Penn State Berks, Penn College Set for NEAC Baseball Championship Rematch

Penn State Berks, Penn College Set for NEAC Baseball Championship Rematch

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – The elimination of two teams in day two of the 2018 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Baseball Tournament leaves Penn State Berks and Penn College as the last two teams standing to set up a rematch of last year’s conference championship round on Sunday at 10 a.m. The final day of the double-elimination tournament will be hosted at the Hintz Athletic Fields on the campus of Penn State Berks.

Game six is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. with game seven penciled in for 1 p.m. if necessary. The tournament champion will receive an automatic berth to the 2018 NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.

Game 3: No. 4 Keuka College 7, No. 3 Penn State Abington 9

Boxscore

Keuka College jumped out in front with four runs in the second inning but Penn State Abington started to chip away in the bottom of the fifth when a sacrifice fly by Joseph Rizzo (Gibbstown, N.J.) and an RBI single from Ryan McCarty (Yardley, Pa.) cut the Wolves’ lead in half. Keuka College responded with a run in the top of the sixth before the Nittany Lions plated four runs in the bottom half of the inning to take their first lead of the morning. The Wolves took advantage of an Abington error to score two runs and take a 7-6 lead in the seventh but the Nittany Lions rallied again in the eighth with three runs to secure the win. McCarty went 2-for-5 with three RBIs for the Nittany Lions while Rizzo was 2-for-3 with two RBIs, one walk and one run scored. Keuka College catcher Dan Bamann (Rochester, N.Y.) was 3-for-4 with one run while three other players each added a pair of hits. Penn State Abington’s Zach Bregenzer (Hopewell, N.J.) received a no-decision after allowing five runs on 10 hits through 5 1/3 innings. Zach Brightbill (Birdsboro, Pa.) was credited with the win after not allowing an earned run through the final 3 2/3 innings. Dave Verrett (Cicero, N.Y.) took the loss out of the bullpen for the Wolves after giving up three runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings of work. With the loss, Keuka College wrapped up its season at 19-17 overall.

Game 4: No. 2 Penn College 0, No. 1 Penn State Berks 3

Boxscore

Penn College stymied the Penn State Berks offense for much of the afternoon, but the Nittany Lions were able to scratch across three runs and advance to the championship round of the tournament for the eighth-straight season. Penn State Berks scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when Pearce Harhigh (Harrisburg, Pa.) singled down the left-field line. The Nittany Lions added another one in the fourth when Harhigh scored on a fielder’s choice. Berks finished the day with eight hits, including two hits apiece from Tyler Comport (Boyertown, Pa.) and Damian Mace (Oley, Pa.). Penn State Berks starter Sean Pavlik (Boyertown, Pa.) took a no-hitter into the eighth before giving up back-to-back two-out hits. Pavlik went the distance to earn the complete-game shutout with four strikeouts. Penn College rookie Nathan Holt (Shippensburg, Pa.) took the loss after allowing two earned runs and seven hits in six innings.

Game 5: No. 3 Penn State Abington 4, No. 2 Penn College 9

Boxscore

A back-and-forth game was broken open by Penn College with three runs in the seventh en route to the 9-4 win. Penn State Abington was first on the board with an RBI single by Stevie Stevenson (Westhampton, N.J.) in the second but the Wildcats answered right back with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Penn College extended its lead to 3-1 in the third on an RBI double from Brittan Kittle (Millville, Pa.) before Stevenson struck again in the fourth to drive in another run for the Nittany Lions. Ben Flicker (Topton, Pa.) hit a single down the left-field line in the Wildcats’ half of the fourth to make it a 4-2 game before each side plated a pair of runs in the sixth to bring the score to 6-4. After Penn College’s three-run seventh, the game turned into a race against the rain with the Wildcats able to hang on for the victory and advance to Sunday’s championship game. Seven Penn College players had two hits with the Wildcats racking up 15 hits on the day. Flicker served as an offensive spark for the Wildcats with two RBIs, one run scored and a stolen base. Abington’s offense was led by Stevenson, who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, while Jaden Himmelreich (Temple, Pa.) went 2-for-5 with a run scored. Devon Sanders (Bloomsburg, Pa.) was outstanding out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit and striking out four in 3 2/3 innings to earn the win. Pat McDonald (North Wales, Pa.) started on the hill for Abington and took the loss after allowing four earned runs and 10 hits through 5 1/3 innings. Penn State Abington closed out the 2018 season with a 25-13 overall record.

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) has fourteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Bryn Athyn College, Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania College of Technology, Pennsylvania State University – Abington, Pennsylvania State University – Berks, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Morrisville State College, SUNY Polytechnic Institute, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Cedar Crest College (W Swimming), D’Youville College (M Volleyball), Hilbert College (M&W Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse, M Volleyball), Pennsylvania State University – Altoona (M Volleyball), and Rutgers University – Camden (M Golf). The NEAC has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of field hockey and men’s tennis. For more information, please visit: www.neacsports.com.