-Score: Clark University 13, Penn. State-Abington 8
-Records: Clark (2-1), Penn. State-Abington (0-4)
-Location: Auburndale, Fla. (Lake Myrtle – RussMatt Invitational)
-The Lead: Powered by a 24-hit performance, the Clark University baseball team earned a 13-8 victory over the Nittany Lions of Penn. State-Abington in their opening game of the RussMatt Invitational on Saturday afternoon. Senior Teddy Downing (Cambridge, Mass.) led the Cougars going 4-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-After two and a half scoreless innings the Nittany Lions got on the board first when a single to right field from Stevie Stevenson (Westampton, N.J.) sent Kyle Marshall (Fairless Hills, Penn.) across the plate for the 1-0 lead.
-Clark took the lead in the top of the fourth when freshman James Huber (Rochester, N.Y.) sent a ball up the middle for two RBIs when sophomore Derek Lefebvre (Groton, Mass.) and freshman Kai Herko (Friday Harbor, Wash.) crossed home plate (2-0).
-Penn. State-Abington tied it up in the bottom of the inning but Clark exploded for five runs in the top of the fifth to take a five-run lead, 7-2. Downing got things started when he found a gap in center field for a base hit and got himself in scoring position when he capitalized on a passed ball. A long ball to left field from junior Zach Kelley (Hadley, Mass.) put Downing on third and another left field single from Herko sent Downing home and Clark took their first lead to the game, 3-2.
-A hit from Lefebvre loaded the bases with no outs and a two-RBI single to right center from Huber extended the Cougar's lead to 5-2. Despite a pitching change for the Nittany Lions Clark did not let up. Sophomore Ryan Ruhlin (Portland, Maine) added an RBI when his hit to right field sent Lefebvre home and sophomore Dylan Horn (Sterling, Conn.) added an RBI on a SAC fly to left field that scored Huber (7-2).
-The Cougars added three more runs in the top of the sixth. Senior Kyle Bonicki (Waterbury, Conn.) fired things up with a triple down the right field line. Downing earned another RBI when his single up the middle scored Bonicki. A RBI double to right center field from Kelley and an RBI from Lefebvre extended Clark's lead to 10-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.
-Penn. State-Abington added two more in the bottom of the sixth with a 2 RBI single to right center from Jaden Himmelrei (Temple, Penn.) (10-4).
-Clark added another three runs in the seventh on RBIs from Downing and Kelley to go ahead 13-4.
-The Nittany Lions heated up in the bottom of the ninth with four runs, but it wouldn't be enough as Clark took the ultimate 13-8 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Downing led the Cougars with a 4-for-4 day, two runs scored and two RBIs. Kelley went 4-for-5 at the plate with two runs and two RBIs. Bonicki went 4-for-6 with two runs scored and Huber posted a game high four RBIs.
-Himmelreich led Penn. State-Abington going 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the loss.
-Junior Cal Slepkow (Rehoboth, Mass.) earned the win on the mound for Clark and improves to 2-0 on the season. He pitched six innings with four strikeouts, three walks, and four runs.
-Freshman Ryan McCarty (Yardley, Penn.) took the loss for the Nittany Lions. He pitched four innings with five strikeouts, two walks, seven runs, and 12 hits.
-Clark takes on Wartburg College on Sunday, March 4th at 5:00 p.m. at Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, Fla.