Panthers rally for sweep of Bethel

Jake Potter
Jake Potter

The Pitt-Bradford baseball squad swept Bethel (Minn.) Saturday at the Gene Cusic Collegiate Classic in Fort Myers, Fla., for its first two wins of the season.

The Panthers had opened the year with five consecutive losses, including close defeats to both Haverford and Kenyon. In their last outing, St. Lawrence clobbered the Blue and Gold 16-0.

Aaron Cressley lifted Pitt-Bradford to a 6-3 win in the opener against Bethel. The Panthers spotted the sophomore starter four runs in the first, and Cressley battled over 6.2 innings to keep the Royals' lineup in check.

Johnny Phelps opened the scoring with a RBI single and Ethan Showers followed with a run-scoring groundout. Two batters later, Bobby Sorokas sent a ball up the middle plating two more runs.

Bethel cut the deficit in half in the second, but Phelps and Showers answered with run-scoring hits in the third. The Royals pulled within three in the fourth. Cressley struck out the side in the sixth, working around a pair of runners, and with two outs in the seventh, Talas Mahon came in to record the save, inducing a game-ending groundout.

Cressley was charged for all three runs. He surrendered nine hits and walked three while striking out eight. The Royals were just 1-9 with runners in scoring position.

Jake Potter's walk-off RBI single in the seventh inning of game two capped a 5-4 comeback win for Pitt-Bradford.

Bethel led 4-0 after three innings before Pitt-Bradford leveled the score in the fifth on two-run singles by both Showers and Sorokas.

The Royals led off the top half of the seventh with a base hit yet Aaron Jackson retired the side in order after relieving starter Greg Taylor.

With one out in the bottom half of the frame, Sorokas singled and moved to third on a base hit by Kirby Craft. In the next at bat, Potter lined a hit to left field for the game-winning tally.

Jackson earned the win for his first career victory. Taylor yielded four runs on 10 hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out two.

Michael Pascarella, Showers, Sorokas and Potter paced the offense with three hits apiece.

Bethel entered the day with an 11-2 record and had won six straight.

Pitt-Bradford improves to 2-5 on the season and plays Johns Hopkins Sunday.