BY CORY NIDOH
Asst. Sports Editor
The ESU Warriors went 1-3 as they opened up Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference play as they faced last year’s regular season PSAC East champions in Millersville this past weekend.
The Warriors lost the first three games by the score of 5-3, 9-7 and 2-1 before salvaging the weekend series with a 7-2 victory in the final game of the twin bill last Saturday.
In the first game, ESU had a tough opponent against Millersville’s starting pitcher Chris Murphy, who was the reigning Atlantic Region Pitcher of the Year, was on the mound for the Marauders.
Millersville struck first with a run in the top of the second, but ESU answered back with a RBI single by freshman outfielder Ian Allen.
Millersville would tack on four runs in the third inning to make the score 5-1.
Senior first baseman Mike Tenaglia drove in senior outfielder Chris Knott in the sixth with a single.
The Warriors had a chance in the last inning as sophomore second baseman Nick Rabasco had a two-out RBI single and brought the tying run to the plate. Redshirt sophomore third baseman Drew Hercik lined out to the pitcher to end the game.
In the second game, ESU got on the board first with a sacrifice fly from Knott.
Millersville answered by putting a four spot up on the scoreboard in the second inning to take a 4-1 lead.
The Marauders added a run in the top of the fifth as last year’s PSAC East Player of the Year Zach Stone hit a solo-home run to make it 5-1.
ESU however erased the deficit as they scored twice in the bottom half of the fifth with a Knott two-RBI double making it 5-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Warriors took the lead as senior catcher Eric Forth ran around the bases on a passed ball and two wild pitches to score, making it 5-4.
Senior shortstop Eric Linares then tied the game with an RBI single. The game went into extra innings and Millersville scored two runs in the top of the eighth, but ESU rallied again.
After two runners got on for ESU and a sacrifice bunt advanced the runners to second and third, junior outfielder Nick Espino delivered with a two-run single to tie 7-7.
However, Millersville prevailed as they added a pair of runs in the top of the tenth inning to make it 9-7, and ESU couldn’t produce a third rally.
The third game was a pitchers duel as senior pitcher Matt Smith tossed a complete game but was the tough-luck loser as ESU lost 2-1.
The lone run came from the bat of Forth who had an RBI groundout that plated Knott who led the inning off with a double.
The final game of the weekend series, ESU was able to come out with the victory as sophomore Brandon Holup threw a complete game in his first division start and kept Millersville’s offense to a minimum, allowing just two runs.
Senior catcher Nico Delerme went 3-for-3 with 2 RBIs, Allen had a pair of hits in three trips and also drove in a pair as the Warriors went on to win 7-2.
The Warriors host their home opener at Mitterling Field this Saturday against Shippensburg in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00.
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