Nittany Oil/Minit Mart manager Joe Faretta figured his club would put some runs on the board, and it's a good thing it did.
The Altoona representative in the AAABA Altoona Regional Tournament banged out six extra base hits, including three home runs, and scored in all but one inning en route to a 10-2 first-round win over Long Island on Saturday at the Juniata Civics Association Sports Complex.
While Nittany was knocking the ball over and out of the park, four of its pitchers were walking 11 Long Island batters. Fortunately for Nittany, the New Yorkers couldn't take advantage of the free passes and stranded 11 base runners.
"We were trying to get everybody reps [playing time]," Faretta said. "We feel all of them deserve some reps and that's what we were trying to focus on - getting some pitchers some work this game.
"We tried to get out to a good lead," he said. "We know we have some good hitters, but our pitchers have got to get ahead of hitters, and [Sunday] we will."
Braedon Pennington, a pickup player from Johnston Realty, was one of Nittany's offensive stars. In four at-bats, Pennington ripped a triple and homer, drew two walks, knocked in two runs and scored four times.
"I've watched him hit all year, and we're excited to have him," Faretta said of his designated hitter. "We had some real good at-bats and [New York] finally moved their outfield back in the third inning."
Pennington, who will attend Mercyhurst College in the fall, is from Punxsutawney and had his own cheering section of hometown fans at Juniata.
Pennington will pitch and DH at Mercyhurst after two years at Allegany, Md. and showed off his power yesterday. He crushed a homer deep over the center field fence to cap Nittany's outburst.
"It was a fastball right down the middle," the 6-foot, 200-pounder said. "I just put good wood on it.
"If we continue to hit and play pretty good defense, we should be unstoppable. We have a good team."
Justin Taylor and Von Walker hit the other homers for Nittany. Taylor, who also singled, drove in three runs while Walker had two RBIs and scored twice.
Nittany Oil will take on Brooklyn, a 9-0 winner over Maryland State, in a winner's bracket game today at 2 p.m.
"Obviously, Brooklyn is going to be a big challenge," Faretta said, "but we'll be ready with Kyle Schneider on the hill."
NEW YORK (2): Sciara cf 300, Iacono lf 300, Bell 2b 322, Longo 1b 200, Burns dh 202, McCarthy 3b 300, McKnight ph 100, Lewis rf 201, Auletti c 200, Coman ss 101, Sesto p 100. Totals - 23-2-6.
NITTANY OIL/MINIT MART (10): Doran cf 300, Scholly rf 110, Weibley rf-cf 411, Pennington dh 242, Mock ss-3b 301, Taylor 1b 312, Hill c 200, Walters c 200, Faretta 2b 200, Henderson 2b 100, Peterson 3b 111, Marcinko ss 000, Walker lf 321, Kyle p 000, Finlan p 000, Curtis p 000, Barefoot p 000, Fuller p 000. Totals - 27-10-8.
SCORE BY INNINGS
New York101 000 0- 2 6 4
Nittany Oil122 023 X-10 8 1
E-McCarthy 2, Lewis, Coman, Walker. 2B-Bell, Mock, Peterson. 3B-Pennington. HR-Pennington, Taylor, Walker. RBI-Taylor 3, Pennington 2, Walker 2, Mock. WP-Curtis. LP-Sesto. SO-Kyle 2, Finlan 1, Curtis 2, Fuller 2, Sesto 3. BB-Kyle 2, Finlan 3, Curtis 4, Barefoot 2.
Umpires - Joe Thompson (HP), Bill Johnson (1b), Bill Vigne (2b), Joe Bidoli Jr. (3b).
Recent rains made the Penn State Altoona baseball field unplayable and forced AAABA Altoona Regional officials to move all of its tournament games to the Juniata Civic Association Complex.
Saturday's schedule was revised to two games. Brooklyn blanked Maryland State, 9-0, and Nittany Oil/Minit Mart routed New York, 10-2.
Weather permitting, three games will be played today at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. At least one game will be played Monday at 10 a.m.
In Saturday's opener, Brooklyn right-handed pitcher Sandro Ferreira hurled a one-hitter, struck out 13 and retired the final 20 batters as the Bonnies won easily.
"When you get pitching like that, it's pretty easy," Brooklyn manager Jerry Katzke said. "He's our No. 1 pitcher."
Brooklyn scored twice in the first, combing three hits and an error, and Ferreira took care of the rest.
"Scoring early is always a key, too," Katzke said. "We have a pretty balanced lineup and we run well, too, and that helps. We put pressure on them early and they didn't make plays."
Maryland State's roster features a lot of high school players and manager John Childers noted that it's tough to compete against older players.
"We're not quite as experienced at this level," Childers said. "I thought Anderson Burgess pitched well, but we made too many errors and got ourselves in a hole.
"Plus, their pitcher was lights out."
BROOKLYN (9): Martinez dh 411, Vidal ss 412, Pimental 2b 410, M. Rios c 221, Comas lf 413, Simmons cf 411, Mendez 1b 321, L. Rios rf 300, Piniero 3b 401, Ferreira p 000. Totals - 34-9-10.
MARYLAND STATE (0): Twiford rf 200, Williams p 100, Jones cf 200, Burgess p-rf 301, Faunce 1b 300, Tayman lf 200, Smith ph 100, Konzen ss 200, Stine 2b 200, Calvert 3b 200, Wright c 100, White ph 100, Hardy c 000. Totals - 22-0-1.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Brooklyn202 001 4-9 10 0
Maryland State000 000 0-0 1 3
E-Burgess, Faunce, Wright. 2B-Simmons. HR-Mendez. RBI-M. Rios 2, Comas 2, Piniero 2, Simmons, Mendez. WP-Ferreira. LP-Burgess. SO-Ferreira 13, Burgess 4. BB-Ferreira 1, Burgess 2.
Umpires - Dave Adams (HP), Larry Stitt (1b), Joe Thompson (2b), Gene Decker (3b).