-Score: Clark University 6, Penn. State Abington 1
-Records: Clark (4-3), Penn. State Abington (5-7)
-Location: Kissimmee, Florida (Osceola Heritage Park)
-The Lead: The Clark University baseball team finished up their trip to Florida on a three-game winning streak with a victory over the Nittany Lions of Penn. State Abington on Saturday morning. Senior Zach Kelley (Hadley, Mass.) finished the day going 5-for-5 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs to lead the Cougars.
HOW IT HAPPENED
-Junior Andrew Thibault (Nashua, N.H.) led off for the Cougars in the first inning with a hard hit single up the middle that hopped over the shoulder of Penn. State Abington shortstop, Jaden Himmelreich (Temple, Penn.). Kelley doubled to deep center field to send him home for the 1-0 lead. Junior Callum Sawden (Old Lyme, Conn.) also doubled in the top of the first, finding space in right center field, before the Nittany Lions were able to secure the third out.
-With two outs on the board, sophomore Kai Herko (Friday Harbor, Wash.) got the ball rolling with a single to right center field. Junior Dylan Horn (Sterling, Conn.) followed up with a single through the right side, but the Nittany Lions defense pulled together for the last out to leave two runners on base.
-Kelley got the ball rolling in the bottom of the third with a single to right center field and got himself in scoring position when he stole second and advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Sawden earned himself an RBI with a single that dropped in right field to score Kelley for the 2-0 lead.
-Herko tallied his second hit of the game with one out on the board in the fourth when he doubled to right center field and moved first year Andrea Casabianca (Yonkers, N.Y.) to third. Once again, the Nittany Lions secured the final two outs, leaving two runners in scoring position. The Cougars held onto a 2-0 lead heading into the fifth inning.
-The Cougars loaded the bases in the bottom of the fifth including hits from Kelley and junior Nick Jordan (Seaford, Conn.), but junior pitcher Nick Hopley (Croydon, Penn.) was able to strike out a batter and one more fly out left the runners stranded and the score at 2-0.
-Thibault crossed home in the bottom of the sixth to extend Clark's lead to 3-0. Sawden earned another RBI when he singled through the left side to score junior Derek Lefebvre (Groton, Mass.) for the 4-0 advantage.
-Penn. State Abington hopped on the board in the top of the seventh when sophomore Joseph Rizzo (Gibbstown, N.J.) crossed home as the Cougars completed a double play (4-1).
-The Cougars added two more runs in the bottom of the eighth on RBI singles from Kelley and junior Ryan Ruhlin (Portland, Maine) to take the final 6-1 victory.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
-Kelley finished with a perfect 5-for-5 day at the plate while Sawden went 3-for-4 with two RBIs ,Thibault finished two-for-five with two runs scored, and Herko finished 3-for-4.
-Senior Brett Guaglionona (Abington, Penn.) finished 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Nittany Lions offensively.
-First year Jafar Vohra (Shelton, Conn.) earned his first collegiate victory on the mound for Clark going five innings, allowing just three hits, and striking out four batters (1-0)
-Senior Tyler Dipatri (Pedricktown, N.J.) took the loss of the mound for Penn. State Abington. He pitched two innings, allowed five hits, and one run scored.
-The Cougars tallied a total of 16 hits on 38 at bats. The Nittany Lions finished with just five hits in their 30 at bats.
-Clark heads back north to Worcester, Mass. to prep for their next contest at Massachusetts Maritime Academy on Wednesday, March 16th at 3:30 p.m.