Lions playoff run sputters out in opening round to Beaver

Cody Ryba advances from second base
Cody Ryba advances from second base

Mont Alto, PA - The Nittany Lions made their first appearance in the playoffs on Wednesday when they traveled to the Mont Alto campus for the Penn State University Athletic Conference post season tournament. The sixth seeded Nittany Lions were matched up against Penn State Beaver who bested the Hazleton squad in their previous two matchups earlier this season. Hazleton took early command of the game, but seven unanswered runs by Beaver in the final three innings turned the tables, giving them the 8-4 victory and ending the Lions season.

Penn State Beaver 8, Penn State Hazleton 4

Top 1: With two out and runners on first and second Ryan Weidick singles to score the opening run of the game. Hazleton has runners on the corners when they initiate the double steal. Charles Ziegmont puts Hazleton up 2-0 on the play.

Top 3: Cody Ryba starts off the inning with a single and advances to second base on a throwing error by the Beaver pitcher. With two out in the inning, catcher Joseph Nigito singles to score Ryba and give Hazleton the 3-0 advantage.

Bottom 3: A walk and two hits in the inning put Beaver on the board. A single from Nick Casasanta plates Rob Trhlin to cut the Hazleton lead to 3-1.

Top 4: Hazleton regains a three run spread with a walk and two singles in the fourth inning. Cody Ryba inflicts the damage with a single to left field to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Lions.

Bottom 4: After a single and an error in the Hazleton infield, Shawn Shaner doubles to right center, scoring Matt Capo and Tyler Thellman, shrinking Hazleton's lead to 4-3.

Bottom 5: Three straight hits to lead off the fifth inning including a two RBI triple from Derek Bozic give Beaver its first lead of the day. Later in the inning, Matt Capo plates a third run on a single to center field putting Beaver up 6-4.

Bottom 6: A pair of Hazleton errors assist Beaver's efforts to advance in round 1. Jake Debo scores from third on a wild pitch, and Derek Bozic slaps a single down the right field line to add a final insurance run, putting Beaver up by what would become the final score at 8-4

Behind the Box Score:

  • Hazleton collects just one hit in their final three at bats after picking up 6 in the first four innings.
  • Derek Bozic leads all hitters going three for four at the plate with three RBI and a run scored.
  • Brian Griest pitches well early for Hazleton but can't escape the fifth inning, allows five earned runs and nine hits in four and a third innings pitched.
  • Matt Sweikowski earns the win in relief for Beaver while Blaise McCarty earns a postseason save.

Next Up: The Nittany Lions season comes to a close with the loss to Mont Alto. Hazleton earns valuable experience from their heroics in the second half of the season and build off their success in 2015 and carry that momentum into the winter.