FORT PIERCE, Fl. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team came up on the wrong side of a 3-2 game against Dominican University on Tuesday morning.
After evening the score at 2-all in the top of the ninth, a couple of errors in the bottom of the ninth from the Lions (1-4) allowed the Stars (4-3) to score the go-ahead run to end the game.
Behrend got a quality start from senior righty Alex Hajduk (Cranberry Township, PA/Seneca Valley) who lasted 6.2 innings in his first start of the season. Hajduk allowed just one run in the second inning before settling in and hanging zeros in the third, fourth, and fifth before surrendering a second run in the sixth. In total, he was charged with two runs on five hits, while also tying a career-high seven strikeouts in the game.
In a 2-0 game in favor of Dominican heading into the eighth, David Boehme (Venetia, PA/Seton-La Salle) lashed a double down the third base line that scored Ryan Hamm (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) for the Lions' first run of the game, bringing the score to 2-1.
With the game on the line in the top of the ninth, Justin Foreman (Oakdale, PA/South Fayette) got things started for the Lions with a lead-off double, putting the tying run in scoring position.
Behrend put in the speedy Holden Stevanus (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) to pinch run for Foreman, which worked as planned. On a failed pickoff attempt, Stevanus successfully advanced to third base. The next batter, Ian Taylor's (Wexford, PA/Vincentian Academy) infield groundout drove in Stevanus to tie the game at 2-all.
The inning came to a close for the Lions, and now it was time to play defense in order to keep the game alive. After the first batter lined out to center field, the next batter, Nick Roeper, reached first base from an error.
With one on and one out, Dominican's Nathaniel Natividad lined out in the infield, notching the second out in the bottom of the ninth. However, freshman infielder Ryan Simak was able to get on base from another Behrend error, scoring Roeper to end the game.
Eric Mikulan (Pittsburgh, PA/Hampton) pitched the final two innings for the Lions, sitting down two batters, while also allowing one hit and one run. Mikulan picked up his first loss of the season.
Hamm went 2-for-3 with two singles while Foreman and Taylor both batted 2-for-4 in the game.
The Lions look to bounce back in the win column tomorrow afternoon when they battle against Maritime. Game time is set for 3 p.m.