Drifton, Pa. - The Hazleton win streak ended Thursday evening as the Nittany Lions ran into the top ranked team in the Penn State University Athletic Conference in Penn State Brandywine. Hazleton had out-hit Brandywine through six innings of action but Brandywine managed to stay on top on the scoreboard, taking full advantage of limited scoring opportunities to dish the Nittany Lions a 6-1 defeat in the nine inning contest.
Freshman Tim Kindler (Mountaint Top, Pa.) paced Hazleton hitters with two hits in five tries on Thursday. Kindler drove in Hazleton's lone run on a seventh inning ground out, set up by a sacrifice bunt by freshman Greg Lyons (Millville, Pa.).
Freshman Ryan Taras (Nesquehoning, Pa.) was dealt the loss in Thursday's game, but gave the Nittany Lions a chance to win with six strong innings before running out of steam in the eighth frame. Taras finished the day with seven and two thirds innings pitched, allowing four earned runs on just six hits while striking out a pair.
Brandywine was led by John Gorgone who set the tempo from the lead off spot. Gorgone finished 1-for-3 at the plate, scored twice for the visitors and drove in a early run for Brandywine on a double down the left field line. Brian Reynolds was held to a 1-for-5 effort, but made the Nittany Lions pay with a two RBI single in the seventh that extended Brandywine's cushion to five runs.
Bradley Ulmer picked up the win for the visitors in seven solid innings of work from the hill. Ulmer held Hazleton to just one run on five hits, walking a pair and striking out two batters in the winning effort.
Moments that Mattered
Brandywine made Hazleton pay for nearly every free base runner. Five of Brandywine's six scores were attributed to Hazleton walks, hit batsman or defensive errors.
The visitors cash in two walks with RBI base hits Matt Masi and John Gorgone in the fourth and fifth innings and boost their lead to 3-0 in the fifth courtesy of a Nittany Lion infield miscue.
A walk to Gorgone in the seventh inning leads to another two run frame for Brandywine as two runs come in on the Reynolds two-out single.
Brandywine tacks on an insurance run in the eighth frame when Will Scott Norris reaches on a throwing error and comes in to score on Brett Sheeran single to center.
The Nittany Lions look to rebound as they travel to Penn State Brandywine on Friday to complete the three game conference series. Sophomore Daniel Gilligan (Charlton, Ma.) and freshman Adam Michalesko (Drums, Pa.) will likely earn the starting nods in Friday's double-header as Hazleton seeks to right ship and keep pace in the PSUAC eastern division.