Gannon drops three of four to Seton Hill

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The Gannon University baseball team split a two-game homestand against No. 9 Seton Hill with a 7-2 victory and a 6-3 defeat at Gannon University Field Friday before dropping two games and the series Saturday at Seton Hill.

The Knights, who fell to 15-25 overall and 5-19 in PSAC play, used early offense to get ahead of the Griffins as infielder Jared Wiesen blasted a home run on the second pitch of the game. The lead was extended to 4-0 when freshman Matt Oruch hit a three-run homer to right field scoring both Cox brothers – Aaron and Kyle.

Gannon added to the lead in the third inning with a double and the fifth with a two-run bomb from senior Sean Sutton.

Junior ace Aaron Cox (4-5) pitched six scoreless innings, then allowed a pair of RBI-groundouts before sealing the deal on a 7-2 victory.

“I felt I was hitting my spots pretty well and had really good command of all my pitches,” Cox said of his outing. “I got ahead of hitters early in the count, which made it easier to get outs.

“Our offense put up big numbers in the first couple innings – everyone did their job and it was a great team win.”

In game two the Knights faced one of three undefeated pitchers left in the PSAC in Seton Hill’s Brett Sullivan. Gannon was held scoreless through four innings and fell behind 5-0 before closing the gap with a three-run fifth inning.

Redshirt senior Jeff Bellanca singled in a run to get on the board and Aaron Cox followed with a two-out two-run single to center field. The Griffins sealed the game after a run in the top of the seventh and closer Perry DellaValle stranded two Gannon baserunners to end the game 6-3.

Bellanca has been hitting well of late – going 6-for-13 in the Seton Hill series with four runs and an RBI. When asked what his keys were Bellanca said, “I have been seeing the ball really well for most of the year and staying confident in the box, which may be the most important part.”

The series then shifted back to Greensburg and the Knights did not fare as well on the road, where they are 4-12 this season. Gannon was outscored 19-6 in the two losses.

In game three of the series, a 9-4 loss, Sutton blasted a three-run homer for the second consecutive game, but Seton Hill would rattle off nine straight runs for the win.

Gannon lost game four 10-2, giving up the first 10 runs generated by three Griffin home runs and a double. The Knights will conclude the regular season with a four-game series this weekend against Indiana (Pa.). Gannon will host Friday’s doubleheader, which starts at 1 p.m. at Gannon University Field, and the two teams will square off at IUP Saturday at 1 p.m. for a season-ending twinbill.

ADAM BLAZEK

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