CARY, N.C. – With first pitch slated for just before 9:30 am, the Clarion baseball team had an early start on trying to win the weekend closing out their spring break trip against the College of Saint Rose Sunday morning, falling by a final score of 11-7. Clarion closes out the trip 2-3 and 3-12 on the season overall.
The Golden Eagles will look to bounce back from the loss next weekend when they head to Salem, West Virginia to take on Salem in a pair of doubleheaders on March 13 and 14.
The Blue and Gold found themselves in a hole early, falling behind 5-0 through the first five innings of action. Clarion was able to tack on two runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a an Alex Ficorilli double that scored Chandler Palyas and Danny Fox who walked and was hit by a pitch in the early parts of the inning.
The Golden Eagles threatened with runners with the bases loaded and just one out, but a good old fashioned 4-6-3 double play ended the inning.
Clarion tacked on one more run in the top of the sixth inning to pull back within two at 5-3 courtesy of a Palyas sac fly that scored Shaffer who walked in the start of the inning.
Through sixth and a half innings Clarion trailed by just two runs but the Saint Rose bats exploded in the bottom of the seventh inning, picking up three runs on three hits pushing their lead to 8-3, but the Golden Eagles still hung around remaining within striking distance of the lead.
That was until the bottom of the eighth when Saint Rose tacked on three more runs on four hits, before Joe Rossistruck out back to back batters to end the inning and leave the bases loaded.
With the Golden Eagles trailing 11-3 with just one at bat left, the offense went into attack mode early starting the inning off with a free base runner courtesy of a hit by pitch and a single from Shaffer that put runners on first and second with just one out.
After a Fox walk the bases were loaded for Palyas who launched a grand slam, his first of the year and third homer of the season over the fence plating four runs and pulling Clarion back within four with just one swing of the bat.
That’s all the closer the Golden Eagles would get though as the next batter grounded out to the shortstop to end the threat and the game for the Blue and Gold.
Kyler Mellott got the start for Clarion on the mound, he punched in 6.2 innings of work, striking out three and allowing nine hits.
The Golden Eagles finished the game with seven runs on nine hits as for the second game in a row Palyas paced the Clarion attack, going 2 for 4 with five RBI’s. Ficorilli had a good day at the plate notching a 3 for 6 afternoon and driving in two runs.
After heading to Salem next weekend, Clarion will open up PSAC West Conference play against Pitt-Johnstown.