WASHINGTON – Freshman Ryan Rippy (Tullahoma, Tenn.) was not on last year's Gallaudet University baseball team that had its season end in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) West Division championship against Penn St.-Berks. Rippy was not familiar with the sting the Bison felt of having their best season in program history stopped short of a conference championship.
Instead, Rippy helped to dish out some pain of his own Sunday at Hoy Field as the lefthander tossed a one-hit shutout, 7-0, win in the first game of two over Penn St.-Berks (10-21, 6-6 NEAC). Rippy then lifted the Bison (17-18, 9-3 NEAC) to a second win, 6-5, with a RBI-single in the bottom of the seventh as GU walked off winners in a clean sweep.
For the second day in a row, Gallaudet ended a game in walk-off fashion with a RBI-single. Penn St.-Berks led 3-1 out of the gates before Gallaudet took the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as the Bison scored three times. GU tacked on an additional run in the sixth, 5-3. The Nittany Lions tied the game at seven when they scored two runs off reliever Jeremy Adams (Glenn Dale, Md.) with two outs in the top of the seventh.
GU responded in the bottom half of the seventh as junior third baseman Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) and Adams singled to set the scene for Rippy. The freshman outfielder smacked a single to center field as Guinn came around from second base to end the game.
Freshman designated hitter Peter LoDuca (Great Neck, N.Y) went 3-for-3 with a double and a run scored. Junior left fielder JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 3-for-4 with a double, RBI and two runs scored and Guinn (3-for-4) collected a RBI and scored the game-winning run. Freshman Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.) picked up two hits and a RBI in the win. Junior pitcher Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) pitched the first six innings of the game and gave up three runs (one earned) on eight hits and a walk. Adams (1-1) earned the win after blowing the save opportunity in the top of the seventh.
In the first game, Gallaudet got on the scoreboard with a run in the bottom of the first inning. That would be all the run support Rippy needed as he pitched his first complete game shutout. He allowed one hit, a second inning double, walked five and struck out one in seven innings of work.
Senior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) and Adams had a solid senior day as the pair combined to go 6-for-14 in both games. In the first game, Barksdale went 2-for-3 with two doubles, one walk, RBI, a run scored and a stolen base while Adams went 2-for-4. Rippy was on fire at the plate as well, as he went 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Sophomore Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) was a perfect 2-for-2, two RBIs and a run scored while junior catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) went 2-for-3 as the Bison had 13 hits in the win.
Gallaudet will next face NEAC foe Penn St.-Harrisburg (23-11, 10-2 NEAC) on the road Saturday, April 27.