Lions Beat Waynesburg in ECAC First Round
ERIE, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team defeated Waynesburg 8-7 in the first round of the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference (ECAC) South Region Tournament on Wednesday afternoon.
The Lions (27-15-1) pounded out 13 hits and scored eight runs en route to advancing to the ECAC semi-finals.
Behrend got out to an early lead with a run in the first. After the Yellow Jackets answered with a single run in the third, the Lions came back with one of their own to regain the lead. Heading into the seventh, Behrend held a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Lions erupted for five runs on seven hits. Ryan Finnegan (Fombell, PA/Riverside) got things started with a one-out triple to right center. On the very next pitch, Ryan Kragnes (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) ripped an RBI single to left for the insurance run.
The Lions would put together four straight hits after that to take command. Matt Bittner (Lancaster, NY/St. Mary's) and Ryan Geibel (East Butler, PA/Butler) each contributed RBI singles. With two outs in the inning, Nathan Junk (Cabot, PA/Knoch) came through with a clutch two-run single, giving Behrend a comfortable 8-2 lead.
The game turned in the top of the ninth though. Waynesburg found some life and suddenly the Yellow Jackets were only down one with runners on first and second. With two outs in the inning, Jay Condit (Seneca Valley, PA/Seneca Valley) was able to record the final out and keep the Lions' season alive.
Ryan Jacobs (Port Vue, PA/South Allegheny) picked up the win on the mound for Behrend with 5.2 innings of work. Jacobs only allowed two runs and struck out eight. Chad Zurat (Clearfield, PA/Clearfield) pitched well out of the pen. Zurat gave up just one hit and struck out three in 2.1 innings.
Both Finnegan and Kragnes went 3-for-3 at the dish with a combined five runs scored to lead the offense.
The Lions will be back in action on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. against Penn State Abington at Wesley College in Dover, Delaware.