The Keystone College baseball season came to a close on May 15 as Wesleyan University defeated the Giants 6-0 in an NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional elimination game at PNC Field. Keystone overcame a 3-9 start to the year to finish the 2014 campaign with a 27-14 record.
Wesleyan’s Nick Cooney tossed a complete game five-hitter to shutout the Giants, who were held off the scoreboard for the first time of the season. The shutout was also the first time in the last 61 games that a Keystone team was shutout as Misericordia University last achieved the feat with a 5-0 win at Christy Mathewson Field on April 10, 2013.
Keystone’s defense was the story early on, as Wesleyan’s Jonathan Bennett doubled to the gap in left-center to open the bottom of the second but was gunned out trying to stretch the hit into a triple on a great throw by left fielder Tyler Gurman and tag by third baseman Lymbel Guerrero. Keystone’s defense again bailed them out in the bottom of the third inning when starting pitcher Rob Blanc fielded a squeeze bunt by the Cardinals and flipped the ball with his glove to catcher Cody Darley, who tagged the base runner out at the plate to keep the game scoreless, but Wesleyan took a 3-0 lead on a three-run home run by Sam Goodwin-Boyd with two-outs in the innings.
Dylan Corl led off the top of the fourth inning with an infield single and advanced to second on a groundout by Kevin Catherina. Ricky Riscica drew a one-out walk to give Keystone a pair of base runners, both of whom moved into scoring position on a wild pitch before Cooney got a flyout to escape the jam.
Wesleyan pushed their lead to 5-0 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth inning as Nick Miceli doubled down the left field line before Gurman threw out a runner at the plate to end the inning.
Gaston Rojas and Rick McLaughlin opened the visitor’s fifth with back-to-back singles, but Cooney again worked out of trouble with a fly ball out, a pickoff, and a groundout, but Blanc countered by striking out the side in the home half of the frame.
Wesleyan extended their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Miceli brought home Guy Davidson with a squeeze bunt and Cooney only allowed a two-out Kevin Luciano single in the seventh the rest of the way.
Cooney improve to 6-3 after hurling the complete game for the Cardinals, scattering five hits while walking two and fanning nine batters.
Davidson and Ellis Schaefer had two hits apiece to lead Wesleyan’s offense with Goodwin-Boyd and Miceli driving in three runs apiece.
Blanc (5-3) was charged with the loss after going six innings on the mound for Keystone and surrendered six runs – only three of which were earned - on nine hits while striking out five batters. Adam Sosnowski closed on the game for the Giants with two perfect innings including a pair of K’s.
Corl, Guerrero, Rojas, McLaughlin Luciano accounted for Keystone’s five hits.