PITTSBURGH, PA -- #22 La Roche opened AMCC Conference play with a double-header sweep over Penn State Behrend. The Redhawks took Game One 9-3 and Game Two 12-7. Joe Professori hit a grand slam and Jay Novak belted his first career home run.
It did not take long for the Redhawks offense to get going. La Roche followed Nick Tunstall's five pitch first inning with a five run bottom of the first. Joe Professori and Jon Spina drew one-out walks and Professori scored on Jonathan Melendez's single to center. Shane Roebuck drove an RBI single through the left side and Jay Novak tripled to the right-centerfield wall for two runs. Austin Hoffman went opposite field for a sacrifice fly.
Behrend got one back in the second and had men on second and third with no outs. Tunstall responded with three straight strikeouts to end the threat.
Tunstall dropped Behrend in order in the third. Behrend tacked on two more in the fourth but a Spina relay to Christian Hirt caught the Lions at home.
La Roche got both runs back in the bottom of the inning. Gino Quahliero led off with a single and scored on a Professori sac fly to centerfield. Spina drove in Dylan Urban for Urban's league-leading nineteenth run of the season.
Behrend advanced runners to second and third in the fifth inning. Tunstall got the Lions to chase a pitch and La Roche maintained a 7-3 lead.
The Redhawks added two insurance runs in the sixth inning. Spina singled home Professori and scored on a Novak fly out to center. Shane Emrich threw a scoreless seventh inning to preserve the victory.
Novak hit in three and Spina had 2 RBIs and scored twice. Tunstall earned his second win, allowing just one earned run over six innings.
The Lions got four across in the second inning and another run in the third.
La Roche answered with three runs in the bottom of the third. Professori lined a triple to the warning track and scored on a Spina groundout. Novak then went opposite field for his first career home run.
Behrend got a run in the fourth but Thomas came back with a scoreless fifth inning. The Redhawk offense grabbed the momentum and busted out in the sixth.
Quahliero beat out a chopper to short to extend the inning and score a pair. Maddux Ryan and Urban followed with a walk and hit by pitch to load them up for Professori. Professori answered the call, sending a fly ball over the left field wall for a grand slam and 10-7 lead.
Behrend loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh. Jake Seymour came in relief and fielded a swinging bunt to keep a three run lead. Quahliero added a run in the bottom of the inning, lining a shot over the first base bag.
Behrend loaded the bases in the eighth. Quahliero climbed the ladder to make a leaping catch and doubled up Behrend at second base, ending the inning.
Cam Smith tossed a scoreless ninth inning as the Redhawks earned the sweep.
Professori hit in four and scored twice. Quahliero had 3 RBI and 2 runs and Novak 2 RBIs and 2 runs.