WASHINGTON – In its first appearance hosting the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) baseball tournament things didn't go as planned for Gallaudet University on Friday morning at Hoy Field. The top-seed Bison were sloppy in the field as they committed five errors through three innings and trailed fourth-seed Penn St.-Berks, 4-0, and eventually lost 5-3 in nine innings.
Penn St.-Berks (13-20) scored the game's first run in the top of the first inning and then added three runs in the second as Gallaudet botched three plays in the infield.
The Bison threatened in the third inning to score as they loaded the bases but junior William Bissell (Brewer, Maine), making his return to the lineup, flied out to center field for the third out.
The Nittany Lions tacked on a fifth run off Gallaudet starting pitcher Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) on a sacrifice fly by Brad Dierolf to plate third baseman Nick Vitelli. Guinn (3-4) went the distance for the Bison as he allowed five runs (two earned) on 11 hits, walked three and struck out one in nine innings.
Senior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) got the Bison on the scoreboard with a solo home run to left-center field in the eighth inning. The home run was Barksdale's fourth of the season.
The Bison tried to rally in the ninth when it scored two runs. Senior Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) and freshman Ryan Rippy (Tullahoma, Tenn.) singled and scored on a single by junior JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) to center.
Penn St.-Berks starting pitcher Steve Koenig (3-3) lasted into the ninth inning before being lifted for the last out of the game. Koenig surrendered three runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out three. Christian Marcin (2-for-5, two RBIs) came in from his center field position to pickup one out save, his third of the season.
Gallaudet will have an uphill battle the rest of the tournament as it will need to win four straight games in two days to win the conference championship coming out of the loser's bracket. The Bison will face Penn St.-Abington tomorrow (Saturday, May 4) morning at 10 a.m. in an elimination game.
Penn St.-Harrisburg defeated Penn St.-Abington, 9-1, in the second game and will face Penn St.-Berks in the third game on Friday afternoon with a chance to move to Sunday's championship day.