DRIFTON, Pa. - Penn State Hazleton couldn't hold onto a pair of multi-run leads as Penn State Beaver swept a pair from the Nittany Lions in their Penn State University Athletic Conference doubleheader on Sunday afternoon at the Drifton Sports Complex.
Hazleton (8-19, 4-16 PSUAC) grabbed an early 4-0 advantage in game one but couldn't build on it as Beaver scored 14 runs over the course of two innings to put an early end to the opening game. Hazleton trailed in game two, 2-0, before a pair of two run innings gave the Lions a 4-2 lead. Again Beaver would come back, this time with a seven-run inning in the top of the seventh to pull away and give Hazleton their 12th straight loss.
Game 1: Penn State Beaver 14, Penn State Hazleton 4 (5 innings)
Hazleton pounded out five hits and plated four runs in the first two innings, giving starting pitcher Michael Baez a 4-0 cushion.
With the bases loaded in the first Gilligan stepped to the plate and hammered a single up the middle to give the Lions a 2-0 lead. Mott followed in the second inning with an RBI double to center and eventually scored himself on a double steal.
The Nittany Lions couldn't hold the lead though as Beaver scored three runs in their half of the third before exploding for 11 runs in the fourth to grab a 14-4 lead. The visitors knocked out 10 hits and capitalized on two Hazleton errors in the inning, leading them to the shortened-game victory.
Game 2: Penn State Beaver 10, Penn State Hazleton 4
Beaver grabbed the early lead in the second game, scoring two runs off starter Charles Ziegmont in the top of the second. Ziegmont, who finished with a no decision after six-plus innings, would only give up two more runs while allowing only four hits and striking out two.
Hazleton answered with two runs of their own in the second inning, as singles from junior Aaron Glass and Gilligan gave the Lions runners at first and third with no outs. A passed ball would allow pinch runner Eric Varner to score, and Gilligan would eventually come home on a ground out from sophomore Charles Karchner to tie the score at 2-2.
Another two-run inning came in the bottom of the third as Mott singled to lead off the inning and came around to score on a two-base throwing error by the Beaver third baseman on at Tyler Myers ground ball. Corey Ryba followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2 Hazleton.
Beaver would add a run in the fourth and neither team would score over the next 2 1/2 innngs. Ziegmont would be chased in the seventh after a lead-off walk and Beaver followed with seven hits over the next 10 batters to score seven runs and grab a 10-4 lead. A scoreless seventh for Hazleton made it 12 straight losses in the PSUAC to finish 4-16 and miss the playoffs.
Hazleton takes a few days rest before hosting Vaughn College on Wednesday, April 27th at 2:00 p.m. The game will serve as the season finale as the Lions have been eliminated from playoff contention.