ABINGTON, Pa. – Gallaudet University's hopes to make the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) tournament for a fifth straight year were dashed Saturday as the Bison were swept by first-place Penn St.-Abington, 4-2 and 10-2, at Alverthorpe Park.
Gallaudet (7-25, 3-9 NEAC) came back to tie the first game, 2-2 in the seventh inning, but four wild pitches allowed Penn St.-Abington (16-15, 10-2 NEAC) to score two runs in the eighth.
Sophomore pitcher Ian Evans (Murphy, N.C.) had trouble finding the strike zone in the second game as he issued five walks, threw two wild pitches allowed two hits and one passed ball by catcher Jake Grindstaff (New Market, Md.) gave the Nittany Lions a 5-0 lead after the first inning.
Penn St.-Abington added five more runs before Gallaudet got on the scoreboard with two runs in the sixth to cut the margin to eight, 10-2. The Nittany Lions made three errors during the two-run sixth inning. GU out hit Penn St.-Abington in both games, 10-9 in first game and 9-8 in second game. The Bison left a combined 19 runners left on base including 10 in the first game.
Sophomore Justin Strong (Charlotte, N.C.) and freshman Dylan Hayes (Endicott, N.Y.) led the Bison offense with five hits in the two games. Senior Mitchell Bensman (Russia, Ohio) added three hits in the losses.
Sophomore pitcher Blake Phillips (Dalton, Ga.) threw a complete game in the first contest as he allowed four runs on nine hits, walked three, four wild pitches and struck out four.
Penn St.-Abington starter Diego Melendez (4-2) went the distance in game one with a nine-inning complete game where he gave up two runs on 10 hits, walked three and five strikeouts. Catcher Tom Ditro had two RBI singles, in the first and eighth innings, to lead the Nittany Lion offense.
Evans (1-6) got roughed up for eight runs (seven earned) on six hits, walked nine, five wild pitches and one strikeout in four innings. Hayes came on in relief and surrendered two runs on two hits, two walks in two innings.
Nittany Lion starter Ted Smallwood (4-0) had five scoreless frames where he gave up six hits and struck out six in his fourth win of the season. Ditro had a three-run triple in the first inning and Max German had a two-run double in the fifth as Penn St.-Abington led 10-0 after five innings.
The Bison will close out their schedule at home next week when they host Penn St.-Harrisburg (11-21) on Tuesday for two games at 2 p.m. before playing a NEAC doubleheader with Penn St.-Berks (15-15, 7-5 NEAC) on Saturday.