Drifton, Pa. - One day after the Nittany Lions picked up their first Penn State University Athletic Conference victory of the season in a nine inning affair with Worthington Scranton, the Nittany Lions were back on their home turf on Tuesday to finish up the season series. Backed by a 25 hit effort, Hazleton tacked on 27 scores in the double-header to sweep the two-day series with Worthington Scranton and move to a 3-4 record in the PSUAC.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 12, Penn State Worthington Scranton 2 (Final, 6 Innings)
Nursing a 2-0 lead through the first four innings of play, the Hazleton offense exploded for six runs in the fifth and four runs in the game-ending sixth inning. The Nittany Lions racked up eight of their 12 hits in those final two at-bats including four extra-base knocks to blow the game open and support another fine pitching effort from freshman hurler Adam Michalesko (Drums, Pa.). The freshman blanked Worthington Scranton through the first five innings of action and nearly picked up the shut-out victory if not for a pair of two-out hits in the top half of the sixth.
Freshman Tanner Lawrence (Pinellas Park, Fl.) punished the opposition for three doubles in game one, scoring three times for Hazleton and driving in a pair in the six run, fifth inning. Senior Aaron Glass (Shippensburg, Pa.) finished 3-for-3 at the plate with three RBI while sophomore Daniel Gilligan (Charlton, Ma.) served up four RBI in a 2-for-4 performance with the bat.
Michalesko cruised through the first five innings, allowing just two hits over that stretch on his way to a six inning, complete game win. The freshman allowed just two runs on four total hits, striking out seven batters for his second win of the year.
Moments that Mattered
With two aboard and no one out, Gilligan gives Hazleton the early lead with a two run double to centerfield, scoring Lawrence and sophomore Adrian Corbin (Brooklyn, Ny.).
A lead off error spells trouble for Worthington Scranton who went on to allow the next six Hazleton hitters to reach safely. Over that period of at-bats, Hazleton would pick up four runs beginning with an RBI single from Michalesko. Lawrence would follow with an RBI double and Aaron Glass would clean up the bases with a two RBI single to left field. The inning would end on a bases loaded double by freshman Tim Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) who smoked a ball to center field. Two runs would come in on the hit before Worthington Scranton threw out a potential third run attempting to score from first base on the Kindler blast.
A walk and two hits lead to Worthington Scranton's first scores of the afternoon. With two outs and a runner on second, Jake Motisko drives a double to left field to plate the first Scranton score, then Motisko rounds third on a single by Matt Kaneski to cut the score to 8-2 in favor of Hazleton.
Hazleton notches three straight hits for the second consecutive inning, this time off Worthington Scranton relief pitching. Lawrence tags his third double of the game, scoring Michalesko from second base followed by a single from Glass that left runners at the corners. With one out, Gilligan doubles to the gap in right field, scoring two to leave the Lions one run shy of the mercy rule. Gilligan would reach third on a passed ball and following a walk to freshman Christian Katt (Chester, Ny.), Hazleton put on the double steal. Katt would draw the throw from the Worthington Scranton catcher, allowing Gilligan to come home safely to seal up the 12-2 victory on the walk-off stolen base.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 15, Penn State Worthington Scranton 5 (Final, 6 Innings)
The Nittany Lions would take an early three run advantage in the second end of Tuesday's double-header, but Worthington Scranton would not go quietly as their bats awoke in the third frame. Scranton would tie the ball game at 3-3 on a pair of big hits from Zach Polito and Brett Seidita and threaten to put a damper on the Hazleton hot streak. But Hazleton would rebound with single scores in the third and fourth frames and as the Lions came to bat in the bottom half of the fifth, it was deja vu all over again.
Just as in game one, Hazleton poured on the offense in the late innings, scoring six runs in their fifth at bat on five hits. Once again, Lawrence was in on the action, scorching his fifth double of the day, a two RBI hit in the middle of the rally. Holding a an 11-3 cushion, Hazleton survived a two-run Scratnon rally in the top half of the sixth, before putting their opponent away in the bottom half of the inning. The Lions would tack on four runs in the sixth inning with just one hit to evoke the mercy rule in six frames by the score of 15-5.
Lawrence continued to pummel opponent pitching in game two, adding a 3-for-3, four RBI performance to help his own efforts as the Nittany Lion hurler. Lawrence would pick up the win for Hazleton, throwing four innings of three run baseball. The freshman allowed just five hits and one walk, striking out seven to complete his banner day on the diamond.
Three other Nittany Lion batters served up multi-hit efforts in a game two that featured 15 Hazleton knocks. Tim Kindler scored a team high five runs, adding two RBI and two stolen bases as he finished 2-for-3 offensively. Freshman Wilson Guarnera (Camp Hill, Pa.) ended his afternoon 3-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and three RBI while Dan Gilligan added a 2-for-3 effort win a run scored.
Tom Chiusano led Worthington Scranton with a 3-for-4 endeavor, adding a run scored and an RBI while Brett Seidita finished 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and one run scored.
Moments that Mattered
Guarnera set the pace early, driving in Kindler on a single to left field to put the Lions up 1-0.
After a Kindler RBI single, Guarnera strikes again to score Kindler for the second consecutive inning, this time doubling to left field, giving Hazleton a 3-0 cushion.
Worthington Scranton connects for four straight hits with two down against Lawrence. Back to back doubles by Polito and Seidita inflict the damage to tie the score at 3-3.
Hazleton bounces back to take the lead after a double by Lawrence and single from Gilligan. Christian Katt produces the run on a ground out, scoring Lawrence from third base to put Hazleton back on top 4-3.
Kindler reaches first on a fielders choice but advances to second base with the Hazleton lead runner in a run down. Lawrence comes up with a clutch two-out hit, scoring Kindler from second base to extend the Hazleton lead to 5-3.
Worthinton Scranton gets the first two hitters out, but a costly error extends the Hazleton at-bat. The Nittany Lions proceed to tag four straight hits including RBI singles from Kindler and Guarnera, followed by the two RBI double from Lawrence. Freshman Jonathan Ortiz (Easton, Pa.) adds a run on an RBI infield single and the Nittany Lions cap the six run frame with a score on a wild pitch.
Facing a an 11-3 deficit, Worthington Scranton chips away at the lead with a pair of scores in the sixth inning, once again inflicting damage with two outs. Jake Motisko doubles to left for the first score, and after an error and a walk extend the inning, Tom Chiusano singles to center with the bases loaded to bring the score to 11-5.
In a rough bottom half for Worthington Scranton, Hazleton needs just one hit to tally four scores and end the game. Hazleton earns four runs on a wild pitch and three bases loaded walks to put the ten run rule in effect, closing out the 15-5 win.
A busy week for the Nittany Lions but a promising start with a three game win streak in the conference. Hazleton will close out the week with a three game set with Penn State Brandywine beginning on Thursday, April 13 with a nine inning contest in Drifton, Pa.