Pitching fuels Mounties sweep
Gigliotti sets conference record for scoreless innings in a row
EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. – East Stroudsburg and Mansfield received outstanding pitching performances in both ends of Sunday’s doubleheader, but the Mounties were able to scratch out the go-ahead run in the seventh inning of both games to leave Mitterling Field with 2-0 and 2-1 victories in the first half of this weekend’s PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) East series.
The Warriors (17-6, 3-3), ranked No. 11 in the NCBWA (National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association) Division II poll, and Mounties (14-5, 3-1) are scheduled to finish the series on Monday at Mansfield. The series was originally scheduled for Friday and Saturday but was pushed back two days due to inclement weather and field conditions.
In the opener, ESU redshirt senior Jeremy Gigliotti and Mansfield senior Eric Rosenberger matched zeroes through the first six innings before Mansfield’s Glen Jenkins hit a two-out, two-run double in the seventh for the game’s only runs.
Gigliotti set a PSAC record with 27.2 consecutive scoreless innings, breaking the previous mark of 27.0 set by Millersville’s Brooks Rothschild earlier this season, and moved into third in school history with 195 career strikeouts. He struck out eight and yielded six hits, just three of them in the first six innings.
Freshman CF Chris Knott made the defensive play of the game with one out in the seventh, a diving catch of a sure extra-base hit by Jon Moser that momentarily kept the Mounties off the board, but Mansfield capitalized on one-out singles by Kevin Miller and Mitch Iseneker on Jenkins’ bases-loaded double just inside the third base bag.
Gigliotti falls to 3-1 in four starts and took his first loss since March 14, 2009. He had won his last eight decisions, which included a streak of 31.2 innings without allowing an earned run in 2009 and the streak of 27.2 scoreless innings that went back to his final two innings last season.
A preseason NCBWA All-Region selection, Gigliotti made just three starts last year before missing the rest of the season due to injury, but has posted a 0.69 ERA with 37 strikeouts and four walks in 26 innings this season in his return to the mound.
Rosenberger threw a four-hitter for Mansfield to improve to 5-0 on the season. He retired the first 12 batters before sophomore 1B Brian Ernst singled to lead off the fifth, but the Warriors couldn’t capitalize on leadoff singles in each of the last three innings and runners in scoring position in the fifth and sixth against Mansfield’s southpaw.
In the second game, redshirt sophomore Andy Noga and Mansfield sophomore lefty Joe Candelmo dueled into the seventh in a 1-1 game before the Mounties put together a pair of doubles by Miller and Jon Moser to plate the only earned run off Noga.
The Warriors nearly put together a two-out rally to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Freshman 2B Matt Bahnick singled and moved to second on a wild pitch and third on a passed ball on consecutive pitches, but Candelmo got pinch-hitter Eric Forth to ground out to third for the game’s final out.
Noga allowed just five hits and struck out five in his second straight complete game effort. He was coming off a 6-0 shutout of Kutztown in his last start on March 18 and has a 4-1 record with 29 strikeouts and three walks in 35.1 innings over six starts this season.
The Warriors managed six hits off Candelmo, who struck out seven and improved to 4-1 for the Mounties. They scored their only run in the second inning to tie the game at 1-1 after Mansfield took advantage of two ESU errors for an unearned run in the top of the inning.
All told, Sunday’s pitchers struck out 24 and didn’t issue a walk in a combined 28 innings of work. Mansfield had one more hit than the Warriors, 11-10, and four of the game’s five doubles.
Ernst was 2-for-3 in both games, accounting for four of the Warriors’ 10 hits and their only extra-base hit. He hit a leadoff double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Knott in the second inning.
Bahnick also went 2-for-3 in the second game. Forth, junior 2B Ryan Guarino, junior SS Evan Gallagher and sophomore DH Tom Spilatore also had hits in the twinbill.
Gigliotti is 20 strikeouts away from tying Joel Bennett's record of 215 (1989-1991).