ERIE, PA –La Roche College baseball clinched a bye in this year's AMCC Tournament after sweeping Penn State Behrend 2-1, 10-8 in a double-header on Saturday. The Redhawks need one more win or a Pitt-Greensburg loss to clinch home-field advantage and at least a share of the AMCC Regular Season Title.
Game 1: The first game was an absolute pitchers duel with Redhawks' starter Tanner Wilt getting the better of Behrend's Justin Rohrer. Just three players reached base in the first three innings but La Roche broke through with two runs in the fourth inning.
Corey Lazor led off the fourth with a double up the right field line and Luis Navedo reached on an error. The Redhawks used a double steal to put runners in scoring position and both advance home on a pair of errors.
Behrend got one back in the fifth but Wilt shut them down in the sixth and seventh to earn the win.
Wilt threw his second straight complete game to improve to 5-2. He did not allow an earned run and struck out 10 while walking just one.
Game 2: The Redhawks trailed by two and were down to their final out before a four run rally earned La Roche the 10-8 win.
Both teams struggled to manufacture base runners early but things opened up in the bottom of the third.
Behrend got on the board first with two unearned runs and La Roche answered with two in the top of the fourth. Ben Herstine tripled to right center and scored on a David Lemley infield single. Ian Velez hit home Lemley two batters later.
The Lions strung together three straight singles and used an error to take a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fourth. The never quit Redhawks cut into Behrend's lead with three runs in the seventh inning. Lazor and Navedo both reached base to lead off the inning and scored on a Joe Professori single to right. Lemley scored an unearned run in the next at bat.
Behrend got two back in the bottom half of the seventh but another unearned run in the eighth kept La Roche within reach. The Lions retired the first two batters in the ninth before Shane Roebuck drew a walk. Mitchell Yard followed with a single up the middle and Colin Williamson walked to load the bases. Lazor came through with a huge 3-run hit to put the Redhawks ahead for the first time in the game. Herstine added an insurance run and Trey Claar retired the Lions in order to earn the save.
The save was Claar's eighth of the year and he now sits just one save shy of tying the AMCC single season record.
Lazor, Professori and Velez all hit in two and Lazor scored three times. Anthony Romano picked up the win in relief.