Meadville Tribune

Sports

May 3, 2014

Multiple miscues doom Bulldogs in 4-3 loss

MEADVILLE — To Meadville coach Bruce Stewart’s chagrin, the Bulldogs found more ways to lose a game Saturday afternoon.

Helping Slippery Rock with a wild pitch on a strikeout in the third inning, a run-scoring balk in the fifth inning and a hit-by-pitch to lead off the eighth inning, Meadville allowed the Region 6 leading Rockets to escape Eldred Glen with a 4-3 extra-inning victory.

The frustrating loss dropped MASH to 3-10 overall and 0-5 in the region, while Slippery Rock improved to 9-3 and 5-1, respectively.

The Rockets can thank the ‘Dogs for this “W”.

All four of SR’s runs were Meadville-aided as the Rockets — despite getting only four hits in the game — took full advantage of the Bulldogs’ variety of miscues.

To say the least, Stewart was frustrated afterwards.

“The same old thing, we gave another game away,” he said. “We are beating ourselves. Their (Slippery Rock) winning run in the eighth inning should not have happened as we had their guy in a rundown, but we didn’t get the out. Very frustrating.”

In the eighth inning, Slippery Rock’s Tim Butler was hit by a pitch and was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Jason Rockburn. Jake Arienzo followed with a sharp single to left field and Butler was heading home before getting the stop sign from his third-base coach halfway between third and home.

Meadville’s relay throw from shortstop Ted Williams-to-catcher Zach Grill-to-third baseman Tyler Redding wasn’t in time as Butler slid back into third safely.

One pitch later, Butler crossed home plate with the winning run on Matt Badger’s sacrifice fly.

How did Slippery Rock score its other gift-wrapped runs? Here is the painful breakdown:

Trailing 1-0, the Rockets’ Travis Lauster struck out to lead off the third inning, but the third strike was a wild pitch and he reached base safely. He later scored on an error.

In the fourth inning, Butler and Rockburn led off with successive walks and Butler later scored on Badger’s groundout. Another non-hitting run.

In the fifth inning, Ryan Lauster led off with a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Meadville reliever Brock Biggs was called for a balk.

The setback spoiled a seventh-inning rally by the Bulldogs to send the game into extra innings.

Down 3-2, designated-hitter Matt Burchard led off with a single to left field and pinch-runner Troy Hovis was moved to second on Dominik Pruskowski’s sacrifice bunt. After Antonio Ferraro’s single to advance Hovis to third base, Dane Stokes delivered with a RBI groundout.

Ferraro drove in Meadville’s first run with a single and Redding scored the second run after leading off the fourth with a double.

The game wasn’t all negative for MASH as Stewart did see some positive things.

“We did some situational things well ... like Dominik’s (Pruskowski) sacrifice bunt in the seventh,” said Stewart. “I was also pleased with Dominik’s pitching effort. He just ran out of gas in the fifth inning.”

‘Dog Bites: Ferraro and Redding were multi-hit performers with two-for-three and two-for-four performances, respectively ... On the pitching side, Pruskowski yielded only two hits in 4.1 innings of work while striking out six and walking three. Reliever Trevor Smith — who has been nursing a non-throwing hand injury the entire season and wasn’t able to swing the bat against Slippery Rock — only allowed two hits in 32⁄3 innings of work.

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