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Seton Hill, UPG square off at Pirates spring training home

Paul Schofield
| Friday, March 21, 2014, 3:16 p.m.
Members of the UPG baseball get ready to take the field at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.
Submitted
Members of the UPG baseball get ready to take the field at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla.

Approximately three miles separate the campuses of Seton Hill and Pitt-Greensburg.

But the baseball teams traveled 1,054 miles south to Bradenton, Fla., to play a nonconference baseball game March 11.

This wasn't just a one-game series these teams planned. It was part of their southern trips to Florida.

And thanks to the Pirates and Pitt-Greensburg coach Anthony Williams, who worked in the team's scouting department, the teams squared off at the Pirates spring training home, McKechnie Field.

It's an experience that Seton Hill coach Marc Marizzaldi and players from both sides will remember.

“A lot of players know each other and grew up Pirate fans,” Marizzaldi said. “It was the nicest field we've played on. Playing on a professional field was special for the players.

“The setting and the palm trees beyond the outfield fence was neat. I know the players enjoyed it.”

Marizzaldi said the teams had access to all parts of the stadium.

Seton Hill rallied for an 8-2 victory, blowing the game open with a four-run ninth inning. Zach Heide (Mt. Pleasant) had two hits, including a double, and drove in a run for Seton Hill. Nick Sell and Cody Herald also doubled.

Brennan Rahl (Hempfield) was tagged with the loss, while Greg Lynn had two of the four Pitt-Greensburg hits.

“Marc and I talked about it over the summer and things worked out,” Williams said. “We faced a great team and faced some quality players.

“It was a very good experience, plus we had a nice crowd. It was good for the programs. Sometimes when you come south you get stuck on some bad fields. McKechnie is top notch.”

This was the third consecutive season that Pitt-Greensburg had a game scheduled at McKechnie. Last year's game was rained out.

“We were at the game the previous night watching the Pirates play the Orioles,” Williams said. “I think some of the kids were excited because they knew they would be on the field playing the next day.”

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at pschofield@tribweb.com or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

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