NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. – The Westminster College baseball team split a conference doubleheader with Thiel College at home Wednesday.
The Titans scored four runs in the eighth inning to take a 7-6 game one win, while the Tomcats rallied with six runs in the ninth to win 7-6 in game two.
In game one, Thiel (12-15, 8-4 PAC) took a 1-0 lead after a run in the first inning. In the bottom of the fourth, Westminster (10-8, 4-4 PAC) took a 2-1 lead after junior Ernie Burkes (New Castle, PA / Neshannock) pinched hit and connected on a two-run double. Both teams traded a run in the sixth and the game was knotted up at 3 after six innings of play. The Tomcats regained the lead (6-3) after a run in the seventh and two in the eighth. The Titans rallied in the bottom of the eighth inning. Junior Dante Parente (Beaver Falls, PA / Blackhawk) started the Titan scoring with an RBI-double, bringing home Joseph Salmen (New Castle, PA / Union). Two batters later, junior Michael Douds (Erie, PA / Cathedral Prep) singled home Parente. Later in the inning with two outs, junior Frank Cinicola (Cranberry Township, PA / Seneca Valley) made the most of his pinch-hit opportunity as he hit a two-run single, scoring sophomore Tyler Barnot (Pittsburgh, PA / Bethel Park) and freshman Jace Ebbitt (Karns City, PA / Karns City Area), for the game-winning runs. Sophomore pitcher Jaret Johnson (Niles, OH / Niles McKinley) came in for relief and improved to 3-0 on the season. Johnson pitched two innings, while giving up two runs on four hits. Salmen started the game and pitched seven innings and gave up four runs (only one earned) on seven hits. Salmen struck out five and walked two.
In game two, the Titans went in front, 2-1, in the bottom of the first inning after Salmen and senior Brandon Rossier (Wexford, PA / North Allegheny) both scored on a wild pitch. Westminster extended its lead to 6-1 with four more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Rossier, Parente, Johnson, and Cinicola each registered an RBI (on consecutive at-bats). The Tomcats rallied with a six-run ninth inning to take a 7-6 lead. Titan junior pitcher Cory Pullen (Wexford, PA / North Allegheny) threw six innings, while giving up one run on three hits in the no decision; he struck out six and walked three. Sophomore Emilio Rivera (Tampa, FL / Armwood) (0-2) got the loss.
The Titans are back on the field Saturday, April 21 at Thomas More College in a Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) doubleheader. Game one is set for 12 p.m.