IUP baseball coach Ditch ties school wins record
IUP baseball coach Jeff Ditch tied Arch Moore’s school record for career victories as the Crimson Hawks earned their first home victories of the season with a sweep of Mansfield in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference crossover doubleheader Wednesday.
David McNeill hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the opener to lead IUP to a 9-2 win, and the Crimson Hawks scored the final six runs of the second game to secure a 7-2 win.
With the victories, Ditch pushes his wins total to 182 in eight seasons, tying Moore, who went 182-126 from 1971-82. Ditch’s record at IUP stands at 182-202-1.
In the opener, IUP got back-to-back two-out singles from Dylan Tice and Troy Foster before McNeill hit a towering three-run shot to give IUP a 5-2 lead.
The Crimson Hawks scored four more runs with two outs in the fifth, as Rick Jones hit an RBI double, Tice followed with a two-run double and Foster capped the inning with a run-scoring single.
Tice finished 2-for-2 with three RBIs, McNeill was 2-for-3 with four RBIs, and Robbie Zinsmeister went 2-for-3. Foster and Jones had an RBI each.
Matt Szukics earned the win, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks in a complete-game effort.
In the second game, IUP trailed 2-1 in the third inning after the teams resumed play following a 90-minute rain delay.
Zinsmeister hit a solo homer in the bottom of the third to tie the game at 2.
Foster gave IUP a 3-2 lead with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and IUP put the game away with a four-run fifth, highlighted by Ryan Uhl’s two-run single.
Uhl finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs and McNeill went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Austin Mock started for IUP, lasting only 1 1-3 innings until the rain delay. Demetrius Christofes came on and earned the win. He allowed one run on two hits and five walks in 4 2-3 innings.
Earlier in the day, IUP senior pitcher Stephen Cooke was named the Division II Pitcher of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Earlier in the week, Cooke received the same awards in the PSAC West and Atlantic Region.
Cooke has not allowed a run in 29 1-3 innings, setting a PSAC record for most consecutive scoreless innings in the process.
Including Cooke’s selection, IUP players have garnered both the national pitcher and hitter of the week award once this season. A sophomore shortstop, Tice was selected the Division II hitter of the week on March 6.