The Mercyhurst pitching staff held Gannon to a pair of runs over 14 innings and swept a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) doubleheader Thursday afternoon at the Mercyhurst baseball field. The Lakers earned the sweep by scores of 4-0 and 4-2.
In the opener, Mercyhurst scored all the runs it would need with a three-run outburst during the bottom of the first inning. The Lakers added an insurance run during the bottom of the fourth inning, before settling for a 4-0 shutout.
Taylor Anderson (Niagara Falls, Ontario/A.N. Myer Secondary) was perfect in three at-bats for Gannon. The redshirt junior accounted for three of the Golden Knights’ five hits. Sean Sutton (Toronto, Ontario/Brebeuf College) and Aaron Cox (Dorchester, N.J./Millville) recorded the other two hits.
Gannon struck first during the nightcap with a run in the top of the third inning. Jeff Bellanca (Grand Island, N.Y./St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute) led off the frame with a double to right center field. The redshirt junior advanced to third on a ground-out and scored on Anderson’s two-out single to left field.
Mercyhurst answered with the tying score during the bottom of the fourth inning, but Gannon forged back ahead during its next at-bat. Bellanca kick started the rally again with a lead-off single followed by a Nick Lombardo (McKean, Pa./General McLane) bunt single and a Jared Wiesen (Girard, Ohio/Liberty) single through the left side. Bellanca then scored the go-ahead run after Anderson was hit by a pitch. But a chance to produce a cushion was wiped out when back-to-back strikeouts left the bases loaded.
The missed opportunity proved costly almost immediately. Mercyhurst assumed a 4-2 lead with three runs during its half of the inning. Dan Popio’s two-run single pushed the Lakers ahead, before Giancarlo Saia’s two-out RBI single provided an insurance run.
Gannon stranded a pair of runners on base during the sixth inning and went down in order during its final at-bat in the seventh inning. Bellanca finished 3-for-3 with two runs. Wiesen, Anderson and Lombardo recorded one hit each.
Head coach Nate Cocolin‘s club dropped to 6-14 overall and 2-4 in the PSAC Western Division with Thursday’s setbacks. Mercyhurst improved to 13-5 overall and 5-1 in divisional play.