BUTLER, Pa. - A six-run first inning led the Kutztown University baseball team to a 6-2 win over Pitt-Johnstown on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championships at Kelly Automotive Park.
The Golden Bears (29-19) advance to the PSAC Championship game for the second time in three years and will face Millersville University on Saturday, May 3 at 12 p.m. The teams split their four-game series during the regular season.
In the six-run first inning, Kutztown erupted for more offense than Thursday's entire first round game against Seton Hill. John Dockins led off with a single to center field and stole second base to put a runner on second with no outs. Brandon Martinez laid down a one-out bunt, and then stole second base to put two runners in scoring position with no outs. It was Martinez's school-record 34th stolen base of the season.
Kyle Stoudt drove in the first run with a RBI single to right field, and was followed by a squeeze play by Brandon Hickey to score Martinez from third for a 2-0 lead. Thomas Romano loaded the bases with a single, and Brandon Cholish drove in two runs with a single to right-center field for a 4-0 lead.
Warren Stimpson laid down a sacrifice bunt to score Romano from third for a 5-0 lead, and following a sacrifice bunt from Derian Sarlat to put two runners in scoring position, Dockins notched his second hit of the inning with a single to score Cholish and cap the six-run inning.
From there, Kutztown pitcher Pat Flynn led the way and retired nine in a row through the first out of the fourth inning off a tremendous diving play by Cholish at third base. Flynn pitched 8+ innings in the first postseason game of his career. He threw 112 pitches and allowed eight hits and two runs with five strikeouts.
Flynn was relieved by Matt Swarmer after allowing a leadoff infield single in the ninth inning. Swarmer allowed one hit in the final inning with one strikeout. He threw 16 pitches for his ninth save of the season.
Romano closed the day 3-for-4 at the plate and is hitting 5-for-6 in the tournament.
York, Pa. – Second-seeded Alvernia University (27-12) scored two runs in the second and three in the third then held on for a 5-4 win over #3 Messiah College (16-19) Friday evening in the losers bracket final of the Commonwealth Conference Baseball Championships at Santander Stadium.
The Crusaders got an RBI-single from Dustin Arnold in the home half of the second after the Falcons had taken a 1-0 lead with a single run in the top half of the inning. With two on and two out, Rory Clemens and Santino Alteri drew back-to-back walks to force in the go-ahead run.
Zach Nadolny reached on an error to open the bottom of the third and scored on a double from Chris Gehris. Jason Clapper doubled in Gehris and another RBI-single from Arnold made it 5-1.
Alvernia had runners reach second in four of the final five innings, but couldn't push across any insurance.
Alvernia returns to the championship series for the second straight season and will face Widener in the first game at noon. The Pride needs just one win to claim the conference title while the Crusaders will need a pair.