. Cooke pitched a complete game shutout, allowing five hits and recording seven strikeouts in a 2-0 win.
“Cooke was outstanding on the mound versus Gannon, as he has been all season,” IUP Head Coach Jeff Ditch said.
The game would remain scoreless until the fifth inning. Freshman Dylan Tice led off the inning with a double to right field and advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Cory Sawka. Tice would then score on a single by Robbie Zinsmeister to give IUP a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks made it 2-0 the next inning on an RBI double by Ryan Uhl that scored Troy Foster. From there Cooke was able to close out the Golden Knights and seal the win. Cooke has now gone 18 1/3 innings without giving up a run.
“He is really taking control of our team when he pitches,” Ditch said.
The roles were reversed in game two as the Golden Knights were able to get on the board early and never look back. The Crimson Hawks were able to manage only one run in the bottom of the seventh inning and ultimately fell to the Golden Knights 6-1.
Saturday’s doubleheader was held at Gannon. The Crimson Hawks took the first game 6-4, while the Golden Knights were victorious in the series finale 2-1.
Offense was the name of the game for the Crimson Hawks as they racked up 14 hits in the win.
The Golden Knights managed to take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning on an RBI single.
The Crimson Hawks would be held scoreless until the third inning. After a one out single by Zinsmeister, Tice got on board with a bunt single. Both players would later score on a two out single by Troy Foster, giving the Hawks a 2-1 lead.
Foster would again be called upon in the fifth inning when his single scored Tice to give the Hawks a 3-1 advantage.
The Golden Knights battled back, but the Hawks were too strong offensively and never let Gannon pull away.
Craig Hibell was on the hill for the Hawks and improved his record to 2-2 on the season. Hibell pitched 5 2/3 innings and allowed six hits while striking out eight.
Every batter for the Crimson Hawks had at least one hit. Foster, Zinsmeister, Tice, Uhl and Austin Mock all finished with two hits. Foster also added three RBI’s and Tice scored three times.
The last game didn’t see a lot of action. The Crimson Hawks finished with 12 runners left on base, including a bases loaded, no out situation.
“Our offense had several chances to score more runs but just could not come up with a key timely hit,” Ditch said. “And credit to Gannon pitchers as they fought hard to prevent us from getting more runs.”
The Crimson Hawks had nine players with base hits on the day and outhit the Golden Knights 25-12.
Matt Szukics took the loss for the Hawks. He pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits. Szukics also struck out three batters.
According to Ditch, the Hawks can’t afford to look back.
“We need to move forward and continue to have confident, positive thoughts, and fight for positive results,” he said.
Taking two out of four games is a pretty good outing, especially against a PSAC opponent, and should be a boost in confidence.
“The PSAC is outstanding and each game comes down to doing the right things consistently each inning,” Ditch said.
The Crimson Hawks (16-17-1) rescheduled today’s game against Millersville to Sunday. The next matchup will be Friday against Clarion.