W&J Baseball Splits First Two Games In Florida
LAKELAND, Fla. – No. 22 Washington & Jefferson opened its 2013 spring break baseball trip by holding off Plattsburgh State 5-3 in game one of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Henley Field. The Cardinals bounced back to clip the Presidents 3-2 during game two.
After taking a 1-0 lead during the first inning of game one, W&J (4-1) pushed three more runs across in the bottom of the third. Senior second baseman Scott Liller (Moon Township, Pa./Moon) led off with a single, stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. Three batters later, junior right fielder Josh Staniscia (Export, Pa./Franklin Regional) brought Liller home with an RBI single up the middle. W&J tallied a second run by way of a Cardinal error and junior catcher Ronny Peirish (Wexford, Pa./Pine-Richland) plated the third run with an RBI ground out.
The Presidents made the score 5-0 in the fifth inning after junior first baseman D.J. Michalski (Canonsburg, Pa./Canon-McMillan) doubled with one out and later scored on a wild pitch.
Plattsburgh (1-3) battled back with a pair of runs during the sixth frame off of junior pitcher Eddie Nogay (Weirton, W. Va./Madonna), ending the right-hander's 26-inning scoreless streak that dated back to last season.
The first four Cardinal batters reached base in the seventh inning as Plattsburgh closed to within two, but junior right hander Mike Vizzini (Monroeville, Pa./Gateway) retired three-straight batters with the bases loaded to halt Plattsburgh’s momentum. Vizzini struck out a pair during his inning of work to earn his first save.
Nogay picked up his second victory of the season and improved his career record to 12-0 after surrendering just two earned runs in six innings on the mound. He struck out one, while allowing five hits.
Kyle Kelly gave up five runs (four earned) on five hits and was saddled with the loss for Plattsburgh State.
The Cardinals took a 2-1 edge into the top of the seventh inning of game two, but W&J knotted the game behind an RBI single from senior shortstop Mike Beerman (Pittsburgh, Pa./Vincentian). Junior catcher Tyler Schultz (Strongsville, Ohio/Strongsville) reached on a fielding error to start the inning and moved to third two batters later. Beerman followed with a two-out sinking liner that landed just in front of right fielder Mike Vargues, plating pinch runner Cory Bauer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Brentwood).
However, Plattsburgh responded with a run in the bottom of the frame to win the game. Tommy Verdino was hit by a pitch with one out. Following a sacrifice bunt that moved Verdino to second, pinch hitter Casey Brighton knocked him home with a single to center for the walk-off victory.
Michalski led the Presidents with a 4-for-5 day at the plate and three runs scored. Staniscia also tallied four hits, while scoring one run and knocking in one.
Junior right hander Brian O’Neill (Columbus, Ohio/St. Charles Prep) suffered his first loss of the season for W&J. O’Neill struck out six, while giving up three earned runs on four hits in 6.2 innings. Brian Burns earned the victory for the Cardinals after tossing a complete game. He fanned four, while allowing two runs (one earned).
W&J continues play in Florida on Monday when facing SUNY-Brockport at 3:30 pm at Lake Myrtle Field in Auburndale.