By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. — The Penn State Beaver men's baseball team hosted PSUAC rival Penn State New Kensington on Thursday and fell in a close game 10-7.
New Kensington took an early lead over Beaver with three runs in the top of the third (3-0). Beaver finally got on the board after freshman Noah Rinker (Ellwood City/Lincoln) singled to right center to send freshman Trey Luffy (Baldwin) to second, who then advanced to third on the throw, and sent junior Shelton Hilliard (Baden/Ambridge) home (3-1). Rowland then grounded out to the pitcher to drive-in sophomore Lucas Mansell (Beaver Falls/Riverside) to get the score close at 3-2. But it was short-lived as New Kensington put up seven more runs to but Beaver down 10-2 at the top of the sixth, put the Lions then added two more runs to wrap the sixth (10-4). At the bottom of the ninth, Rinker doubled-in freshman Jacob Beck (Beaver) followed by Rowland hitting a double down the left field line to drive-in Rinker and Hilliard, totaling three runs. However, it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit, and the Lions lost 10-7.
Rinker led the offense, where he went 3 for 5 and had 2 RBIs followed by freshman Christian James (Mechanicsburg/Cumberland Valley), who went 3 for 5 with 1 RBI. Rowland led the team in RBIs, earning three against New Kensington.
Junior Scott Hughes (Aliquippa/Central Valley) picked up the loss on the mound today (L, 2-4). He pitched the first 4.0 innings and gave up eight hits and struck out four of the 24 batters he faced and was relieved by freshman Johnny Rowland (Wellsboro), who pitched the last 5.0 inning and faced the final 21 batters.
After today's loss against New Kensington, Beaver sits at an 8-13 record for the season and is 1-6 in the conference.
Beaver will now face Penn State New Kensington in a road doubleheader Saturday, April 6. Game one begins at 1 p.m. and game two is at 3 p.m.