Mustangs Sweep No. 12 Alvernia

Mustangs Sweep No. 12 Alvernia

STEVENSON, Md. – Stevenson University swept a MAC Commonwealth baseball doubleheader from No. 12 Alvernia University by scores of 4-3 and 8-7 Sunday afternoon at Sugar Field.

The win clinches a series win for the Mustangs (17-18, 8-9 MAC Commonwealth) in the three-game series with the Crusaders, with the third game set for Monday at 3:30 at Alvernia.  It marks the first MAC Commonwealth series loss for the Crusaders (23-10-2, 12-7 MAC Commonwealth) since they dropped 2-of-3 to Albright on April 17 and 19, 2014.  Stevenson has won four straight and five of its last seven.

Stevenson and Alvernia entered the bottom of the seventh in the opener tied 3-3.   Junior Jake Dimon reached on a fielding error and was lifted for pinch runner Michael Kelly.  Keller moved to second on a Connor Wasilnak sac bunt and went to third on the throw. 

Alvernia loaded the bases as Jake Hall was intentionally walked and advanced to second, while Matthew Kerber was hit by a pitch.  With two outs, junior John D'Aquanno singled through the left side to plate Kelley.

The game was scoreless until the top of the third, when Alvernia scored to take a 1-0 lead.  Stevenson responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning as Hall belted a two-run home run after senior Kyle Weidemeyer singled to open the inning.

Alvernia tied the game in the top of the fourth, and the game remained knotted 2-2 until the bottom of the sixth, when a solo home run by junior Billy Small gave the Mustangs a 3-2 led.  The Crusaders had two in scoring position with one out in the top of the seventh, but only got one run across on a wild pitch as a strikeout and a fly out allowed Stevenson to avoid further damage.

D'Aquanno and Weidemeyer each had two hits as the Mustangs outhit Alvernia 8-5.  Sophomore Daniel Williams went the distance and upped his record to 5-2, allowing five hits and three runs, striking out five and walking one.

In the nightcap, Stevenson manufactured the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth. Hall doubled to open the inning, then moved to third on a groundout by Kerber.  D'Aquanno lifted a sacrifice fly to left to bring in Hall.  Alvernia got the first two batters on in the top of the seventh, but after Ian Shaffer worked a leadoff walk, he was thrown out at third following a fielding error.  Back-to-back flyouts ended the game.

The two teams went nearly blow-for-blow up to that point.  Alvernia jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with one run in the first and two in the second before Stevenson scored three times in the bottom of the second, knotting the game for the first time.  Both teams scored once in the third and three times in the fourth.

In the second, Hall had a two-out, two-run single that plated Wasilnak and Alex KidwilerBrady Kessler scored on an error when Alvernia attempted to pick Hall off at second but threw it away.

A Kidwiler sac fly brought in Small in the third after he walked and moved to third on a double by freshman Mark Terrell.  In the fourth, Kessler opened the scoring by coming home on a wild pitch, while senior Kevin Kopas had a two-run single up the middle.

Hall and Kopas each had two hits in game two as Stevenson held a 9-8 advantage in the hit column.  Sophomore James Wiercinski, the fourth Mustang pitcher used, posted the win with two innings of hitless relief.

Between games, five seniors, Hall, Kopas, Matt Phillips, Austin Reitz and Weidemeyer were honored on Senior Day.

Senior Day Photo by Bill Vanko