The Mercyhurst North East Saints baseball team won four of five games against Region III foe Monroe Community College in games spanning from Thursday through Sunday. The first two games were played at Monroe, while the the final three of the series were played at Hirtzel Field in North East, PA.
In game one of the series, the Saints tallied 21 total hits and used a five run third inning capped by a Robert Korff grand slam to take control of the game early and get the win by a score of 20-11. Freshman Aaron Pawlak tallied three hits in the game, including his first career home run to go along with a double and four RBI's. Korff had a big day at the plate going 5-6. The home run was his fifth of the year, while also providing a double and four RBI's for the Saints. Tyler Cannon, Jason Swope, and Luke Baranchak each had three hits apiece, while JoVan McClatchey and Nicholas Petrolla had two each. Freshman Richard Handel got the win for the Saints, improving to 2-2, going six innings, while giving up five earned runs, on five hits, striking out six.
In game two, the Saints scored ten runs in the first three innings and held on to win by a score of 10-7. Korff led the way once again with three hits, two of them being doubles, while driving in three runs. Petrolla and Baranchak each tallied two hits each. Freshman Jacob Harsany improved to 3-1 on the year going five innings, giving up 2 earned on four hits, striking out two. Ryan Rapp came into the game in a bases loaded, one out jam and struck out the only two batters he faced to stop any Tribune threat in the seventh. Jack Tumulty earned his first save of the year for the Saints throwing two innings, striking out four.
The Saints stayed hot in game three using a balanced attack to pull out an 8-6 victory. Aaron Pawlak, Tyler Cannon, Luke Baranchak, and JoVan McClatchey each tallied two hits for the Saints, while Baranchak also stole three bases. Freshman Ryan Rapp got the win for the Saints improving to 2-0 on the year after throwing 1 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, while striking out three. Freshman Casey Radka started for the Saints going six innings, while giving up five runs, three earned and striking out five.
Game four proved to be the most interesting game of the weekend, as the teams would give the fans two extra innings of free baseball. The Saints pulled off the win in 11 innings after an Eric Fermier ground ball was misplayed and allowed Robert Korff to score from third to walk it off for the Saints by a score of 4-3. Baranchak and Korff each had three hits each, while Korff also provided two triples for the Saints. Freshman Steven Adamson got the win after throwing two
innings in relief for the Saints. Starter Joseph Gammon went seven innings, giving up 2 runs on three hits, and striking out six.
Despite losing the game 14-9, the Saints still managed to tally 15 hits in the game. Eric Fermier went 3-5 with three RBI's, while Logan Eckles thad four for the Saints, and Brandon Scheidemantle had two. Sophomore Michael Nuzzo threw 4 1/3 of quality relief work giving up three earned runs and striking out four. Starting pitcher Kyle Shingledecker took the loss for the Saints and moves to 1-1 on the year.
By winning the five-game series, the Saints have clinched home field advantage for the Region III series which is slated to begin May 11th. With the wins, the Saints record improved to 17-15 on the year, and the loss ended an 11-game win streak. The Saints will be back in action this weekend as they take on Eastern Gateway CC in OCCAC action with a four-game series is set for Friday and Saturday.