Alex Henry – Staff Writer
The Clarion Golden Eagles baseball team had a set of four games against Mercyhurst University this past weekend of April 14-16, as well as two games against Penn State-Dubois on Tuesday, April 18.
The first doubleheader against Mercyhurst took place on April 14. In game one, Mercyhurst was able to get out to an early 6-0 lead after the first and never looked back, winning 16-0.
Clarion had hits from senior first baseman Tyler Falk and junior catcher Thomas Connell. Senior starting pitcher Jay Moog said, “Mercyhurst is a great team and they have a legitimate shot at winning a national championship.” Moog continued, “That being said, we needed to play a few flawless games to get over on them and we didn’t get it done. They mash any pitch not placed perfectly and they don’t chase bad pitches, which is all you can ask for at any level of baseball.”
In the second game, Clarion was able to register more hits than Mercyhurst, but were unable to convert those hits into runs, scoring two runs on seven hits in the contest. Meanwhile, Mercyhurst scored six runs on four hits. Falk and Connell had five hits combined, while Connell, along with senior shortstop Joey Lopez, had RBIs. Senior starting pitcher Kane McCall went six innings, giving up three runs while striking out six.
On Saturday, for the second doubleheader against Mercyhurst, Clarion dropped the first game 15-4. The team got behind 8-0 after the first and were never able to recover. In the final game, it was a tightly contested match. The Golden Eagles got on the board in the bottom of the first as Lopez got an RBI on a fielder’s choice and lead 1-0 until the fourth before a solo homer tied the game. Clarion then lost in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the seventh off an unearned run by a single resulting in Clarion losing 2-1. Freshman starting pitcher Kyler Mellott went almost six innings while surrendering one run and three strikeouts.
The next doubleheader against Penn State- Dubois, the Golden Eagles were able to win both of the games by scores of 5-0 and 5-2. Moog said on the doubleheader, “It was a great turnaround from the weekend, and a step in the right direction towards the Pitt-Johnstown series this weekend.
“‘Crazy’ Dillon Wolbert came out and threw a complete game shutout, game one in just 81 pitches, which was an unbelievable performance.” Moog continued, “Also, our bats came out to play as well, which is what we needed after facing the pitching-dominant Mercyhurst.” The Golden Eagles are 9-22 on the season and 3-13 in the PSAC. Clarion will be back in action April 21 against University of Pittsburgh Johnstown for Senior Day. The game has been moved to Kelly Automotive Park in Butler.