The up-and-down season continued for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania Crimson Hawks baseball team Sunday as they dropped a pair of games to the California University of Pennsylvania Vulcans.
The Crimson Hawks suffered 5-1 and 8-1 losses, and they never had a lead in either matchup, falling to 11-14 (5-7) overall.
“We didn’t pitch, we didn’t hit, and we didn’t play defense,” said shortstop Dylan Tice (junior, exercise science). “We obviously believe we’re better than them, but there wasn’t one aspect of the game that we won.”
Tice is tied with outfielder Chris Calliari (freshman, exercise science) for the team lead in batting average at .361. He also leads the team in hits, walks, stolen bases, on-base percentage, RBI and runs scored.
In IUP’s 11 wins, Tice has recorded a team-high .394 batting average.
“My stats mean nothing if you’re not winning ball games,” Tice said. “We’ve got to put something together as a team and start getting big hits when we need to, myself included.”
Tice recorded the only RBI for IUP during the two game series. Batting in the fifth inning of game one, Tice lined a double down the leftfield line, driving in Rick Jones (sophomore, criminology). The Crimson Hawks scored their lone run in the second game on an error by the Vulcans third baseman, allowing Austin Mock (junior, excercise science) to score.
In game one, Kyle Zaorski (junior, finance) walked eight batters in four and two-thirds innings, allowing all five runs.
Game two wasn’t much better for the Crimson Hawks in terms of pitching.
Zach DeTillio (sophomore, sports medicine) worked just three and two-thirds innings, allowing eight earned runs on just six hits.
Zach Chinchilla (freshman, athletic training), Tyler Squibbs (redshirt senior, sports administration) and Matt Douglas (sophomore, criminology) worked a scoreless inning each.
The Crimson Hawks have lost a total of 14 games this season. That’s nine shy of the 23 losses they posted in 2013, and 20 games remain in the regular season.
After Sunday’s contests, Cal U and IUP are in a virtual tie for fifth place in the PSAC West standings with 5-7 records, but the Vulcans gain the advantage in winning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Crimson Hawks.
IUP will need to climb up two spots from sixth place to fourth place by the end of the season if the team wants to make the PSAC West playoffs.
Outfielder and co-captain Aaron Lupia (senior, health and physical education) said he’d like to win in his last season as a college baseball player.
“Us older guys have had to start being more vocal over the past couple weeks because we’ve struggled as a team to do the small things,” Lupia said. “We try to keep the guys on the bench alive and get everyone hyped up and ready to go. I think we can definitely start to turn things around here as we begin to play the easier half of our schedule”
Ten of IUP’s 12 in-conference games have come against Seton Hill University, Mercyhurst University and Slippery Rock University. Those three teams are currently in first, second and third in the PSAC West standings. They’ve managed to post a combined 32-10 record in the early goings of inner-PSAC West play.
The Crimson Hawks have yet to face Clarion University and Gannon University, who sit at seventh and eighth in the PSAC West with a combined 6-22 record.
Eight of IUP’s remaining 16 in-conference games will be played against the Golden Eagles and Golden Knights to finish out the regular season.