Ft. MYERS, Fla. - The Penn State New Kensington baseball team won its first game since being re-established, today at the Gene Cusic Classic in Ft. Myers. The Nittany Lions fell to Rivier University in the first game of the double-header, 18-6, before grabbing the historic win in the nightcap, 13-10.
In the first game, Rivier went ahead 4-0 after two innings of play. Junior Vinny Ribar (Apollo, Pa.) started the New Kensington offense with a two-out single in the fifth inning. Sophomore Dylan Wiley (Murrysville, Pa.) followed that up with a double down the left field line. Ribar advanced to third on the play and then scored on a wild pitch. Junior Dustin Koedel (Sarver, Pa.) singled through the right side to score Wiley and make the score 4-2.
Rivier followed through with some heavy bats and extended their lead to 18-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Nittany Lions did not give up, sending four men over home plate in the inning. Sophomore Juwan Willis (Swissvale, Pa.) started things off with a pinch-hit single to third. Ribar walked, putting Willis in scoring position for Wiley. Wiley delivered an RBI on a single into right field. A Wiley stolen base followed by a Koedel walk loaded the bases. Sophomore Jake Stackiewicz (Murrysville, Pa.) took four balls, sending Ribar home and picking up the RBI. A sacrifince fly by sophomore Noah Oddis (Lower Burrell, Pa.) scored Koedel, setting the final score of 18-6.
Wiley led New Kensington with three hits, two runs, and an RBI, while Ribar contributed two hits and two runs. Oddis took the loss, giving up two earned runs in four innings and striking out three. Stackiewicz struck out three batters in one inning of relief.
In the second game, New Kensington jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the top of the second inning. Stackiewicz got the bats going with a triple to left center. Oddis followed up with a single to left, scoring Stackiewicz. Sophomore Darius Bennis (Leechburg, Pa.) reached on an error trying to sacrifice bunt Oddis over to second. A wild pitch moved both runners into scoring position and sophomore Marc Russo (Pittsburgh, Pa.) walked to load the bases. Ribar took first base on balls, scoring Oddis. A Rivier error allowed Wiley to reach base and two runs to score. Koedel singled to bring home Ribar, and then a throwing error allowed Wiley to score, giving PSNK a six run lead.
Rivier scored eight runs over the next three innings to take the lead, 8-6. However, New Kensington's offense responded in the top of the fifth. Wiley doubled to start the inning and came home on Stackiewicz's second triple of the game. Oddis reached first on an error that allowed Stackiewicz to cross home. Freshman Justin Lindeman (Murrysville, Pa.) singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A error on a pick-off attempt resulted in both Oddis and Lindeman reaching home. Bennis produced a bunt single, stole second, and then scored on a single by sophomore Shane Molyneaux (Murrysville, Pa.) for the fifth run of the inning. Rivier added two runs in the fifth to bring the score to 11-10 with New Kensington still on top. Two insurance runs came in the sixth when Koedel scored on a double from Oddis and then Oddis crossed on a single from Lindeman.
Oddis had three RBI on two hits and also scored three runs. Wiley, Stackiewicz, and Bennis each had two hits. Lindeman went the distance for New Kensington for his first collegiate win.
New Kensington is back in action tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. as they face Illinois College.