BUTLER, PA- The University of Cincinnati-Clermont Cougars are the 2013 USCAA Baseball National Champions. The Cougars bounced back from a game one loss to defeat the Penn State Greater Allegheny Nittany Lions 6-3.
The story of this game was the sensational pitching effort of Cougars’ right-hander Ryan Beard, the 2013 USCAA Small College World Series Tournament MVP. Beard, coming off a complete game shutout of The Apprentice School just yesterday, pitched eight more innings giving up only one run and striking out five. In the past two days Beard has tallied 217 pitches, but his gutsy performance held the Lions in check and allowed the Cougars offense a chance to come from behind and earn their first ever USCAA Baseball National Championship.
The Nittany Lions, entering with 44 hits over their previous three games, got off to a hot start once again when the second batter of the game, Mike Visloski, homered over the right field wall off Cougars starter Joey Wahl. Wahl, who pitched in 5.1 innings of relief in the first championship game earlier in the day, went just one inning giving up two runs before turning the ball over to Beard.
Greater Allegheny tallied two more runs in the second inning off a sacrifice fly from All-Tournament Team member Alente Johnson and an RBI groundout from Visloski. Cincinnati-Clermont would respond with one run in the bottom of the second on an RBI from Trevor Cunningham. From there, it was a battle between Lions’ starter Aaron McGee and Beard, who would trade zeros until the bottom of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth Cougars’ catcher and All-Tournament Team member Mike Gastrich smashed a two-run home run, his second of the tournament, to tie the game. Cincinnati-Clermont wasn’t done, as they would add three more runs in the bottom of the sixth on RBI’s from Josh Reinhart, Steve Hendrickson, and Gastrich to complete their scoring on the night.
Penn State Greater Allegheny’s Oliver Girman, an All-Tournament Team member, went 3-5, and pitched two scoreless innings in the game to lead the Lions. The Cougars’ offense combined for 14 hits in the game, highlighted by multi-hit efforts from All-Tournament Team member John Kennedy, Ryan Mummert, Reinhart, and Gastrich.
The second place finish for Penn State Greater Allegheny is their best in school history. For all results from the 2013 USCAA Small College World Series please visit the tournament website.
2013 Baseball All-Tournament Team:
Trey Meier – Lindenwood University-Belleville
Anothony Durant – Selma University
Zachary Weil – Penn College
Chris Aldridge – The Apprentice School
Alente Johnson – Penn State Greater Allegheny
Mike Visloski – Penn State Greater Allegheny
Jake Scarlato – University of Cincinnati-Clermont
John Kennedy – University of Cincinnati-Clermont
Mike Gastrich – University of Cincinnati-Clermont
Ryan Beard – University of Cincinnati-Clermont