Lions drop pair of games to Central Penn College

Nick Vital makes a catch in the outfield.
Nick Vital makes a catch in the outfield.

Palmerton, Pa. - Hazleton dropped both ends of a double-header against Central Penn College on Wednesday afternoon at the In the Net Sports Complex, falling to an overall record of 3-3 in the early portion of the season. 

Game 1: Penn State Hazleton - 3, Central Penn College - 4

Central Penn took advantage of a two-out single with a runner on second base in the second inning to nab a 1-0 cushion in Wednesday's first game, but Hazleton bounced back to take the lead midway through action. In the top half of the fourth, a double by junior Colin Stauffer (West Hazleton, Pa.) led to an RBI single off the bat of sophomore Eric Weaver (Hyattsville, Md.) and the Lions added a go-ahead score in the fifth frame, although they managed just one tally on four hits in the at-bat.

Hazleton starter,  freshman Mason Goida (Lansdale, Pa.) had given up just three hits to the Knights by that point in the game, but trouble brewed in the bottom half of the fifth. A pair of singles to lead off the inning led to a one-out blast by Central Penn's Connor Graham, giving the Knight's a 4-2 advantage with just two innings to play. Hazleton cut the lead just one run with a sacrifice fly by sophomore Jacob Taschler (Palmerton, Pa.) in the top of the sixth inning, but the Lions would come up empty in the seventh inning, falling to Central Penn by the score of 4-3. 

Goida struck out five batters in six full innings of work, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and three walks while the bulk of the offensive damage for Hazleton came off the bats of Weaver and Stauffer. Stauffer score twice, going 1-for-2 at the plate with a free pass while Weaver stacked up a pair of hits in three trips to the dish, adding the RBI single in the fourth inning. 

Game 2: Penn State Hazleton - 2, Central Penn College - 10

The Lions were plagued by five free passes and a pair of errors that allowed the Knight to tally five runs by the second inning of game two. Hazleton stabilized the defense behind four strong innings of work by freshman hurler Ryan Wingerter (Dingman's Ferry, Pa.), closing the gap to 5-2 with scores in the middle innings that included an RBI single by Jacob Taschler

As the sixth inning rolled around, the Lions were still in contention, but that would change in the bottom half of the inning. Following two quick outs to start off the inning, Central Penn rattled off five straight hits, mixing in two run-scoring doubles and a two-run home run by Hayden Fox that gave the Knights a 10-2 advantage and essentially sealing up the victory over Hazleton. 

Next up: The Lions earn a pair of days off before heading south for the 2020 spring trip. The Lions will face seven opponents in the Palmetto state from March 7 through the 13th at the Cal Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach, Sc.