The Mercyhurst North East Saints baseball team picked up a weekend sweep of Lakeland Community College this past weekend. On Sunday, the Saints won both games 4-3 and 4-2, respectively, before picking up 6-2 and 15-14 wins on Monday.
MNE starting pitcher Jack Tumulty settled in early going 6 2/3 innings while scattering 7 hits to go along with 3 runs, both earned, fanning 10 batters, and allowing no walks before running into some trouble late in the game. Sophomore Nathan McKenrick picked up the win for the Saints, coming in the seventh inning in a 3-3 tie with an inherited runner on second base. All it took McKenrick was one pitch to induce a groundball to the shortstop stopping the threat and allowing the Saints to win it in the bottom of the seventh.
In the second inning, the Saints got on the board, after Aaron Pawlak led off the frame with a single. Then back-to-back home runs by Tyler Cannon and Eric Fermier gave the MNE a 3-0 lead. Tumulty would take that 3-0 lead and run with it. Throwing a scoreless third and fourth, before running into some trouble in the top of the fifth. A single by Lakeland's Jacob Nagy, followed by a home run by Jonathan Johnson would put the Lakers on the board. Then in the top of the seventh inning, Johnson would again homer, to tie the game at 3, before McKenrick would enter to stop the damage any further. In the bottom of the seventh, Cannon would start the rally for the Saints by drawing a walk. A Fermier sacrifice bunt would move him to second, before JoVan McClatchey would be intentionally walked. Kyle Shingledecker would hit a ground ball to the right side to move both runners over. That set the stage for sophomore Jason Swope. He would hit a line drive single over the shortstop to win it for the Saints. McKenrick got the win for the Saints, improving to 2-3 on the year, while Hudson Widrig took the loss for the Lakers.
In game two of the afternoon, Lakeland would get on the board first in the top of the second, after Matt Detering led off the frame with a double and would later score on a Jonathan Johnson single. The Saints would answer in the bottom of the third when Brandon Scheidemantle drew a lead-off walk. After an Eric Fermier single would allow him to move from first to third, a sacrifice fly by Aaron Pawlak would score him. Then, after a Jason Swope fly ball was misplayed by the center
fielder, Fermier would come all the way around to score as well. MNE starting pitcher Jacob Harsany would go back out in the third with a 2-1 lead and throw three scoreless innings, before turning the ball over to Kyle Shingledecker in the sixth.
The Saints would plate another run in the fifth inning after JoVan McClatchey would draw a walk, before quickly swiping second base. Then a single by Swope would allow McClatchey to come around to score. In the bottom of the sixth, the Saints would pick up another insurance run, which would prove to be big. After Shingledecker got himself into some trouble in the bottom of the seventh, allowing one more Laker run to score, he would induce two fly-outs to secure the save, as well as the day one sweep for the Saints. Jacob Harsany (2-1) picked up the win for the Saints after throwing five innings of five hit ball, while only surrendering one run, and striking out four. Shingledecker would earn his first save of the season, while Andrew Smith took the loss for the Lakers.
On Monday, the Saints faithful would see two completely different games. In game one of the afternoon freshman Richard Handel would be magnificent for the Saints. Going six innings, while allowing two runs, on three hits, and striking out seven. The Saints would get on the board in the bottom of the third, after Pawlak drew a lead-off hit by pitch. Then a Swope walk, followed by Nicholas Petrolla being hit by a pitch, would bring up Luke Baranchak. An error by the third baseman, would allow two MNE baserunners to come around to score. Then, later in the inning, Petrolla would score on a passed ball giving the Saints a 3-0. Handel went back out with a three- run lead in his back pocket and proved that that was all the freshman southpaw would need.
Lakeland would pick up one run in both the fourth inning, as well as the fifth inning, but in the bottom of the fifth the Saints would answer. After back-to-back singles by Baranchak and Cannon, Robert Korff would launch a homerun over the left field fence to give the Saints a 6-2 lead. Nathan McKenrick would come in and throw a perfect seventh inning for the Saints securing the victory. Handel moves to 1-2 on the year, while David Kalinowski took the loss for Lakeland.
Game four of the weekend would prove to be a wild one. The Saints would score 12 runs in the bottom of the first inning, before the Lakeland bats would show their life as well. Aaron Pawlak would lead off the inning with a walk. Then Tyler Cannon would single. After a ball was misplayed by the left fielder, both runs would come into score. Baranchak would triple,
scoring another Saints run. After a Petrolla single would score Baranchak, Brandon Scheidemantle drew a walk, and Eric Fermier singled, allowing Petrolla to score. After a JoVan McClacthey walk, Pawlak would double allowing two more runs to score. Back-to-back singles by Swope and Baranchak, then two singles by Korff and Scheidemantle would plate more runs for the Saints. When. The dust finally cleared, 17 MNE hitters had come up to the plate and 12 runs were scored.
The Lakers however, showed that they were not about to just go down without a fight. After scoring four runs in the second inning, they would then score one run in the each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings. Then in the top of the sixth, they would plate five more runs, making the game 15-12 in favor of the Saints. For the third time on the weekend, and the second time of the afternoon, Nathan McKenrick would take the ball in the seventh for the Saints. After getting two runs in the frame early, the Lakers had a man on second, with the Saints clinging to a 15-14 lead, McKenrick would get a groundout, strikeout, and fly out to secure the victory for the Saints, as well as the weekend sweep. Sophomore Michael Nuzzo (1-0) picked up the win for the Saints, while McKenrick secured his first save of the season. Aidan Findlay took the loss for the Lakers.
With the sweep, the Saints improve to 10-14 (7-3 in OCCAC) on the year. They will take the momentum on the road next weekend as they travel to Clark State for a four-game series set for Friday and Saturday April 13th and 14th.