Panthers sweep Finlandia 17-2, 2-0

FT. MYERS, Fla. – The Pitt-Bradford baseball team completed the sweep of Finlandia University during doubleheader action on Wednesday, March 12.

Pitt-Bradford (7-1) crushed the Lions in game one, 17-2, and scored just enough in game two to steal the victory, 2-0. With the pair of wins, the Panthers are off to a roaring start to the 2014 season, having only dropped one game to date.

In game one, senior Derek Meyer (1-0) received the nod from head coach Bret Butler. Junior Kody Johnston was behind the plate calling the signals. Meyer threw six innings of ball and surrendered just three hits. He allowed two runs, one earned, and struck out an eye-popping 10 batters.

The Panthers wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. In the bottom of the first, two runs crossed to give Pitt-Bradford the early advantage.

A six-run third inning opened the scoring and handed the Panthers a 10-2 lead with a lot of baseball left. Timely defensive plays in the outfield and solid grabs by the infielders kept Pitt-Bradford rolling against a struggling Lions’ lineup.

In the fourth, Ethan Lear’s single to left field started another scoring spree that saw the Panthers tack on four more. With Joe Chittester touching home for the final run of the inning, Pitt-Bradford held a commanding 14-2 lead entering the fifth.

A scoreless fifth and three more runs in the sixth gave the Panthers a monster victory over the Lions and the momentum heading into the second game.

In game two, the battery consisted of sophomore Ryan Chamberlain (1-0) on the mound with sophomore Chris Kemp behind the plate. Chamberlain pitched four innings, allowing three hits and struck out seven.

The two teams were scoreless heading into the fourth as both pitchers grinded out inning after inning. Ethan Showers stepped to the plate with no outs and runners at second and third. Showers cracked a sacrifice fly to centerfield that scored Chittester from third to give the Panthers the 1-0 lead.

In the fifth, junior Bill Emerick relieved Chamberlain on the hill and pitched three solid innings, surrendering three hits. He struck out three at the plate.

The Panthers entered the bottom of the seventh with a 2-0 lead. With no outs, Emerick had runners at the corners. A pair of line drives to left field and short stop had the Panthers one out away from the sweep. Emerick got the final batter to ground out to second base that sealed the victory. He was awarded with the save.

Pitt-Bradford will take Thursday off before heading back to the field on Friday, March 14. The Panthers take on number 20 Johns Hopkins in a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m.