STEVENSON, Md. – The Stevenson University baseball team overcame an 8-1 deficit to take a 9-8 lead in the eighth inning, but visiting Alvernia University scored four times in the top of the ninth to post a 12-9 MAC Commonwealth win Friday afternoon at Sugar Field.
Stevenson (15-17,6-10 MAC Commonwealth) trailed 8-1 after it gave up two runs in the top of the eighth. The Mustangs scored three runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to tie the game 8-8, then took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the eighth.
In the bottom of the eighth, senior Billy Small doubled down the right field line with two outs, and after an Alvernia pitching change, sophomore Mark Terrell battled back from down 0-2 to walk. Jordan Moore grounded towards shortstop but reached safely after a throwing error, allowing Small to score from second.
Alvernia (24-9, 13-3 MAC Commonwealth) got a leadoff double from Ian Shaffer, who moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. With the infield in, a ground ball to short got past Stevenson's Connor Wasilnak, allowing Shaffer to score. The Golden Wolves took the lead on a bases loaded walk, and a two-run single made it 12-9.
Stevenson did get the tying run to the plate with two away in the bottom of the ninth, but senior John D'Aquanno flied out to end the game.
The Mustangs staked themselves to a 1-0 lead in the first as junior Matt Kerber led off with a double and scored on a D'Aquanno single. Alvernia scored once in the second, four times in the third, once in the fourth and twice in the sixth to take an 8-1 lead.
Stevenson scored three runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull within 8-4. Terrell worked a leadoff walk and scored on a sac fly by Michael Kelly, then a two-run double by Kerber brought in Wasilnak and Michael Rhodes. The Mustangs tied it in the seventh as Moore delivered a two-run double, while Wasilnak had an RBI single and a Kerber sac fly brought in Moore for the hosts' eighth run.
Wasilnak finished with three hits for Stevenson, while Kerber was 2-5 at the plate with three runs batted in. Eight of nine Mustang starters had a hit on the afternoon.
Junior James Wiercinski took the loss in his first relief appearance of the season, striking out two in two innings of work and surrendering four unearned runs. Starter Zach Kaye allowed eight runs (four earned) in six innings, fanning five and walking two. Alvernia starter Sean Esch allowed five earned runs in six innings. Nicholas Marotta earned the win in relief, while Kyle Gaynor pitched the ninth to earn his fifth save of 2018.
The same two teams meet in a noon doubleheader at Alvernia Saturday.