IUP baseball takes two against Slippery Rock
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 14:04
The Crimson Hawks (21-23-1) split a four-game series with Slippery Rock this past weekend.
The Hawks hosted the first two games at Owens Dougherty Field on Saturday and were able to hold on for a 4-3 victory in the first game.
The Hawks battled back from an early 3-0 deficit in the fifth inning when Robbie Zinsmeister reached on an error that scored Austin Mock, cutting Slippery Rocks’ lead to 3-1. Also in the fifth, Dylan Songer cut into the lead when he hit a sacrifice fly to knock home John Beatty.
The Hawks tied the game in the sixth inning when Mock singled to right and scored Aaron Lupia. The Hawks scored the game-winning run in the seventh inning when Songer singled home Zinsmeister.
The Hawks also had some help from their starting pitcher Stephen Cooke (6-1), who went the distance with three runs allowed, three walks and 10 strikeouts.
“Stephen Cooke has been the model of consistency all year and his effort on the mound in our game one win was no different,” said Head Coach Jeff Ditch. “He has been dominating this spring and a true leader of our pitching staff with those results.”
The second game of the doubleheader didn’t go as well for the Hawks, with a blowout loss of 18-4. Matt Szukics (3-3) suffered the loss – two innings, he allowed seven runs. Six of those runs were earned.
All the offense for the Hawks came when they were already down by 15 runs. Dylan Tice and Zinsmeister each had an RBI, and Ryan Uhl had two RBI’s in the third inning when he singled to right field.
The Hawks traveled to Slippery Rock Sunday to finish out the series. In the first game, the Hawks fell victim to one of the best pitchers in the PSAC. Lou Trivino (8-2) pitched a complete game for Slippery Rock. He allowed two runs over seven innings.
As for the Hawks, Craig Hibell (2-4) recorded the loss. He went 4.1 innings, allowed two runs and had three walks.
The Hawks had a few chances to get back into the game. They scored their first run in the third inning when Zinsmeister singled home Mike Lupia. However, Slippery Rock scored again and the Hawks found themselves down 5-1 going into the top of the seventh inning. The Hawks scored when Songer doubled home Zinsmeister and Aaron Lupia singled home Songer.
The Hawks couldn’t muster any more runs, falling 5-3.
In the fourth and final game, the Hawks had Greg Stewart start the game, but he struggled and went only 1.1 innings. Even with the struggles of Stewart on the mound, the Hawks were able to score first. A. Lupia and Mike Lupia each had an RBI in the first inning to put the Hawks up 2-0.
That’s when Stewart had struggles, and after two innings the Hawks found themselves down 6-2.
In the third inning, M. Lupia had another RBI when he scored Songer. The Hawks added another run when David McNeill singled home Troy Foster to cut the Slippery Rock lead to 6-4.
In the fourth inning, Songer scored Zinsmeister when he grounded out the shortstop. The Hawks were down one run in the sixth when A. Lupia doubled home Zinsmeister to tie the game at 6-6. The Hawks scored again when Uhl sacrificed Songer home that put the Hawks up 7-6.
“Dylan Songer and Aaron Lupia gave us solid at bats against Slippery Rock and each came up with timely hits and runs batted in,” said Ditch. “Songer has the knack for big hits and RBI’s. Aaron Lupia is settling into the 4th spot in our lineup and is stringing together several productive at bats the last couple weeks.”
That was enough for Brett Quiggle (2-1) to hold on to the victory. Quiggle came in for relief and pitched 5.2 innings. He allowed no runs and had three strikeouts.
“In the fourth game of the series, Brett Quiggle gave us 5.2 innings of relief out of the bull pen and held Slippery Rock to one hit,” Ditch said. “He is a bull dog on the mound and gives us positive energy the way he battles for the team. Brett is becoming a very significant pitcher for us and he concludes his junior season and could be a main go to guy next year.”
After splitting the four games, the Hawks find themselves battling for a playoff spot. The Hawks are currently in at 8-12 in the conference and hope to gain one of the last spots in the conference tournament.
The Hawks will finish the season off over the weekend when they travel to Lock Haven on Friday for a doubleheader than travel back to host the last doubleheader of the season at Owen Dougherty Field on Saturday against Lock Haven.