MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – For the first time in program history Gallaudet University will host the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) baseball tournament. The Bison clinched the top-seed with a clean sweep of Penn St.-Harrisburg 4-1, 8-1 on the road Saturday behind two stellar pitching performances.
Gallaudet (19-18, 11-3 NEAC) will host the three-day NEAC tournament starting on Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5 at Hoy Field. The Bison are slated to face the fourth-seed in the first game of the tournament. This is Gallaudet's third season in the NEAC. Last year, the Bison lost in the NEAC West Division championship game to Penn St.-Berks. GU received good news on Saturday when Penn St.-Berks defeated Penn St.-Abington, 5-3, in the first game of two to help Gallaudet claim the No. 1 seed.
"I am very proud of the way we finished our conference season strong," said Gallaudet coach Curtis Pride. "It is very exciting to finally achieve our goal of clinching the No. 1 seed and hosting the NEAC tournament next weekend at home, in front of our fans."
Coach Pride turned to junior Chris Guinn (McLoud, Okla.) to pitch the first game and the right-hander turned in a complete game five-hitter. Guinn (3-3) allowed one run on five hits, walked one, hit one batter and five strikeouts in his second complete game of the season.
Penn St.-Harrisburg (23-13, 10-3 NEAC) scored the game's first run with a run in the bottom of the third inning before the Bison scored twice in the fourth and fifth innings.
Junior catcher Casey Hicks (Henderson, Nev.) delivered a key RBI-triple in the fourth inning to score senior shortstop Tommy Barksdale (Brookeville, Md.). Hicks was driven in by Guinn. Freshman Chase Magsig (Hudsonville, Mich.) added a two-run single in the fifth inning to increase Gallaudet's lead.
In the second game, sophomore Brandon Holsworth (Beal City, Mich.) tossed his sixth complete game of the season as he surrendered one run (unearned) on two hits, walked five and struck out seven Nittany Lions. Holsworth improves his record to 5-4 on the year.
GU gave Holsworth run support in the second inning with three runs to take a 3-0 lead and scored five runs in the third inning as the Bison led 8-1. Guinn had the key hit a two-run triple in the third inning to break open the game.
The 11 conference wins are a new program record passing last year's mark of 10 wins.
"This hasn't been an easy road but we have been playing better as a team lately. We will just have to keep it going," said Pride.
Gallaudet will hit the road tomorrow (Sunday, April 28) and face St. Mary's (Md.) College in a non-conference doubleheader at 2 p.m. to wrap-up the regular-season schedule.