Palymra, Pa. - The Nittany Lions traveled to the In The Net Sports Complex on Thursday afternoon to host Southern Maine Community College in a pair of non-conference games. Hazleton would compete in the squad's first meeting but struggles from the mound plagued the Lions all afternoon resulting in a pair of losses that drops the squad's early season record to 1-5 overall.
Game 1: Penn State Hazleton 7, Southern Maine C.C. 11 - Final 7 Innings
Hazleton struggled in the field to start the day, spotting the Seawolves a 5-0 lead in the first inning. Southern Maine tacked on four additional runs to go up 9-0 before Hazleton got on the board but the Lions would rally from the third inning on. The Hazleton defense settled behind three solid innings of work from freshman Nick Vital (Hazleton, pa.) and freshman Joan Vasquez (Hazleton, Pa.) got the Nittany Lions on the board in the bottom half of the third frame courtesy of a bases loaded hit by pitch, one of eight Nittany Lion free passes via the bean ball.
Trailing 9-1, the Nittany Lions would go on to out-score Southern Maine 6-2 over the final four innings but two insurance runs in the fifth and sixth frames paid divendends for the Seawolves down the stretch. Hazleton got a boost in the sixth inning with an RBI triple by freshman Scott Shamany (Hazleton, Pa.), followed up by a sacrifice fly from sophomore Dominic Yannuzzi (Hazleton, Pa.) closing the gap to 11-5. Hazleton got a shut-down inning in the top half of the final stanza and in the bottom half sophomore Colin Stauffer (Hazleton, Pa.) drove in a pair with a seventh inning double, but the six run deficit proved more than enough for Southern Maine to pull out the win.
Once the Lions gained composure in the field they gave the Seawolves a game, although missed opportunities left 12 runners stranded for the Lions. Scott Shamany cleaned up the bases in two of his opportunities, driving in two runs on the day while going 3-for-5 with a double, triple, and three runs scored. Stuaffer ended the game 2-for-4 with the 2 RBI double while senior Charles Karchner added a 2-for-5 effort from the dish with a run scored.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 0, Sounthern Maine C.C. 26 - Final 5 Innings
After a solid effort in game one, the second end of the double-header was one the Lions will quickly forget. Just as in game one, the Seawolves got off to a hot start but unlike the first game, the Hazleton pitching failed to steady the ship. Southern Maine tacked on six runs in each of the first three innings forcing Hazleton to go through four pitchers over that stretch. Nittany Lion arms would end the game allowing 16 walks and four hit batsmen leading to the runaway win for the Seawolves.
Next up: Hazleton will look to erase their Thursday losses and get back in the win column on Saturday when the Lions host Williamson. First pitch between the Lions and the Mechanics scheduled for d2:00 p.m. at the In The Net Sports Complex in Palmyra, Pa.