WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University baseball team triumphed over North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) foe Penn St.-Abington in a nine-inning game, 17-7, Sunday afternoon at Hoy Field. With the win, Gallaudet (25-15, 12-6 NEAC) shares the NEAC regular season title with Keuka College (21-11, 12-6 NEAC) but since the Bison defeated the Storm two out of three games the NEAC tournament will be hosted at GU this weekend. This is the second straight year the Bison have secured the No. 1 seed in the NEAC tournament and a share of the regular season title.
The Bison win, on Senior Day, ties the school record for wins in a season at 25. The 2012 Gallaudet team finished its season 25-17.
Gallaudet started off on the right foot against the Nittany Lions (18-19-1, 10-8 NEAC) as it put up a run in the first and second innings before breaking the game open with eight runs in the third. Gallaudet went through three Nittany Lion pitchers in the first three innings of the game.
The Nittany Lions showed some fight in the top of the fourth as they scored six runs to cut the GU lead to four, 10-6, and chased Bison starting pitcher Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.). Fellow senior Tyler Crace (Westfield, Ind.) came in to get GU out of the jam. Crace, who went 2-for-2 at the plate, pitched 2.1 innings and allowed one run on two hits, walked four en route to his first win of the season.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Gallaudet added four more runs to take a 14-6 lead. The Bison completed their scoring in the bottom half of the seventh with three additional runs.
Senior outfielders William Bissell (Brewer, Maine) and JJ Klein (Cincinnati, Ohio) paced the offense going 3-for-5 at the plate, scoring two runs each and both had a triple. Bissell drove in five runs while Klein knocked in three. Bissell recorded his 200th career hit with a single in the bottom of the third inning.
Today was the last regular-season home game for Gallaudet's seven seniors; Bissell, Klein, Crace, Guinn, catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.), outfielder Marcus Smith (Baltimore, Md.) and first baseman Jeremy Murphy (Owings Mills, Md.).
The 2014 NEAC tournament will get underway at 9 a.m. on Friday, May 9, at Hoy Field. Complete details and game match-ups will be released later this week.