Gannon explodes for 20-0 win

The Gannon University baseball team currently holds a 10-10 record with nearly a month of the season in the books. The team began the season with tournament play, posting a 7-5 record in the Russ-Matt Invitational in Winter Haven, Fla. Now, with the Knights back in Erie, they’ve driven to 3-5 in the past eight games including a four-game series split with PSAC rival Slippery Rock University over the weekend.

Coach Nate Cocolin said the season began like it often does.

“We started slow offensively, but we were still pitching well,” Cocolin said. “A lot of times that’s how it happens, you start off slow swinging the bats, and that’s what we saw when we started off conference play.”

But the Knights bucked the trend over the weekend, when they broke out for a 20-0 win in the second half of a double-header Sunday at Slippery Rock University.

Gannon senior right-hander Landon Wahl earned PSAC Pitcher of the Week honors for his performance in Sunday’s second game against the Rock. Wahl (1-2, 4.43 ERA) threw a complete-game shutout, allowing only five singles while recording five strikeouts and walking none. Sunday’s game was Wahl’s fourth career complete game and first career shutout.

In the 20-0 rout, senior shortstop Tim Lipp hit a two-run homer in the first and junior designated hitter Michael Tomko lumbered a three-run blast in the seventh. Tomko has started every game and already has four homers and 17 RBIs on the season, which leads the team.

“They were able to stay back on off-speed pitches, and everyone in the lineup collectively contributed,” Cocolin said. “We had everyone in the lineup give us a boost, rather than having just one or two hitting like we had before.”

Slippery Rock starting pitcher Anthony Naso (0-2, 5.25) took the loss after pitching one inning, in which he faced nine batters and allowed four runs.

Gannon returns to the home diamond Friday against Clarion University, with the doubleheader beginning at 1 p.m. Clarion currently sits atop the west division of the PSAC with a 4-0 record in conference play.

Cocolin said the Knights’ objective is to win every series.

“Our goal is to go 3-1 every weekend,” he said. “If we do this, we feel we have a good chance at making the playoffs.”



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