MCCANDLESS, Pa. - The Penn State Behrend baseball team advanced to the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) championship game Sunday against La Roche, defeating Pitt-Bradford 5-4 in an elimination game Saturday afternoon.
After dropping game one to La Roche, the Lions (25-18) faced elimination in game two against the Panthers.
Behrend jump out to a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. With two outs, Zach Murray (Pittsburgh, PA/Baldwin) singled to center field, scoring Mason McGuire (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair). With Justin Foreman (Oakdale, PA/South Fayette) at the plate, Ryan Hamm (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) advanced home on a balk by the Bradford pitcher. Foreman then followed with a single to left, scoring Murray for the third run of the game.
Foreman got things going in the fifth with an infield single and then moved into scoring position after Kyle Lewis (McMurray, PA/Peters Township) laid down a sacrifice bunt. Brian Bohman singled to make it first and third with one out. Sada then grounded out to shortstop, scoring Foreman, and making it 4-1 in favor of the Lions.
Bradford tied the game at 4-all with a home run in the top of the fifth, but Behrend added a run the next half inning to take back the lead. Holden Stevanus (Erie, PA/Cathedral Prep) was brought in to pinch run for McGuire, who led off with a walk. Brandon Bergstrom (Pittsburgh, PA/North Allegheny) moved Stevanus to second with a sac bunt. He then advanced to third on a wild pitch and eventually scored on a sac fly hit by Hamm.
Jack Herzing (St. Mary's, PA/Elk County Catholic) pitched 7.2 innings on the mound for the Lions allowing just four hits and striking out nine. He now has a career-high 80 strikeouts on the season as is just four-shy of breaking the all-time single season record.
Sada picked up the win on the mound after pitching 1.1 innings in relief, striking out a pair. He also added a hit and an RBI.
David Boehme (Ventetia, PA/Seton-La Salle) and Foreman each registered two hits in the game.
In game one, La Roche put together a nine-run fourth inning that fueled their 14-5 victory over the Lions.
Bohman crossed the plate in the top of the first to give Behrend the early lead. He reached first on a fielder's choice and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Scott Sada (Saegertown, PA/Saegertown) then came to the dish and singled to move Bohman to third. The Redhawk's short stop made an error on the next play, scoring bohman and giving the Lions the 1-0 lead.
The following inning, Behrend scored four runs to break the 1-all tie and move ahead 5-1. With two outs and two on, Bohman hit an RBI single to make it a 2-1 ball game. Sada followed with a three-run blast giving the Lions a four-run lead.
However, the Lions were unable to maufacture any more runs as La Roche went on to score 12 unanswered runs over the remainder of the game.
Hamm went 4-for-4 in game one while sada went a perfect 3-for-3 with 3 RBI and a run scored
Behrend and La Roche will face off in the AMCC championship game for the third-straight year. First pitch is slated for 10 a.m. followed by game two if necessary.