Drifton, Pa. - The Nittany Lions failed to stop the losing skid on Monday afternoon as they sought to stay in the hunt for the Penn State University Athletic Conference eastern division baseball playoffs. Hazleton failed to slow the red hot offense of Penn State Schuylkill in the early innings of both contests, coming up empty in Monday's double-header as the second ranked squad picked up the season sweep against the Nittany Lions.
Schuylkill wracked up eight of their 14 hits in game one in the third and fourth frames, turning a one run advantage into a 9-3 cushion over Hazleton and widened that margin to seven runs by their final at-bat. Trailing 11-4 in bottom of the seventh, the Nittany Lions rallied with five hits, getting the tying run to the on deck circle, but ultimately ran out of outs against the Schuylkill relief pitching to fall 11-7 in game one. Hazleton would suffer a similar fate in game two, falling behind 7-0 after three Schuylkill at bats. Nittany Lion pitching would right the ship to close out the game, but the damage had been done leading to an 8-2 defeat.
Game 1: Penn State Schuylkill 11, Penn State Hazleton 7
Catcher Matt Roberts topped all Schuylkill hitters with a 3-for-4 effort, adding three RBI and a run scored in the win. Kyle Kaledas finished 2-for-4 with a solo home run while Karlos Joseph ended the game 1-for-2 with a two-run home run.
John Toomey picked up the win for Schuylkill, throwing six innings of five run ball. Toomey allowed seven hits and three walks while striking out three in the win.
Hazleton was led by senior Aaron Glass (Shippensburg, Pa.) who notched two hits and two RBI, including a solo home run in the second inning. Freshman Tanner Lawrence (Pinellas Park Fl.) added two hits and a pair of runs scored while freshman Adam Michalesko (Drums, Pa.) finished 1-for-1 with a run scored and an RBI, reaching base safely in all four of his plate appearances.
Freshman Ryan Taras (Nesquehoning, Pa.) gets hit with the loss, allowing nine runs (five earned) on 10 hits and one walk.
Moments that Mattered
Schuylkill's Offense Fires On All Cylanders
All nine Schuylkill hitters contribute with at least one hit in the ball game and the visitors rack up six steals to consistently put runners in scoring position. In the third and fourth frames, the visitors pound Hazleton pitching for eight hits, sending 16 batters to dish as they surge ahead for a six run advantage.
Pitcher John Toomey sails through the middle innings, allowing just one hit and one earned run from the third frame through Hazleton's fifth at-bat.
Late Rally Comes Up Short
Hazleton double's their hit total with five knocks in the seventh inning. The Lions chase Toomey from the game and earn three hits with two outs that include RBI knocks from Glass and freshman Christian Katt (Chester, Ny.), but the Lion's late run ends with two on and the tying run on deck.
Game 2: Penn State Schuylkill 8, Penn State Hazleton 2
Juan Familia and Matt Roberts both went 3-for-4 with two RBI, part of a Schuylkill line up that saw five hitters collect multi-hit performances. Guy Visconti added two hits with two RBI while Ryan King notched two hits, an RBI and three runs scored.
Derek Eberhart earns the win with a complete game effort, allowing two runs on 10 hits with three strike outs.
Freshman Tim Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) led the Nittany Lions with a three hit effort, coming around for both Hazleton scores in game two. Freshman Wilson Guarnera (Camp Hill, Pa.) and Tanner Lawrence both finished 1-for-3 with an RBI.
Lawrence settled in after the third inning to sit down nine of 11 Schuylkill batters, but earns the loss with seven earned runs allowed on 13 hits and three walks in six innings of work.
Moments that Mattered
Schuylkill hitters pile up 11 singles to continue to turn the line up over, nine of which come in the first three frames as the visitors wrack up seven of their eight total runs in the contest.
With just three conference games remaining in the season, the Nittany Lions find themselves on the outside looking in on the playoff chase. Hazleton will take on Penn State York in their final home game of the year on Sunday, April 23 beginning at 1:00 p.m. in Drifton, Pa.