The Gannon University baseball team moved to a 20-12 overall record after splitting a four-game series over the weekend against the University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown.
On Friday Johnstown traveled to Gannon’s home turf — McConnell Family Stadium — and swept two from the Knights, 7-3 and 2-1.
On Saturday, Gannon hit back with two well-played games at Johnstown, winning 11-6 and 15-3.
Knights coach Greg Coleman was very pleased with his team’s performance Saturday, remarking “if we have this offensive firepower every game, we’ll be unstoppable this season.”
In Friday’s first game, Johnstown got off to a quick start, sending eight batters to the plate in the first inning and scoring four runs. The assault continued in the next inning with back-to-back doubles by Jack Shrink and Scott Thompson to put the Mountain Cats up 6-0.
Gannon plated its first two runs in the bottom of the second after singles from Ian Steighner and Cody Callaway followed by Jared Beach’s double. In the next inning the Knights loaded the bases with no outs, but they managed to bring only one runner home as the Mountain Cats turned a double play to maintain a 6-3 lead.
Johnstown scored its final run in the top of the sixth to wrap up the win.
Game two began with impressive pitching from Gannon’s David Cricks, who didn’t allow any hits in the first inning and had a 1-2-3 inning in the second. UPJ broke a scoreless tie in the fourth with a pair of runs and the Mountain Cats held on for the win.
The Knights managed their only run in the sixth inning on Elijah Quiceno’s sacrifice fly to bring Nate Cardy home.
Traveling to Johnstown the following day, the Knights showed impressive play at the plate with double-digit runs in both games.
Gannon scored first in the second on Quiceno’s RBI single and then found its groove in the fourth inning, sending 11 batters to the plate for a six-run outburst. Dominic Mori’s two-run homer highlighted the rally, which also included Mike Colosi’s RBI single.
UPJ answered with one run in the fourth, two in the fifth, and one in the sixth to close the gap to 7-4.
But the Knights added four more runs in the seventh, sparked by Cardy’s two-run triple. Mori also singled home a run.
Gannon’s offensive success continued in game two. Matt Oruch went 3-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored while Mori added two hits, scored three times and drove in a run.
Cardy and Kyle Cox each drove in a run for Gannon, which built a 4-0 lead before putting the game away with an eight-run fifth inning.
Gannon and UPJ combined for a total of 22 hits, each tallying 11 in the game, and none went for extra bases. Ryan Vargo claimed the pitching victory, going six innings, allowing three runs and striking out nine.
Gannon has been off to a good start this season, winning or splitting all four Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference series thus far. The Knights stand at 10-6 in the PSAC.
Gannon is scheduled to entertain Malone in a nonconference game at 2 p.m. Wednesday at McConnell Family Stadium.
The Knights will return to PSAC action at 1 p.m. Friday at home against California University of Pennsylvania.