Drifton, Pa - The Nittany Lions suffered a pair of losses on Saturday on the their home field at the hands of Penn State Greater Allegheny. Hazleton fell in game one 15-7 before taking a 17-6 defeat in the second matchup, on a day where the Lions struggled to connect at the plate, being outhit by Greater Allegheny by a combined total of 34-8 in the hit column.
Senior Corey Ryba (McAdoo, Pa.) connected for three hits in the double header, coming up a single shy of the cycle, knocking in six of the Lions 13 scores. Freshman Austin Felter (Susquehanna, Pa) also connected for a blast in game one, his first home run of the season.
Game 1: Penn State Greater Allegheny 15, Hazleton 7
A very windy afternoon led to struggles by both teams in game one. Greater Allegheny fell victim to five defensive errors that led to five Hazleton scores while Nittany Lion pitchers struggled to find the plate through the blustery gusts, serving up 13 free passes to the visiting batters.
Greater Allegheny jumped out to an early lead, picking up an unearned run in the second inning to start the scoring, then adding five scores on six third inning hits to open up a 6-0 advantage through two and a half innings. Hazleton answered in the bottom half of third inning, benefitting from three Greater Allegheny fielding errors, capped by RBI single by junior Aaron Glass (Shippensburg, Pa.) that tightened the score at 6-4.
Freshman Joseph Bissol (Washington Crossing, Pa.) settled in on the mound for Hazleton blanking Greater Allegheny in the fourth and Fifth innings, and in the bottom half of the fifth inning, Hazleton would knot the score on a two run blast by Corey Ryba. The Lions ran into trouble in the sixth frame but Bissol nearly got out of the inning unscathed as Hazleton defenders made beautiful relay from the outfield to throw out a runner at the plate and the Hazleton hurler stranded runners at second and third base with a ground ball for the second out of the inning. But a two RBI single by Allegheny's John Nusser and a single that left runners on the corners chased Bissol from the action. With Bissol out, Greater Allegheny plates four more runs with two outs to extend their advantage back to six at the score of 12-6.
Allegheny would add three more runs in the top half of the seventh inning to take firm command of the game. A solo shot from Austin Felter in the bottom of the seventh cut the lead to eight, but the Lions were unable to mount a significant comeback effort.
Game 2: Penn State Greater Allegheny 17, Penn State Hazleton 6
Greater Allegheny took advantage of four free passes by Hazleton pitching in the first two innings to take a seven run advantage over the Lions. The Lions rallied in the third frame, loading the bases for Corey Ryba who laced a double to clear the bases and cut the lead to four at 7-3, but back to back doubles by Allegheny in the fourth inning led to a pair of scores on a wild pitch and passed ball that pushed the lead back to six at 9-3 in favor of the visitors.
Both squads would trade runs in the fifth and sixth innings before Greater Allegheny broke the game open in the seventh inning. A walk and two singles loaded the bases for Greater Allegheny and Francisco Del Rio drove a pitch over the left field wall for a grand slam that sparked a seven run inning by the visitors. Hazleton added a pair of scores in their final at including an RBI triple from Ryba, leading to the final score of 17-6
The Nittany Lions wrap up their 10th game in six days on Sunday when they take on Penn State Beaver in the final Penn State University Athletic Conference contests of 2016.