WASHINGTON - Gallaudet University understood it was going to be a tough conference opening weekend as it went up against two of the top teams in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC). The Bison were swept Friday by Penn St.-Berks and on Sunday they dropped two games to Penn St.-Abington on a cold and windy day at Hoy Field.
Gallaudet (3-21-1, 0-4 NEAC) battled in the first game but came up short, 8-5, while Penn St.-Abington (11-7, 3-0 NEAC) won the second game going away with a 19-3 win. The Bison have now lost their last 10 games. Gallaudet still has 14 conference games left in front of them so there is still time for the Bison to make a move and climb the NEAC standings as they aim for a playoff appearance.
Game 1: Penn St.-Abington 8, Gallaudet 5
Penn St.-Abington wasted little time getting on the scoreboard as it scored four times off Gallaudet starting pitcher Frank Diaz (Far Rockaway, N.Y.) in the first inning. The Bison bounced back with three runs in the bottom half of the first. Junior Cameron Upton (Vicksburg, Miss.) came through with a RBI double and later scored on a balk from third base to cut the deficit down to one, 4-3.
The Nittany Lions added two runs in the fourth and fifth innings as they took an 8-3 lead into the sixth inning.
GU scored twice in the bottom of the sixth before the game ended in the seventh. Freshman Darren Drolsbaugh (Lansdale, Pa.) doubled down the left-field line to bring home freshman Yebi Areola (Nashville, Tenn.). Drolsbaugh scored on a RBI-single by senior catcher Jake Grindstaff (New Market, Md.).
Diaz took the loss as he allowed eight runs (four earned) on six hits, four walks and one strikeout in six innings of work.
Penn St.-Abington starting pitcher Tyler Dipatri (1-2) picked up the win as he logged five innings where he gave up five runs on six hits, walked three and struck out four.
Game 2: Penn St.-Abington 19, Gallaudet 3
Gallaudet scored the game's first two runs before Penn St.-Abington scored 19 unanswered runs over the final six innings.
Areola doubled to left field in the bottom of the second inning to plate sophomore Austin Altman (Irvine, Calif.) from second base as GU led 1-0.
In the bottom of the third, Upton singled through the right side of the infield to score Drolsbaugh as the Bison took a 2-0 lead into the fourth.
Upton (1-4), the starting pitcher, got roughed up in the fourth as the Nittany Lions scored eight times. Stevie Stevenson (five RBI) had a three-run triple that emptied the bases. Penn St.-Abington then followed with a double and triple to end Upton's day on the mound.
The visitors went on to score three runs in the fifth, once in the sixth and scored seven times in the top of the ninth as the sun was setting in the west. GU added one final run in the bottom of the ninth.
Penn St.-Abington starting pitcher Pat McDonald (3-0) threw a complete game on 101 pitches as he allowed three runs on 11 hits, walked none and struck out two.
Gallaudet will hit the road and travel to New York next weekend to go up against SUNY Poly (6-10) and SUNY Cobleskill (1-14) in NEAC doubleheaders.