VERO BEACH, FLA. – A pair of strong pitching performances on Friday brought the Apprentice School a pair of wins in the USCAA Spring Classic at Dodgertown in the Vero Beach Sports Village.
Chris Perry and Kyle Clark combined for a two-hit shutout as the Builders topped Penn State Hazleton 14-0 in the opener. Later, freshman Taylor Gomer allowed six hits and one run as the Apprentice School pushed one across in the bottom of the fourth and two more in the bottom of the sixth to defeat Penn State Greater Allegheny 3-1.
With the wins on Friday, the Builders are now 10-1 on the year. That is the best start to a season under head coach Bryan Cave. In 2001, the Builders started 10-2 en route to a 24-12 season.
BUILDERS VS. PENN STATE HAZLETON
Apprentice School got going in the second inning as run-scoring singles from Chris Scarola and Devorn Lake along with a wild pitch put the Builders up 3-0. After scoring a pair in the third on a RBI single from Zach Harding and a sacrifice fly from Trevin Wilson, the Builders pushed two more over in the fourth as Chris Aldridge started with a triple and scored on a Lake ground out. Cody Seals drove in the second run with a force out to score Mark Labrador who had walked to lead 7-0.
Ryan Hendrickson had the big hit in a three-run fifth as he drove in a pair with a single up the middle. The Builders scored four more in the sixth with a pair of bases loaded walks helping push the final margin to 14-0.
Perry went the first five innings and allowed a pair of hits with four strikeouts. Clark came in and threw the final two innings with a strikeout to close out the game. Wilson was 3-for-4 with three runs scored to lead a 15-hit attack for the Builders. Lake drove in three runs going 2-for-3, while Hendrickson was 1-for-1 with two RBIs.
BUILDERS VS. PENN STATE GREATER ALLEGHENY
In quite the different type of game from Thursday's 8-6 slugfest win over Greater Allegheny, the Builders were held in check for the first three innings and didn't record their first hit until Wilson started the fourth with a hopper over the head of the third baseman for a single.
He went to third as Scarola's ground ball to the pitcher sailed past the first baseman advancing him to second. Following a ground out by Aldridge and an intentional walk to Lake, Labrador drove in the first run with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Gomer worked his way out of a couple jams late as in the bottom of the fourth inning, Penn State Greater Allegheny got the bases loaded but a force out and a double play ended that threat. In the fifth, a pair of singles put runners at second and third with two outs before he struck out Mike Visloski to end that inning.
Apprentice School pushed a pair of runs across in the sixth as with one out, Aldridge doubled followed by a second intentional walk to Lake. Labrador responded with a single through the left side to plate Aldridge and Brock Harris followed with another single through the left side of the infield to score Lake for a 3-0 lead.
Greater Allegheny plated a run in the top of the seventh, but Gomer induced a ground out to end the game for the 3-1 win.
Gomer threw seven innings allowing one run on six hits with four strikeouts. Wilson, Aldridge, Labrador and Harris had one hit each for the Builders.
Apprentice School now takes on NCAA Division III Bridgewater State University to close out its swing to Vero Beach on Saturday in a noon doubleheader.