RELEASE DATE: 4/28/10
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Mounties lose heartbreaker in PSAC Championship opener
JOHNSTOWN – Kyle Petty’s ground-ball single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning drove in the winning run to give California a 6-5 come-from-behind win over Mansfield in the opening game of the PSAC Championship Tournament Friday morning at Point Stadium in Johnstown, PA.
It was a heart-breaking loss for Mansfield which built a 5-0 going into the bottom of the seventh and had runners on first and third with one out in the top of the ninth but could not score the go-ahead run.
“It was a tough loss but things like that happen when you’re playing in a championship tournament,” said head coach Harry Hillson, “Either team could have won it in the ninth. We score in the top of the inning and it changes things but the key now is to shake it off and get ready for tomorrow.”
The game was hitless for the first three innings and scoreless until Mansfield got a pair of runs on the top of the fifth when Seth Tressler led off the inning with a single and later scored on a grounder by Jon Taddeo. Matt Hamilton drove in the second run of the inning with a single to center.
Mansfield increased its lead to 5-0 with three runs in the top of the sixth. Dan Chevalier scored the first run on a single by freshman Dylan Woodworth and the Mountaineers picked up two more on a double by Glen Jenkins.
But California finally got to Mansfield starter, Justin Garcia in the bottom of the sixth scoring three runs before Garcia was relieved by Bernard Johnson. Troy Handza, the first batter Johnson faced, tripled with two strikes to drive in two runs and tie the game at 5-5 after six innings.
Johnson was stellar over the next two innings retiring six straight batters including four of them on strikeouts as the teams remained tied going into the ninth inning. Taddeo led off the top of the inning with a singled followed by a single from Hamilton to give Mansfield runners at first and second with no outs. Kevin Miller hit into a fielder’s choice giving Mansfield runners at first and third with one out.
Mike Hartz, who had played defensively at third all game, hit a high chopper to third which was fielded and turned into a double play in a bang-bang play at first to end the inning.
Johnson got Sam DeMatteo and Handza, California’s top two hitters, out to start the bottom of the ninth before Adam Links doubled and Petty hit a ground ball just beyond the reach of a lunging Tressler at second to score the winning run.
Jenkins led the Mountaineers offensively going 2-3 with a double and two RBI. Senior Hamilton was 2-5 with a RBI and Chris Coleman extended his hitting-streak to 23 straight games with a double in the fourth inning.
Garcia went 5.2 innings scattering eight hits with five earned runs. Johnson was charged with the loss, his third in nine decisions this season, allowing three over three innings while striking out five.
Tyler Zimm gave up 10 hits over nine innings and struck out three to earn the win.
Mansfield will play Slippery Rock tomorrow at 9:30 am. Slippery Rock lost to West Chester 7-6.
California 6 Mansfield 0
Mansfield 000 023 000
Mansfield (31-16): Jordan Garcia,
Bernard Johnson (6) (L, 6-3) and Glen Jenkins