PITTSBURGH — Senior pitcher Chad Zurat (Clearfield) averted a loss in the opener of the 2014 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference Tournament when No. 2 seed Penn State Behrend rallied for eight runs in the last three innings to nudge No. 3 Mount Aloysius 9-8 on the La Roche campus Friday.
Zurat, making his 10th start, worked into the seventh inning, departing with the Lions down 4-1 and one Mountie aboard. He later scored on an error, the second unearned run charged to Zurat.
He surrendered a season-high eight hits, struck out five, walked two and hit two.
His earned run average spiked to 2.61, which ranks seventh in the AMCC.
Zurat (7-2) is tied for third in wins, fourth in strikeouts (58) and sixth in innings pitched (58-2/3).
He has appeared in 11 games with 10 starts and three complete games.
Zurat was 4-1 in five AMCC starts and ranked second in innings pitched (32), third in ERA (0.84) and third in strikeouts (37) in conference-only statistics. He gave up only 19 hits and five runs, with two unearned.
The Lions bowed out of the AMCC tourney with losses to regular season champ La Roche 3-1 and No. 4 seed Pitt-Greensburg 3-1. La Roche went on to win the title.
Behrend’s season was extended another week when the Lions were selected to host the 2014 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Division III South Championship Tournament at Behrend Field.
No. 1 seed Behrend (28-14) will play Bethany (19-17) Saturday at 4 p.m. The other semifinal pits No. 2 Gallaudet (26-17) against No. 3 Centenary (19-17) at 1.
The winners will square off for the title Sunday at 1 p.m.
Behrend won the ECAC South crown in 2002, 2003 and 2012.