Apr. 28—Despite having 18 players out at one time because of coronavirus protocols and the team being sidelined for 20 days, Seton Hill baseball has been nearly unbeatable this season.
The Griffins are ranked No. 7 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Division II Top 25.
On Tuesday, Seton Hill (21-2, 13-2) swept a doubleheader from Slippery Rock, winning 11-0 in Game 1 and 6-1 in Game 2.
Seton Hill is in the midst of playing 12 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference West Division games in eight days.
“We went from zero to 100 from not playing in 20 days,” Seton Hill coach Marc Marizzaldi said. “Now we’re halfway through that stretch. This is kind of weird playing midweek baseball. Usually, you play everyone and run a bunch of pitchers out there.
“These mean a little more than normal midweek games plus they’re all doubleheaders. We’re basically playing three four-game series in one week, and that’s pretty tough. So far, so good.”
It started with the Griffins winning two of three games against Mercyhurst. An apparent third win was taken away after Mercyhurst won a protest of an umpire’s blown call.
It continued with the sweep of Slippery Rock (16-9, 7-7) behind strong pitching, solid defense and timely hitting.
Pitcher Jared Kollar (Latrobe), who missed five weeks with a hand injury, was dominant in his return. He allowed one hit, one walk and struck out eight in four innings. Ashton Wetzler and Omar Ward (Kiski School) held Slippery Rock hitless over the final three innings.
Many of the key contributors are from Westmoreland County.
Tommy Pellis (Greensburg Central Catholic) continued his hot hitting, going 3 for 3 with two doubles, a home run and an RBI in Game 1. Pellis is hitting .507 with seven home runs and 23 RBI.
Catcher Tyler Peterson had a two-run home run, and Isaiah DiAndreth (Hempfield) had two hits and three RBIs.
In Game 2, Owen Sabol (Norwin) hit a solo home run, Jordan Fiedor (Hempfield) hit a grand slam, and three hurlers limited Slippery Rock to one run and five hits. Slippery Rock had six hits in the doubleheader.
The Griffins travels to Clarion on Wednesday and then play four games against Cal U beginning Friday.
“I thought we got great pitching throughout the Mercyhurst series and really got some great pitching (Tuesday),” Marizzaldi said. “It was a good thing and a bad thing that Jared (Kollar) was hurt. He was cleared last week and we were able to get him on the mound, and that gives us an advantage over a lot of teams because we’re able to roll out either a No. 1 or No. 2 in the middle of the week.”
Marizzaldi said he feels comfortable because of the depth of his pitching staff. He said there are a few guys that are waiting in the wings.
“I feel we have a good shot at winning with how our pitching sets up,” Marizzaldi said. “It makes you nervous as a coach that you rely on the long ball. But Owen’s solo shot answered their run, and Fiedor’s hit was huge, and that was kind of the dagger. Our pitching suffocated them all day.”
Marizzaldi said he hopes his team just continues to roll. The Griffins want to finish first so they have the chance to play host to the conference tournament.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .