WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Gallaudet University baseball team earned a split with visiting Penn State-Harrisburg on a gorgeous Friday afternoon at Hoy Field. The Bison were two outs away from securing a 7-5 win in the first game but the wheels fell off as Penn State-Harrisburg (11-18) scored three runs to steal an 8-7 victory. Gallaudet (4-31) made sure the same thing wouldn’t happen in the second game as the Bison jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings and held onto win 8-5. The non-conference doubleheader lasted seven innings for both games.
Sophomore Ryan Hastings (Cherry Valley, Mass.) pitched the complete game in the second contest against the Lions. The left-hander went seven innings where he allowed five runs (four earned) off seven hits, two walks, two hit batters, one wild pitch while he struck out a season-high six batters. Hastings improved his record to 2-9 on the year.
GU received two walks followed by two singles in the first inning to help the Bison jump out on top of the Lions 3-1 after one inning of play. The three runs made up for the three errors committed by the Bison in the top of the first. In the second frame, Gallaudet pushed across four runs as it manufactured runs with singles, taking walks and being smart on the base paths.
The six-run lead allowed Hastings to settle in and pitch his game. In every inning, but the three-run fifth, he faced five of less batters. Penn State Harrisburg’s big hit came in the fifth as Nick Knull hit a double to right field to clear the bases and score three runs. Knull was tagged out trying to go to third base on the play. The Lions added one more run in the sixth which Gallaudet answered in the bottom half.
In the first game, both teams came out swinging. The Lions touched up Gallaudet starting pitcher Jeremy Shepps (Mechanicsburg, Pa.) for three runs after he retired the first two batters. Dan Vignola laced a two-run double to the outfield to put the Lions up 3-0. Gallaudet answered back with four of its own as five of the first six batters reached base against Knull. Junior Kyle Kuschmider (Olathe, Kan.) had a two-run double of his own and later scored on a wild pitch to put the Bison up one, 4-3.
Penn State-Harrisburg briefly tied the game in the top of the third as they scored one run but left runners on the corners. Gallaudet answered with two runs as Shepps (2-for-4) came through with a RBI double.
GU added its seventh run in the fifth inning as freshman Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.) led off with a double and then stole the team’s eighth base of the game, a new season best. In fact, the eight stolen bases against the Lions is more than Gallaudet stole in the first 12 games combined. He later scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman catcher Steven Gosselin (Hayward, Calif.), his second RBI in the game.
Shepps (2-9) had the first batter in the top of the seventh groundout. He then hit the next batter and then gave up three straight hits. The dagger came on a pinch-hit single to right field by Brian Belinskas that scored the go-ahead run.
Shepps finished the complete game with his ninth strikeout in the game, matching a season-high for a third time. He allowed eight runs on 12 hits, walked three and had one wild pitch, balk and hit batter.
Between the two games the Bison were led offensively by Shepps (4-for-7) as he scored four times and drove in two runs. Kyle Kuschmider drove in a team best four runs while Gosselin had three RBI. Hastings scored four times and earned five walks. Barksdale had three hits, two runs and two RBIs and Kyle’s brother Chester had two hits and two runs scored in the second game. Junior Zane Noschese (Pittsburgh, Pa.) drove in two runs in the second game as well.
Gallaudet will travel out to Front Royal, Va., on Saturday to face Christendom College in a doubleheader with the first game slated to begin at 12 p.m.