Baseball Salvages Split with Penn State-Berks

Freshman Brian Colbert had two RBI in a game one win vs. Penn State-Berks as Keuka earned a split of Sunday's doubleheader.
Freshman Brian Colbert had two RBI in a game one win vs. Penn State-Berks as Keuka earned a split of Sunday's doubleheader.

Senior Jake Burachalk (Binghamton, N.Y./Binghamton) clubbed a two-run home run and finished with three RBI, and senior Dan Smith (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Forks) and freshman Brian Colbert (Dryden, N.Y./Dryden) each added two RBI as the Keuka College baseball team knocked off defending NEAC champion Penn State-Berks 10-2 Sunday in game one of a doubleheader.

But the Wolfpack (5-16, 1-3 NEAC) couldn't hold onto a 5-3 lead in the seventh inning and split with the Nittany Lions, dropping game two 6-5 in Reading, Pa.

In the opener, Burachalk was 2-for-5 with three RBI and two runs scored, sophomore Robert LaRue (Skillman, N.J./Montgomery) was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Smith and Colbert each had two RBI for the Green and Gold.

Freshman Ryan Caroway (Binghamton, N.Y./Susquehanna Valley) pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits with two strikeouts to earn the win.

After a scoreless first inning, LaRue had an RBI single and Smith added an RBI groundout for a 2-0 Wolfpack lead. Burachalk pushed the lead to 4-0 on his two-run homer in the second, and the lead remained four until the sixth.

With the bases loaded and two outs, senior Jon Borchert (Upper Arlington, Ohio/Upper Arlington) was hit by a pitch to force home one run, then Colbert followed with a two-run single up the middle to extend the lead to 7-0.

Burachalk added an RBI single into right field as part of a two-run seventh, and the lead grew to 10-0 on Smith's eighth-inning RBI single.

Berks scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to break the shutout.

In game two, Burachalk, LaRue and junior Brett Fenton (Troy, N.Y./Hudson Valley CC) each had two hits with an RBI for Keuka.

Junior Billy McDermott (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) and freshman Alec Bowie (Sparta, N.J./Sparta) each added RBI in the loss.

Berks took a 1-0 lead into the second before Keuka answered with three runs. LaRue singled to left field, and freshman Joe Marasco (Queesbury, N.Y./Queensbury) followed with a single to put runners on the corners.

Junior Kyle Dailey (Yonkers, N.Y./Yonkers) was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Bowie was also hit by a pitch to score LaRue and even the score at one apiece.

McDermott put the Wolfpack up 2-1 with a sacrifice fly to right field, and Burachalk followed with an RBI single through the left side of the infield that plated Dailey for a 3-1 lead.

The Nittany Lions tied the score with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but Keuka surged ahead in the top of the fifth. Burachalk led off with a single, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Fenton hit an RBI single to put the Wolfpack up 4-3.

Berks threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the inning after Kyle Hartman hit a leadoff double and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Tyler Comport then hit a grounder to LaRue, Keuka's second baseman, and LaRue came up throwing and nailed Hartman at the plate to maintain the Green and Gold's lead.

Keuka tacked on a run in the seventh. Borchert led off with a double, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on LaRue's RBI double to left field for a 5-3 lead.

But the Nittany Lions salvaged a split with three runs in the bottom of the inning to cap the comeback.

Freshman Ryan Lawrence (Rochester, N.Y./Brighton) pitched well in the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) on seven hits with two strikeouts in four innings. Classmate Kevin Franz (Vestal, N.Y./Vestal) allowed a run in two innings of relief.

Keuka hosts Medaille College in a non-conference doubleheader Wednesday as the Wolfpack embark on a critical stretch of 10 home games in 11 days.