By Zach Payne
HAMPTON, Va.—The Kutztown University baseball team split a pair of games on Saturday, Feb. 22 on day three of the Builder Invitational, a five-game tournament at War Memorial Stadium in Hampton, Va. The Golden Bears started the two-game set with a convincing 11-1 win over Briarcliffe College (NY), but faltered later in the day against Bloomsburg University, conceding nine runs in the final three innings to lose 9-1.
Kutztown vs. Briarcliffe (NY)
Corey Snyder got the start in Saturday’s opener, pitching five shutout innings in his season debut for the Golden Bears. Snyder struck out four, walked two and allowed just two hits before handing the ball over to Matt Matricardi (2.0 IP, 1 K, 0 ER). Pat Flynn (1.0 IP, 1 K, 1 ER) closed the game out for KU.
There was no struggle for the Golden Bears offensively. KU tallied 17 hits in the game, including a 3-for-4 game for shortstop Brandon Cholish, who also scored two runs. Joe Peters and Brandon Hickey both notched two RBIs in the win.
Briarcliffe’s Chris Carrano drove in the only run of the game for his team with an RBI infield single.
Kutztown vs. Bloomsburg
The Golden Bears took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning in Saturday’s nightcap against Bloomsburg University on an error that allowed KU’s only run of the game. Through six innings, it seemed that the storyline would be Kutztown’s dominant pitching, but a late-game collapse opened up the floodgates to allow nine runs in the final three innings.
James Rossi started the game for the Golden Bears, pitching five scoreless innings while striking out four, walking two and giving up three hits. Bloomsburg later scored two runs in the seventh and two runs in the eighth, making it a manageable 4-1 game heading into the final inning.
The wheels fell off in the ninth, however, when a series of walks and errors gave way to five Bloomsburg runs. Casey Cooperman pitched a complete game with nine strikeouts for the Huskies.
Kutztown (3-1) closed out the Builder Invitational on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 3 p.m. when they played Lock Haven University. Following the tournament, the team has a few weeks off before returning to action on March 14 against Dominican College in New York.