The ESU Warriors baseball team, currently ranked 14th, hosted Lock Haven University last Friday in a PSAC East doubleheader that included pristine pitching performances from ESU’s Matt Festa, who set the Warriors’ record for season wins (9), in game one and the Bald Eagles’ Mike Anthony in game two.
The Warriors won the first game 4-0, but fell behind early in the second game and were never able to overcome that deficit because of Anthony’s four-hitter.
Festa dominated with a complete game shut-out, striking out eight Bald Eagles’ batters, and only allowing five base runners.
The senior continued his stellar year, clinching the school record for wins in a season with continuous high-level performances.
Parker Watson did not find success relative to Festa’s. Watson allowed four earned runs on eight hits in a complete-game outing.
The Warriors capitalized on the visiting pitcher and didn’t let Watson get away with any location mistakes.
Matt Walewski and Christian Rishel led the Warriors with two hits each and two runs combined.
The first and only run that ESU needed was scored in the bottom of the third when Steven Zimmerman scored off of a Robert Bennie single.
Drew Hercik hit the lone home-run of the game in the fifth, closing out the four-run offensive performance for the Warriors in game one.
The Bald Eagles struggled in the first game against the red-hot Festa, as the bottom half of their lineup didn’t reach base.
Lead-off hitter Sam Kysor had the team’s best offensive performance, going one for two and drawing a walk. However, Festa’s command was too overwhelming for the visiting team.
Game two offered different results for Lock Haven as they scored two runs in the top of the first inning, starting with Sam Kysor on a Nick Stotler single.
Stotler would score shortly after as the next batter, Ethan Moore, stroked a single.
The Bald Eagles would score their final run in the top of the seventh, ensuring their victory on a Jimmy Webb solo home run.
The Warriors were simply never able to get themselves back in the game although Tyler Eckman settled down and finish with a solid performance.
Eckman picked up his fourth loss although he struck out eight batters and allowed only two earned runs in a complete-game effort.
Until Webb’s solo shot in the seventh, Eckman had retired 10 consecutive batters.
But, as the Bald Eagles fell victim to stellar pitching in the first game, the Warriors couldn’t get anything going in a five-strikeout, four-hit, complete game for Anthony.
The win was Anthony’s fifth of the season, and the lone run he allowed was scored by Casey Saverio on pitch that Robert Bennie hit and reached first base on the account of a fielder’s choice.
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