BUTLER, Pa.—The Franciscan University Barons traveled to Pullman Park Wednesday afternoon to finish up the final two innings of a suspended first game of a doubleheader with the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. The game was postponed three weeks ago due to snow in Steubenville with Greensburg leading 5-2. The Panthers ended up taking both games by one run, the first 7-6 and the second 3-2 in eight innings.
Game one resumed with an exciting top of the fifth for the Barons with Jacob Machado at the plate with no one on and no one out, facing a 3-2 count. Machado walked on the first pitch, and the Barons put on a hit and run with David Dupuy as he moved Machado to third on a single to right field. Anthony Pontarelli walked to load the bases for clean-up hitter Charlie Parsons who sent the ball over 385 feet out of the stadium with a grand slam, giving the Barons a 6-5 lead.
The Barons took care of the Panthers offense in the bottom of the fifth, but could not generate enough defense in the bottom of the sixth. The Panthers had runners on second and third with two outs when Thomas Costello's throwing error from third base allowed the game-tying run. The next Greensburg batter hit a single to knock in the eventual game-winner.
"Two unearned runs with two outs were the difference [in the first game]," said Baron head coach Robert Marrow.
Luke Starre went 3-4 with two RBI for Franciscan, while the rest of its offense came off of Parsons' grand slam swing. Daniel Brink pitched the final two innings of the game for the Barons and got tagged with the loss in game one, dropping his record to 3-4 on the year.
In game two, Parsons was on the mound for the Barons and gave up two quick runs in the bottom of the first, but settled down nicely to take care of the Panthers for the next six innings. In the top of fifth, Dupuy and Machado each hit two-out RBI singles to tie the score and send the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the eighth the Panthers got their first runner with a single, who eventually came around to score on a one-out walk-off double down the left field line.
Dupuy, Costello, and Starre were all 2-3 in game two while Machado went 2-4. Parsons went 7 1/3 innings on the mound while giving up three earned runs on eight hits. He walked two and struck out one in a losing effort.
"We played two tough games," Marrow added. "We hit the ball well and played well all day. [Franciscan and Pitt-Greensburg] are almost identical teams and they just outplayed us by one play each game. They were two very well-played, clean, and fast games."
The Barons fall to 5-18 overall and 4-10 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference. The team travels to Bethany College on Tuesday, April 26, and then back to Vaccaro Field for the final five games of the year. Coach Marrow encouraged the Franciscan faithful to "come out and see some great baseball in its last season at Franciscan."