Amherst, NY – The D'Youville baseball team dropped a conference doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, falling to the Pitt.-Bradford Panthers 12-3 in game one and 15-8 in game two.
D'Youville started off the day hot at the plate. Dylan Haak (Depew, NY/Depew) led off with a walk, followed by a sac-bunt from Khaled Numan-Ali (Cheektowaga, NY/Cheektowaga) that moved Haak to second. A single from Justin Brackna (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) then brought home Haak, giving the Spartans a 1-0 advantage. Brackna would move to third in the next two at-bats and eventually score on an error by the Bradford catcher, making the score 2-0.
In the third inning, the Panthers scored four runs to take the lead, adding a run in the fourth inning to extend their lead, but the Spartans were able to get a run in the bottom of the fourth. Matt Critelli (Camden, NY/Camden) walked to lead off the inning, advancing to third in the next two at-bats. He would then score on a wild pitch, bringing the score to 5-3.
Bradford then scored a run in the top of the fifth to make it a 6-3 lead, then scoring six runs in the top of the sixth. Those would be the final runs of the ballgame as the Panthers took game one 12-3.
Four different players recorded a hit in game one and all three runs were scored by different players. Will Pack (Pendleton, NY/Starpoint) allowed three earned runs in the game, striking out four in the loss.
The Spartans were able to get on the board early again in game two with another two runs to start the game. Haak again led off with a walk, moving to second on a Justin Varney (Henrietta, NY/Rush-Henrietta) sac-bunt. Brackna then doubled to score Haak and was then driven home himself in the next at-bat on a Travis Macrides (Manlius, NY/Fayetteville-Manlius) single, giving the Spartans a 2-0 lead after one.
With runs in the third and fourth, the Panthers tied the game at two. D'Youville would then come right back in the fourth inning to take the lead right back. With one out, Haak doubled to left center. Varney would single in the next at bat, scoring Haak and then Varney would come around to score on a Brackna single. A Macrides double then brought home Brackna for a 5-2 lead. With two wild pitches, Macrides then came around to score and made it a 6-2 D'Youville lead.
Innings six through eight were huge for Bradford. They scored a combine 13 runs in the three innings to bring their run total to 15. In the bottom of the seventh the Spartans were able to score a pair of runs to keep it close. Mitchell Mason (Eden, NY/Eden) was hit by a pitch with no outs. Josh Hammer (Amherst, NY/Sweet Home) then singled, moving Mason to third. Matt Guenther (Cheektowaga, NY/Maryvale) would follow up with a double to drive home Mason for his second RBI in as many days. With Hammer on third, Varney hit a sac-fly to left field, scoring Hammer.
Despite their two runs in the seventh, the Spartans were unable to get a good footing and get back in the game, losing game two 15-8.
Six different players had two hits each in the game. Haak, Varney, Brackna, Macrides, Hammer, and Guenther each were extremely effective at the plate. Varney, Brackna, and Macrides each had two RBI as well.
On the mound, Bryce Little (Arcade, NY/Pioneer) had a solid start. He went 5.0 innings, allowing three earned runs and four hits. Nick Jank (Orchard Park, NY/Canisius) and Braden Bova (Lancaster, NY/Saint Mary's) each pitched an inning in relief, allowing no runs. Behind the pitcher, Guenther was great defensively.
The Spartans will next host Geneva on Tuesday, April 24 beginning at 1:00pm.