ERIE, PA – La Roche Baseball's (29-14) quest for a second consecutive AMCC Conference Championship fell just short as they dropped the title game to Penn State Behrend (30-10) 9-5.
La Roche scored twice in the first and one more time in the second to take an early 3-0 lead. Sean Lubin reached base in the first with a fielder's choice and Brian Tougher singled through the right side to advance Lubin to third base. Dan Burns, who hit for the cycle in the semifinal against Mt. Aloysius, laid down a sac bunt to score Lubin and Anthony Girdano flied out to right to take a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Jon Watson hit a leadoff double down the left field line and scored on a Shane Healey single to go up three runs.
Penn State Behrend took a 7-3 lead in the third inning with a sacrifice fly and a few defensive miscues before La Roche got one back in the bottom of the fourth when Watson singled and scored. The Redhawks added one more run in the eighth inning when Girdano and was hit by and pitch and singled home by Watson.
La Roche then loaded the bases with two outs and the tying run at the plate, but they attempted to score on a wild pitch and ended up stranding runners at all three bases.
Pitcher Jesse Bauer threw a perfect bottom half of the eighth inning but the Redhawks could not manage a run in the top of the ninth as Penn State Behrend held on for the win.
Watson continued to swing a hot bat going 3 for 4 with a double, 2 runs, and an RBI. Girdano and Lubin each had an RBI and scored, and Healey and Burns notched RBIs. Tougher singled and scored for the Redhawks.