Palmyra, Pa. - The Lions dropped games of a windy double-header on Saturday at the In The Net Sports Complex to the Williamson Free School of the Trades. Hazleton got a stellar effort from sophomore hurler Brett Kosciolek (Tamaqua, Pa.) in game one and a solid committee effort for much of game two but Hazleton got little support from the offense leading to a pair of losses by scores of 1-0 and 11-4.
Game One: Penn State Hazleton 0, Williamson 1 - Final 7 Innings
Both sides struggled to produce base runners in the first meeting on Saturday as a pitchers' duel broke out. Kosciolek shut down the Mechanics in his first three innings of work until a lead off error led to trouble for Hazleton in the fourth frame. Kosciolek and the defense retired the next two hitters but a line drive off the left field wall by Williamson's Mike Naumann sent in the game's first and only score.
Despite holding Williamson to just three hits in the game that lone tally would hold up as Kosciolek was outdone by Mechanic Jon Polillo. Polillo struck out seven Lions en route to a complete game shut-out, including four of the final five hitters he faced. Kosciolek slung seven strong innings, equaling Polillo's seven strike outs with the lone unearned run costing the sophomore a chance at the win.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 4, Williamson 11 - Final 7 Innings
Williamson threatened on numerous occasions in game two but the Nittany Lion pitching held the Mechanics to single scores in all but one innings. Unfortunately for Hazleton, that one inning proved devastating as the Mechanics struck for a seven spot in the fifth frame to take command of the game. Both squads traded unearned runs in the first two innings and freshman Wyatt Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) got the first two batters in the third but after retiring five straight batters, Kindler ran into trouble in the third inning when a walk and a wild pitch put a runner in scoring position for Williamson. A single through the left side of the infield brought in the go ahead run, chasing Kindler from the from hill.
Freshman Nick Vital (Mountain Top, Pa.) closed the door in the third frame and looked to be cruising for a clean sheet in the fourth until Bryan Archambo struck a high fly ball over the left field wall, extending the Williamson lead to 3-1. Vital retired the side but exited in the fifth after a lead off double prompted a change in arms for the Lions. Freshman Scott Shamany (Hazleton, Pa.) entered the game and following a single that left runners on the corners, Hazleton traded a run for an out. Shamany would strike out the next batter, but the ball bound for the backstop allowing the batter to reach safely and Williamson to score a their second run in the inning. Willaimson loaded the bases with a single and a free pass, but Shamany responded with his second strikeout. That k should have ended the inning but the earlier wild pitch proved fateful, extending the frame and turning over the Mechanic lineup. What started as a 5-1 advantage for Willaimson quickly escalated. A second walk by Shamany plated the third run of the frame and with two outs and the bases loaded, Williamson's Marcus Williams broke the game open with a grand slam, giving the Mechanics a 10-1 cushion.
Hazleton was set down in the bottom half of the fifth frame and gave Williamson and insurance run in their next at bat but would finally get some offense going in the sixth. Shamany started off the frame with a single and worked his way to third on a wild pitch and throwing error. Sophomore Josh Malkemes (Mountain Top, Pa.) brought in Shamany with a sac fly and Kindler followed with a home run to left field. A single by sophomore Joey Kolessar continued the string of success for the Lions but Williamson would retire the side to shut down the rally and end the Lions hopes of a comeback.
Next up: After a busy week, Hazleton gets five days off before taking the field next Friday. The Lions kick off Penn State University Athletic Conference play with a visit from Penn State Wilkes-Barre for a nine inning contest at 3:30 p.m.