PITTSBURGH, Pa. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team opened Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) action Saturday afternoon, getting swept by No. 22 La Roche 9-3 and 12-7.
The Redhawks (13-4, 2-0 AMCC) plated five runs in the bottom of the first inning to hold a comfortable lead early against the Lions (7-8, 0-2 AMCC).
After David Boehme (Venetia, PA/Seton-La Salle) and Mason McGuire (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair) hit back-to-back doubles, John Brittner (Zelienople, PA/Seneca Valley) hit a single to score Boehme and get Behrend on the board.
In the fourth inning, the Lions showed some hope of making a comeback. With two outs, Brittner singled to put a runner on for Behrend. After Justin Foreman (Oakdale, PA/South Fayette) was walked, Zach Murray (Pittsburgh, PA/Baldwin) was able to reach first base on an error from a La Roche infielder, scoring Brittner from second. The next batter, Ben Ramey (Export, PA/Franklin Regional), lashed a single to score Foreman, cutting the lead to 5-3.
However, the Redhawks ended the short-lived comeback quickly. They posted two runs in the bottom of the fourth, followed by two more runs in the sixth to end the game at 9-3.
Jack Herzing (St. Mary's, PA/Elk County Catholic) threw 5 innings, giving up seven runs on eight hits. He struck out 10 batters in his third loss of the season.
Boehme went 2-for-4 with two doubles, while Brittner batted 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.
In game two, after trailer 7-4 in the bottom of the fifth, the Redhawks hit a grand slam to take a 10-7 advantage they would not relinquish.
The Lions got their bats going early in the second game, exploding for five runs in the second inning. With two runners on, singles for Murray, Ian Taylor (Wexford, PA/Vincentian Academy), and Scott Sada (Saegertown, PA/Saegertown), followed by a sacrifice fly from Boehme drove in five runs for Behrend, giving them a 5-1 advantage through two.
The Lions added another run the next inning to extend the lead. However, La Roche chipped away and got a few of those runs back from a two-run homerun by Jay Novak.
After Behrend tallied one more run in the seventh, the floodgates opened up for the Redhawks. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Joe Professori belted a grand slam to give them a 10-7 edge.
The Redhawks held the Lions to only register two hits in the final four innings of the contest, while also adding two more runs to top the game off at 12-7.
Taylor went 3-for-5 with three singles in game two.
Brandon Smail (Apollo, PA/Kiski Area) posted his first loss of the season.
Behrend is back in action Monday on their home diamond for a games at 1 and 4 p.m. against Bethany.