DUBOIS, Pa. – Top-seeded Penn State Brandywine began its Penn State University Athletic Conference Tournament run Sunday afternoon, edging No. 2 Penn State Beaver 6-3 at Showers Field. With the victory, Brandywine advances to the winners bracket where it will face Penn State DuBois at 5:30 PM Sunday evening.
Beaver struck first, scoring twice in the first inning on a two-run triple by Justyn Francona, but Brandywine answered with a two-run triple of its own in the third to knot the score at 2-2. After Chris Skahill (Media, Pa./Penncrest) and Brett Sheeran (Springfield, Pa./Springfield) worked walks to open the frame, Tommy Crumlish (Upper Darby, Pa./Monsignor Bonner) laced a triple to left-center field, pushing across both runners.
The Lions claimed the lead for good one inning later, taking advantage of two Beaver errors to score three times. Joey Buoni (Chester Heights, Pa./Salesianum) started the rally with a double and came around to score on a Beaver miscue, while Robert Spitaletta (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) also scored via a Beaver error. Skahill tacked on the third run as his base hit through the middle sent Brendan Ricciardi (Media, Pa./Strath Haven) home.
Beaver closed to within 5-3 in the sixth, but Andre Pendleton (Narberth, Pa./Harriton) was issued a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the frame, upping the lead back to three.
Kevin Sessa (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) retired the side in order in the top of the seventh to preserve the victory for Brandywine. Sessa fired his second complete game of the season, earning his league-leading seventh victory. In seven innings, he fanned five, while allowing three runs on three hits.
Skahill and Buoni both produced multi-hit efforts, combining for four of Brandywine's seven hits. Three of the Lions' knocks went for extra bases.
A victory over DuBois would send Brandywine to the PSUAC title game Monday afternoon. The Lions have not reached the championship round since 2014.