NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. (Titan Athletics)- The Westminster College baseball team hosted Saint Vincent College in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) doubleheader on Tuesday. Titan freshman James Diamond (Moon Twp, PA / Moon Area) belted three home runs over both games and the Titans split with the Bearcats.
The Titans lost game one, 12-10, however regrouped and won game two, 17-5.
Game one was not shy of offense, as Westminster (10-12, 5-6 PAC) managed to match Saint Vincent (15-10, 8-5 PAC) in hits with 11. Saint Vincent jumped out early to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Titans fired back with three runs of their own in the bottom half, making the most of two Saint Vincent errors, to regain the lead. The Titans continued to put on the pressure, as Diamond belted his first collegiate homer (and first for Westminster of the season) in the bottom of the third inning to extend the Titans lead to 7-2.
The Titans got another run in the same inning when freshman John Oleksik (Brunswick, OH / Trinity) scored off of another error by Saint Vincent to give the Titans an 8-2 lead after three innings. The Bearcats, however, would tack on five of the next six runs to cut the Titans lead to 9-7 going into the sixth inning. In that inning, the momentum switched when the Bearcats got a pinch-hit grand slam by Hunter Mills to give them their first lead since the first inning.
Saint Vincent would register another run in the top half of the seventh inning, and Diamond did his best to start another Titan comeback, launching another home run, to cut the Bearcats lead down to 12-10. Senior Dante Parente (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk) started on the mound for the Titans, taking the loss despite only giving up one earned run in the contest. He scattered eight hits, and struck out three. The Titans were led at the plate by Diamond, and junior Jaret Johnson (Niles, OH / Niles McKinley), who both tallied two hits, as well as three RBIs to lead the Titan offense.
The Titans regrouped in game two as they came out firing at the plate. Diamond gave the Titans a 1-0 lead with a blistering shot over the fence in left center field, which began Westminster’s offensive surge. The Titans blew the game open with a six-run, seventh inning to extend their lead to 13-1 for the exclamation point. The Titans put on their finishing touches in the eighth, when junior Jared Lee (Lordstown,OH / Lordstown) delivered an RBI-single to extend the Titans’ lead to 17-4 going into the final inning.
The Titans utilized five multi-hit performances from their starters in the game two victory. Westminster was led offensively by Diamond, who countered his 2-for-4 game with two home runs in game one, becoming the first Titan since Tyler Robinson in 2012 to hit multiple home runs in a single game, with a 4-for-4 performance, highlighted by his third home run of the day. Junior Seth Schrader (Fredonia, NY / Fredonia) got the start in game two, making the most of his plate appearances, going 3-for-5, scoring two runs, and delivering a pair of RBIs to set the tone in the leadoff spot for Westminster.
Parente collected two hits of his own, and notched a game-high three RBIs. Freshman Paul Midili (Spring Hill, FL / Bishop Mclaughlin Catholic) started on the mound for Westminster, tossing 3.1 scoreless innings. Junior Dante Sienko (Wexford, PA / Pine-Richland) got the victory in relief for Westminster, tallying 4.2 innings, and scattering four earned runs on eight hits.
Westminster will be back in action Wednesday afternoon when it welcomes John Carroll University for non-conference action. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.