Courtesy of John Leisering
MARIETTA, Ohio - The Penn State Behrend baseball team opened play Friday in the NCAA Division III Regionals with an 8-1 loss to #1 seed Rowan University of Glassboro, NJ. The double elimination tournament is taking place at Don and Sue Schaly Field at Pioneer Park. The #6 seeded Lions dropped to 25-12 while the Profs improved to 26-4.
After a scoreless two-and-a-half innings, Rowan scored five two-out runs in the last of the third highlighted by a grand slam by Profs' right fielder Ryan Murphy against Lions' starter, junior Jacob Lindow (Bridgeville, PA/Chartiers Valley). SS Nick Schooley followed with a triple to right center and came home on a base hit by left fielder Ryan Mostrangeli.
The Lions got one back in the fifth on one-out base hits by Anthony Slate (Hopewell, PA/Hopewell), Zack Bowen (Pittsburgh, PA/Serra Catholic), and Jacob Dietz (Erie, PA/McDowell) against Rowan senior Drew Ryback (8-1). Braden Paulinellie (DuBois, PA/DuBois) lined to short and Juston Jones (Moon Township, PA/Moon) flew out
to left to leave two aboard.
Lions' freshman Evan Bromley (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) relieved in the last of the fifth and, after dealing a lead-off hit to Murphy, was replaced by sophomore Derrick Shields. Shields induced a fly ball, then allowed a base hit, walked two, hit a batter and threw two wild pitches as the Profs extended their lead to 7-1 through five.
Rowan added its final run in the 7th on two singles sandwiched around an infield groundout.
Ryback retired 13 of the last 14 Behrend hitters he faced in pitching his third complete game of the season. The Profs have now won seven straight.
LF Colin Harger and CF Slate had two hits apiece for the Lions. Murphy finished with three hits and four RBIs for the Profs. Both teams played errorless ball.
Behrend will play Rochester at 11am Friday. That will be an elimination game.
This is Penn State Behrend's sixth trip to the NCAAs, the first since 2013. The Profs are in the NCAAs for the 27th time, the first since 2019. Rowan and Penn State Behrend met for the first-time ever in baseball.
Head Coach Paul Benim post-game: "Rowan is the No. 1 seed for a reason. Their starter was excellent."
Starting pitcher Jacob Lindow: "I felt good today. I got their clean-up hitter out on a change the first time. But he got me on the same pitch the second time around."
Left fielder Colin Harger (Pittsburgh, PA/Shaler): "They're a great team. We had a few line drive outs in the game. But we've been down before. We'll be ready to play tomorrow."