Late Runs Boost Roaring Lions in Win at CCAC Boyce
MONROEVILLE, Pa. - Penn State Fayette baseball used a late surge to grab a 12-7 win in non-conference action at CCAC Boyce on Tuesday afternoon.
The Roaring Lions (10-17, 5-9 PSUAC) scored 10 runs over the final three innings to push past Boyce and turn a 7-5 deficit into a five-run lead. Senior Zach Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.) earned the win in relief, giving up only two hits over 2 2/3 innings while striking out three.
Four Fayette starters had multi-hit games, as Durbin added two doubles and two RBIs for Fayette, while senior Sam Beucher (Connellsville, Pa.) added three hits and four RBIs, including his first triple of the season. Junior Cody Ward (Connellsville, Pa.) added three hits and two runs scored, while sophomore Nolan Zavora (Charleroi, Pa.) added a single and a double.
The game remained scoreless through two innings, but Fayette took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third on a sacrifice fly by Beucher, pushing across sophomore Chris Jeffrey (Garard's Fort, Pa.), who walked to lead off the inning.
Fayette extended their lead to 2-0 in the top of the fourth when freshman Colvin Adey (Connellsville, Pa.) walked to lead off the inning and eventually scored on a passed ball.
Starting pitcher Connor McKeel (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) remained strong through five innings, giving up only one run in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Dan Darnell. McKeel, who gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings, was relieved in the sixth after being touched up for Boyce's second run. Zavora induced a double play to get out of the inning and keep the score knotted at 2-2.
The Roaring Lions took a 5-2 lead in the seventh on the strength of three hits. Zavora led off with a double and would score on a single to left field by sophomore Alex Fogle (Connellsville, Pa.). Beucher then tripled to deep right field to plate Fogle, and scored on a groundout by Adey.
Zavora struggled in the home half of the seventh, as the first five Boyce batters reached base on four hits and an error, including a double and triple, and all eventually scored. Durbin relieved Zavora with no outs and a runner on third, walking the first batter he saw but striking out the next two batters and forcing a groundout to limit the Boyce lead to 7-5.
Fayette answered in the top of the eighth to retake the lead for good. A one out walk by Jeffrey was followed by a bunt single from Ward, and both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch to Zavora. After a lineout, Jeffrey scored on a wild pitch and Fogle walked. Beucher singled home Ward, and Durbin doubled to deep left field to score Fogle and Beucher and give the Roaring Lions a 9-7 lead.
Boyce managed a single in the eighth, but was unable to cut the Fayette lead. The Roaring Lions bats went to work again in the ninth. McKeel and freshman pinch hitter Harold McCutcheon (Claysville, Pa.) singled to left field and advanced a base on a groundout by senior pinch hitter Travis VanOlst (Coal Center, Pa.). Ward cracked an RBI single to center field, and after Zavora was hit by a pitch to load the bases, McCutcheon scored on a wild pitch. Beucher added another RBI single for a 12-7 Fayette lead.
Durbin retired two of the first three batters he faced, and Fogle struck out the last batter of the game to finish the win.
Fayette returns to conference action on Saturday, April 21 at Penn State Hazleton at 2:00 p.m. before heading to Penn State Scranton on Sunday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m. during their second eastern swing of the season.