March 20, 2012
BUTLER, Pa. - Penn State Fayette managed a 1-1 split with Butler Community College in a non-conference baseball doubleheader on Tuesday afternoon, coming back to win game one, 12-10, before falling 8-5 in game two.
Freshman Connor McKeel (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) picked up the win in relief in game one, going two innings and giving up two earned runs while striking out three, and senior Sam Beucher (Connellsville, Pa.) earned the save as the Roaring Lions (2-8) scored five runs in the top of the seventh to win game one.
Eight Fayette starters had hits in the opener, with five having at least two hits. Junior Cody Ward (Connellsville, Pa.), sophomore Alex Fogle (Connellsville, Pa.) and Beucher each had three hits in game one, while senior Zach Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.) and freshman Colvin Adey (Connellsville, Pa.) added two hits apiece. Beucher finished with four RBIs, while Durbin, Fogle and freshman Harold McCutcheon (Claysville, Pa.) each plated two.
The Roaring Lions opened up with three runs in the top of the first as Ward singled to left and eventually scored on Fogle's single. Beucher and Adey followed with run scoring singles to give Fayette a quick 3-0 advantage. Butler answered with seven runs in the home half of the second, but Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.) held Butler to only one other run in his four innings on the mound.
Down 7-3, Fayette answered with two runs of their own in the top of the third. After singles from Fogle, Beucher and Adey to load the bases with no outs, Butler forced a double play groundout. McCutcheon (Claysville, Pa.) singled down the left field line to plate Beucher and Adey and cut the Butler lead to 7-5. Ward came around to score after a single in the fourth to make it 7-6, but Butler added a run in the fourth to extend their lead to two. A sacrifice fly from Beucher in the top of the sixth brought Fayette within one once again, but Butler added two more in the sixth off of McKeel to grab a 10-7 lead.
In the top of the seventh, a strikeout, walk and groundout left a runner on second base with two outs. Ward reached on an error, advancing freshman AJ Tworzydlo (Centerville, Pa.) to third. Three straight RBI singles from junior Nolan Zavora (Charleroi, Pa.), Durbin and Fogle tied the score at 10-10. Beucher then cracked a double to left-center to plate Durbin and Fogle and give Fayette a 12-10 lead. Beucher pitched a perfect seventh inning, forcing a groundout and two strikeouts, to earn the save.
Butler got off to the fast start in game two, plating three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Fayette answered with runs in both the second and third innings, as sophomore Braden Royer (Greensburg, Pa.) doubled home Beucher in the second and Fogle plated Durbin in the third to leave Fayette trailing 3-2. Butler answered with three more runs in the third for a 6-2 lead. Fayette managed two runs on only one hit in the top half of the fourth, as Ward scored on a wild pitch and Durbin singled home Zavora to make it 6-4. But Butler kept the pressure on, scoring two more runs in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run home run for an 8-4 lead. Adey singled home Beucher in the top of the fifth, but it would be the final time Fayette would score.
Starting pitcher Jonathan Eicher (Uniontown, Pa.) took the loss with four innings of work, giving up eight runs on eight hits while striking out five. McCutcheon struck out five in two innings of relief work, giving up two hits and no runs. Durbin finished game two 4-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Beucher finished 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Fayette returns to action on Saturday, March 24 at 2:00 p.m. when they host Penn State Wilkes-Barre in their conference opener at Hutchinson Park in Hopwood, Pa.