FORT PIERCE, Fla. – Matt Bittner (Lancaster, NY/St. Mary’s) hit a two-out, two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to help the Penn State Behrend baseball team defeat Misericordia 4-2 in non-conference action on Tuesday morning.
The Lions (2-1) rallied from a one-run deficit with a single run in the seventh and two in the eighth to earn their second victory of the season.
With the score knotted at 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, freshman John Hlavinka (Venetia, PA/Peters Township) singled home Tommy Kocur (Erie, PA/McDowell) for Behrend’s first run of the game.
The Cougars took the lead in the top half of the seventh with a two-run single by Paul Shepherd, and with just nine outs to get, Misericordia held a 2-1 lead.
Vinny Rice (Harmony, PA/Seneca Valley) came through in the clutch to answer the Cougars in the bottom of the seventh. Rice crushed an RBI double to the right center fence to plate Hlavinka and tie the game at 2-2.
In the eighth, Bittner got another two-out hit for the Lions. The senior ripped a single up the middle, scoring Ryan Kragnes (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) and Josh Barbara (Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel).
Behrend turned the game over to Chad Zurat (Clearfield, PA/Clearfield) who slammed the door on Misericorida with 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief.
Ryan Jacobs (Port Vue, PA/South Allegheny) started the game for the Lions, throwing 6 1/3 innings with four strikeouts. Connor Semple (Washington, PA/McGuffey) also pitched for Behrend. The sophomore hurler did not allow a run in one inning out of the pen.
Rice, Hlavinka, and Jordan Weinzierl (St. Marys, PA/St. Marys) led the offense with two hits apiece.
The Lions will be back in action tomorrow at 9 a.m. Behrend will take on Martin Luther in Fort Pierce, Florida at the Lawnwood Complex.
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