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Gallaudet drops NEAC opener to rival Penn St.-Berks

Gallaudet baseball player Kyle Gumm stands on top of second base and is excited and claps his hands together while he stares at the Bison dugout. A Penn St.-Berks player walks in the background behind Gumm.

WASHINGTON - The Gallaudet University baseball team missed an opportunity to pick-up some key North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) games against Penn St.-Berks on a windy and cool Friday afternoon at Hoy Field. GU held a 5-2 lead in the first game against the Nittany Lions but threw away the game with several miscues and lost 11-6. In the second game, Gallaudet kept it close with Penn St.-Berks but couldn't gain the lead as they lost 3-2 after eight innings as the game was called due to darkness.

Game 1: Penn St.-Berks 11, Gallaudet 6
Gallaudet fought hard in the first game and battled back to tie the Nittany Lions twice and even held a 5-2 lead after four innings. Penn St.-Berks outscored the Bison 9-1 the rest of the game as the visitors scored four times in the top of the fifth, twice in the sixth and three times in the seventh. GU committed one of its three errors in three of the four innings that Penn St.-Berks scored runs.

Junior Cameron Upton (Vicksburg, Miss.) smacked a RBI triple to right-center field in the bottom of the third inning to drive in GU's first run. Upton scored, moments later, when senior first baseman Justin Strong (Charlotte, N.C.) doubled to left field as the Bison knotted the game at 2-2.

In the bottom of the fourth, senior center fielder Kyle Gumm (Dallas, Texas) doubled down the left-field line to plate freshman Darren Drolsbaugh (Lansdale, Pa.). Two batters later, Upton singled up the middle to score senior catcher Jake Grindstaff (New Market, Md.) and Gumm as Gallaudet claimed a three-run lead, 5-2.

Freshman pitcher Ethan Denson (Huffman, Texas) walked three batters and had an errant throw during the four-run fifth for the Nittany Lions. The visitors took a brief 6-5 lead before GU answered back with a run in the bottom half to tie the game at six. Drolsbaugh tripled to right field as Strong scored GU's sixth and final run.

GU relief pitcher Quintan Polito (Omaha, Neb.) took his fourth loss of the season as he allowed two runs on two hits and two walks as he recorded no outs in the sixth.

Penn St.-Berks reliever Alex Laudenslager (2-0) earned the win as he threw the final three innings where he allowed one run on three hits, walked two and struck out one.

Game 2: Penn St.-Berks 3, Gallaudet 2
Penn St.-Berks got on the scoreboard twice in the second inning and added a third run in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead before Gallaudet got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the seventh. The Bison (3-19-1, 0-2 NEAC) scored twice but couldn't tie the game as the game was called for darkness in the top of the ninth.

Penn St.-Berks (7-7, 2-0 NEAC) had scored three additional runs in the ninth with no outs but the umpire called the game because of limited visibility and the game went back to the last completed inning where the Nittany Lions led 3-2.

GU manufactured two runs in the seventh as the Bison took advantage of two Nittany Lions errors. Upton had a sacrifice fly to bring home Grindstaff for GU's first run. Sophomore Winston Lane (Brooklyn Center, Minn.) then reached due to a throwing error as senior Dylan Hayes (Endicott, N.Y.) scored.

Hayes, the starting pitcher, went seven innings where he allowed three runs (one earned) on four hits, walked five and struck out five.

Penn St.-Berks starting pitcher Tyler Comport (3-0) threw a complete game where he allowed two unearned runs on four hits, walked four and struck out nine.

Gallaudet will next host Penn St.-Abington (9-7, 1-0 NEAC) on Sunday, April 8, at 1 p.m. at Hoy Field in a conference doubleheader.