SAVANNAH, Ga. (March 9) – With the game tied at 9-9 in the top of the 14th inning, sophomore center fielder Troy Handza
(Glenshaw, Pa./Shaler) delivered a two-out, game-winning RBI single on Tuesday afternoon to give the California University of Pennsylvania baseball team a 10-9 victory over host No. 30 Armstrong Atlantic (Ga.) as part of the Savannah Invitational.
With the win, the Vulcans improve to 5-4 overall this season with a 4-1 mark during the current Spring Break trip. Meanwhile, the Pirates had their six-game win streak snapped to fall to 14-4 this year. Last season, Armstrong Atlantic collected a 9-1 win over Cal U.
Handza, who was selected the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) West Hitter of the Week earlier in the day, went 5-for-8 with two RBI and two runs at Armstrong Atlantic. Senior right fielder Sam DiMatteo
(Center, Pa./Center) finished 4-for-7 with three doubles, four RBI, three runs and two steals, while junior transfer shortstop Casey Teagarden (Greensburg, Pa./Hempfield) went 4-for-7 with two runs and a steal.
Sophomore Jim Kirker
(Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) earned the win in relief after allowing two runs on two hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. Newcomer Kyle Petty (Stewartsville, N.J./Phillipsburg) registered the save after pitching a scoreless 14th inning.
Sophomore starter Pat Gannon
(Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper Saint Clair) took a no-decision after allowing six runs (five earned) in 7.1 innings with one walk and seven strikeouts. Through the first seven innings of the game, the 6-3 right-hander yielded only two runs on six hits before being roughed up for four runs in the bottom of the eighth.
After the Pirates rallied to score five runs in the eighth, the Vulcans claimed a 9-7 lead with a pair of runs in the 13th inning. Handza reached base on a one-out single before scoring on a double by DiMatteo and junior second baseman Aaron Ordy
(Butler, Pa./Butler) followed with a RBI single that plated DiMatteo. However, nationally-ranked Armstrong Atlantic countered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at 9-9.
Junior catcher Eric Berringer
(Damascus, Md./Damascus) started the 14th inning with a single through the left side and pinch runner Giovanni Morales (Philadelphia, Pa./St. Joseph’s Prep) advanced to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Following a strikeout, Handza lined a game-winning RBI single to left field that scored Morales from second base.
Petty went to the mound in the bottom of the inning and collected two quick outs before allowing a walk. With the potential game-winning run at the plate, the New Jersey native forced a flyout to end the game.
Junior Trent Landa (1-1) suffered the loss for the Pirates after allowing three runs on six hits in 2.0 innings of relief with four strikeouts.
The Vulcans returns to the diamond tomorrow, Wednesday, March 10, when they travel to face Concord (W.Va.) in a nine-inning game, starting at 11 a.m.