Baseball Suffers Doubleheader Sweep Against Moravian
SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton baseball team suffered a blow to its playoff hopes, suffering a doubleheader sweep against Moravian, 8-7 and 11-2, at Connell Park on Saturday afternoon.
The losses drop the Royals to 12-13 overall and 5-6 in Landmark Conference play, one game behind Drew for fourth place in the conference. The top four teams make the playoffs. Scranton has seven conference games remaining.
In the opener, the Royals took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth thanks to an RBI single from sophomore designated hitter Eric Pizzico (Royersford, Pa./Spring-Ford). He came around to score later in the inning when Moravian's right fielder misplayed a single by senior first baseman Mark Grambo (Clarks Summit, Pa./Scranton Preparatory).
The Greyounds (22-12, 11-3 Landmark) knotted the score in the top of the fifth with a single run, then took a 5-2 lead in the fifth on a three-run, pinch-hit homer by sophomore catcher Matt Gutkes (Toms River, N.J./Toms River North).
Moravian seemingly put the game away with three more in the seventh for an 8-2 lead, but the Royals put together a frenzied rally in the bottom half. Senior second baseman Jesse Outhouse (Croton Falls, N.Y./North Salem) had an RBI single, and the Royals proceeded to load the bases for sophomore right fielder Michael Gaeta (Cranford, N.J./Cranford), who unloaded them with a grand slam to cut the deficit to one. But that's as far as the rally would go.
In game two, Moravian scored four times in the top of the first and extended the lead to 5-0 with a run in the third. Scranton answered with two in the bottom half of the third on Gaeta's two-run double.
But Moravian scored one in the fourth, three in the fifth and one each in the sixth and seventh to seal the victory. Scranton managed just three hits and committed three errors in the field in the second game.
Gaeta led the Royals on the day with two hits and four RBIs, and Grambo and freshman outfielder Michael Umerich (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) each had a pair of hits.
Moravian was led by senior shortstop Dave Zubia (Bethlehem, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic), who had seven hits, drove in three runs and scored five in the doubleheader. Senior Austin Rock (Arlington, Va./Flour Bluff) had five hits, two runs and an RBI.
The teams will complete the three-game series on Sunday at noon at Connell Park.