LAKE MYRTLE, Fl. – In New Kensington's first matchups of the season, men's baseball went 1-1 with Emerson (MA). New Kensington was unable to get a win in the first game, 15-4, but snatched the victory the next game, 7-6.
In the first game, Emerson was first to bat and scored themselves a run early in the first inning. After three outs, New Kensington was up to answer back. Freshman Christopher Rendulic (Port Vue, Pa.) singled to center field and then stole second. With more advances, Rendulic scored on a wild pitch. Emerson came back strong in the top of the second with four runs. New Kensington couldn't get any hits in the inning and was down 5-1.
In the bottom of the third, New Kensington started scoring again. Senior Vinny Ribar (Apollo, Pa.) reached first and continued stealing bases until Rendulic grounded out to ss, allowing Ribar to score. Emerson was able to get five runs during the fourth with two hits, but New Kensington couldn't match that. The score then read 13-2 in favor of Emerson.
New Kensington outscored Emerson in the sixth, but only by one. Freshman Reise Matson (Kittanning, Pa.) doubled to center left and scored with a triple by Justin Lindeman (Murrysville, Pa.). Tyler Elliot (Jeannette, Pa.) doubled and sent Lindeman home for a score. Heading into the seventh inning, New Kensington was down 14-4.
Rendulic, Lindeman, and Elliot all had one RBI. Elliot added a double and Lindeman a triple. Ribar stole the most bases, two, and Rendulic, one. Elliot pitched 3.2 innings, only allowing four hits and three runs. Along the way, he struck out four. Noah Oddis (Lower Burrell, Pa.), who pitched 3.0 innings, struck out five.
New Kensington was victorious in their second game. Up until the fifth inning, Emerson was ahead 6-0. With two outs back to back, the inning didn't look good for the Lions. That all changed when Sebastien Nelson (Ardmore, Pa.) got on base with a single. New Kensington kept advancing with hits and the bases stayed loaded. Nelson scored due to Rendulic's single to center field. Darius Bennis (Leechburg, Pa.) scored next after Matson got walked. Lindeman hit a homerun and got 4 RBIs. Emerson didn't score any in the bottom of the fifth, so the teams were tied 6-6.
New Kensington took the lead in the seventh inning when Oddis batted in Rendulic.
Josh Stuckley (Natrona Heights, Pa.) pitched for 4.0 innings and had 5 strikeouts. Rednulic pitched for 3.0 and struck out three.
New Kensington will take on Concordia College (MN) while in Florida on Wednesday at 9 a.m.
Written by Janet Surma