CHILLICOTHE, Oh. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team opened their season dropping their first two games against Franklin Sunday afternoon.
The Grizzlies (2-0) got out to a hot start in game one. They jumped out to a 6-0 lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first to get things started. The Lions (0-2), struggling to find their groove, got on the board in the fifth inning with one run. Behrend added two more runs in the seventh inning, but fell in the first game of the season by the score of 15-3.
Mason McGuire (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair) went 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of singles. Ryan Hamm (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) batted 2-for-4 with three RBIs while David Boehme (Venetia, PA/Seton-La Salle) and Ian Taylor (Wexford, PA/Vincentian Academy) each went 2-for-4 in the game.
Jack Herzing (St. Mary's, PA/Elk County Catholic) posted his first loss of the season on the mound. He pitched three and two-thirds innings, allowing six runs, three of them were earned runs, struck out five and walked three batters.
Nathan Mayes (North East, PA/North East) came in for two innings and sat down four, while Ben Ramey (Export, PA/Franklin Regional) pitched one inning, striking out three. Alex Hajduk (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) threw one and one-thirds innings.
In game two against Franklin, McGuire hit a single as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the first to put a man on. Later in the inning, Boehme connected on a two-out double that drove in McGuire for a 1-0 lead after one.
The lead didn't last for long though. Franklin scored three runs in the top of the second, then followed with two more in the third to hold a 5-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the third.
Once Scott Sada (Saegertown, PA/Saegertown) got on base in the third inning, after advancing to second due to a wild pitch, he stole third base to put the Lions in a good position. Boehme stepped up to the plate, and smacked another double to drive in Sada for another run. Boehme ended up scoring in the inning as well, cutting the lead and making the score 5-3.
In the fifth inning, after the Grizzlies tallied a couple more runs, Behrend scored three more runs that helped cut the deficit and put the Lions down by one with the score 7-6. From there, Franklin took control of the game by scoring the next eight runs to end the game with a final score of 15-6.
McGuire ended the game 2-for-5 while Sada and Boehme each went 2-for-4 in the tough loss.
Phil Myers (DuBois, PA/DuBois Central Catholic) picked up the start for Behrend, pitching five innings and striking out five batters. Brandon Smail (Apollo, PA/Kiski Area) tossed three innings, sitting down three and walking two. Eric Mikulan (Pittsburgh, PA/Hampton) came in for two-thirds of an inning and Brady Kress (Zelienople, PA/Seneca Valley) pitched for one-third of an inning.
Behrend is back on the diamond on March 4 when they travel Fort Pierce, Florida. They will face-off against Elizabethtown at 2 p.m.