BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Moravian College baseball team fell to nationally-ranked #12 Misericordia University, 6-5 in ten innings, Tuesday afternoon. The Greyhounds erased a three-run deficit in the eighth inning to send the game to extra innings, but the Cougars put one run on the board in the tenth to win it.
Sophomore pitcher Rob Solano would start the game for Moravian. He would get the first batter to fly out, and then give up a double to junior third baseman Dylan Mazzo. Solano then forced a ground out, but junior outfielder Kenny Durling would get a single to bring the run across for a 1-0 lead.
Junior pitcher Pete Doggett would get the nod for the Cougars, and he would get a 1-2-3 inning off of a fly out and two ground outs.
Senior designated hitter Bubba Jasinski would start the top of the second with a walk, and senior outfielder Nate Hamlin drove him home with a RBI double to right field for a 2-0 lead. Solano would get two strikeouts and a fly out in the inning.
Senior first baseman Kevin O'Keefe would single to the pitcher to start the bottom of the second. He then reached second on a wild pitch and moved to third after a ground out. Senior third baseman Gregg Steinman would drive him home on a ground out to the shortstop to make the score 2-1 after two innings.
Solano would hit a batter in the top of the third, but get three strikeouts to end the inning.
Doggett would load the bases for Moravian in the bottom of the third, but would leave the inning unscathed.
Jasinski would get on by way of an error in the top of the fourth. Senior outfielder Jeff Slanovec followed with a single through the left side. Hamlin then tried to sacrifice bunt the runners over, but would reach base on an error by the pitcher. Senior catcher Chris Tuttle grounded into a fielder's choice, but an error by the first baseman would bring two runs home on the play for a 4-1 lead.
Junior second baseman Andrew Tressa started the top of the fifth for Misericordia with a lead-off double. Durling followed with a single through the left side. Senior pitcher Kyle Longernecker would come on in for relief for Solano. Longernecker would strikeout the first batter he faced for the first out. Senior catcher Blake Shortall then threw out Durling at second caught stealing. Slanovec then drove home Tressa with a single through the left side for a 5-1 lead.
Sophomore outfielder Harrison Fonteix would get on by way of the walk in the bottom of the fifth. He would work his way to third base, where classmate second baseman Daniel Seitzinger would drive him home with a RBI single to make the score 5-2, Misericordia.
Longernecker would keep the score at 5-2 after the top of the sixth by throwing a 1-2-3 inning off of a fly out, ground and strikeout.
Senior shortstop Dave Zubia and O'Keefe would both get hit by a pitch in the bottom of the eighth. Senior designated hitter Austin Rock followed with a deep double to center field to drive in two runs. Freshman Chris Lansberry would come into pinch run for Rock, and would move to third after a ground out. Freshman outfielder Matt Hanson then reached on an error by the second baseman while Lansberry scored to know the contest at five after eight innings.
Longernecker would strike out the side in the top of the ninth to keep the score tied at five going into the bottom half of the ninth.
Seitzinger would sneak a single through the right side with one out, but junior pitcher Mike Pena would get out of the inning unscathed as this game would go to extra innings.
Durling and Jasinski would get back-to-back one-out singles for the Cougars in the top of the tenth. Slanovec followed with a single through the left side to put Misericordia up 6-5 after the top of the tenth.
Freshman pitcher Corey Lee would come in for the Cougars to try and get the save. He would get the first batter to ground out. Lee then walked Hanson. Lee then forced a line out double play to end the game.
Longnecker took the loss for Moravian after pitching six innings in relief and giving up one run while striking out five. Solano went four innings, struck out seven and allowed three earned runs.
Seitzinger went 2-for-5 with a RBI while Rock went 2-for-3 with two RBIs. O'Keefe went 1-for-3 with two runs scored while Steinman and Hanson both had one RBI.
Pena picked up the win for the Cougars and Lee earned his third save of the year. Doggett went 7.1 innings while allowing four earned runs. Durling went 3-for-5 with a RBI while Jasinski had two runs scored. Slanovec went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and a run scored while Hamlin went 1-for-4 with one RBI.
Moravian returns to action on Thursday, March 29th as they host non-conference opponents Montclair State University. First pitch is set for 3:30 p.m. at Gillispie Field.