The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

College

April 27, 2014

Mountain Cats sweep Gannon, clinch PSAC berth

JOHNSTOWN — Pitt-Johnstown got strong pitching from Derek Younker and John Fees, and Nate Negri hit for the cycle to lead the Mountain Cats to a senior-day sweep over Gannon on Saturday at Point Stadium.

Pitt-Johnstown took Game 1 by a 6-2 tally before romping past the Golden Knights 9-0 in the second game.

With the sweep, Pitt-Johnstown improved to 20-22 and clinched a spot in next week’s PSAC Tournament in Butler.

Pitt-Johnstown, which clinched either the third or fourth seed in the Western Division, will close out the regular season today at Gannon, before opening the PSAC Tournament on Wednesday.

In Game 1, Pitt-Johnstown jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings en route to the four-run win.

Ernesto Rizzitano reached on a fielding error by Gannon second baseman Taylor Anderson to lead off the bottom of the first and the Mountain Cats took advantage of it.

Negri walked and Jake Warner drove in Rizzitano with a base hit to make it 1-0. 

Jake Stern then doubled home Negri while Matt McGhee’s ground out plated Warner from third to make it 3-0.

Rizzitano then hit an inside-the-park home run deep to right field in the second to increase the lead to 4-0.

Gannon cut the deficit in half with single runs in the third and fifth innings, but Pitt-Johnstown struck back with a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Rizzitano doubled with one out and Negri tripled to chase home Rizzitano. 

Two batters later, Kyle Morrow singled to right center to score Negri to set the final.

Younker, who allowed two runs on nine hits, pitched out of a pair of bases loaded jams to improve to 7-4 with a complete-game effort.

Rizzitano finished 2-for-3 for three with a home run, a double and three runs scored.

Negri, Warner, Morrow, and Stern all had run-scoring hits for the Mountain Cats.

In Game 2, Fees pitched a complete-game shutout and Negri hit for the cycle in the 9-0 win.

Negri’s one-out solo home run over the wall in left-center in the bottom of the first started his run at the cycle and put the Mountain Cats up 1-0.

Pitt-Johnstown added two more in the third.

Negri doubled and Warner drew a four-pitch walk.

Morrow followed with an RBI-double down the left-field line and Stern’s sacrifice fly scored Warner from third.

Single runs in the fourth and fifth innings pushed the lead out to 5-0, before Pitt-Johnstown tacked on four more in the sixth.

In that inning, Negri, who needed a single to hit for the cycle, stepped in and promptly lined a two-out single to left to reach complete the feat.

Negri finished 4-for-4 with a run batted in and four runs scored, while Morrow had two doubles and drove in three.

Dillon Boyer collected two hits and Stern had two RBI.

Fees improved to 6-5 after shutting out Gannon on just three hits.

Between games of the doubleheader, Pitt-Johnstown recognized this year’s seniors: Pitchers, Fees, Rylan Schnably and Younker; catcher, Morrow; first baseman, McGhee, and shortstop, Warner.

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