Lehman, Pa. - The Nittany Lions were held to just one run over their first 10 team at-bats on Thursday at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, but quality starts from both freshman Joseph Bissol (Washington Crossing, Pa.) and freshman Eric Varner (Berwick, Pa.) led to a comeback win in game two and a much needed series split with their Penn State University Athletic Conference rival.
Game 1: Penn State Wilkes-Barre 3, Penn State Hazleton 1
Joe Bissol was firing on all cylinders from the mound for Hazleton, allowing just three Wilke-Barre hits through the first five innings. In the top half of the sixth, freshman Paul Jay Wiegand (Berwick, Pa,) doubled with a runner aboard to break the 0-0 stalemate, but Wilkes-Barre responded with a three run inning in the bottom half against Bissol. Hazleton failed to rally in the seventh and despite out-hitting Wilkes-Barre 6-5, the home team carried the game one pitchers duel by the final score of 3-1.
Junior Aaron Glass (Shippensburg, Pa.) singles and comes around to score on Paul Jay Wiegand's double, putting Hazleton on top 1-0 needing just six outs to claim victory.
A lead off single starts the inning for Wilkes-Barre but Bissol quickly gets the next two batters out. Bissol loses the following hitter with a walk, leaving two runners aboard for opposing pitcher Eric Gurynski, who homered off Bissol to take the lead and give himself a two run cushion for the final frame.
Six differenct Nittany Lions tallied one hit in the game one loss. Wiegand finished 1-3 with a double and RBI to lead Hazleton, while Aaron Glass finished 1-3 with Hazleton's lone run scored.
Bissol pitched excellent in defeat allowing just five hits over six innings of work, with three runs of damage coming in the sixth inning on the home run. Bissol struck out two and walked three in the loss.
Eric Gurynski topped all players for Wilkes-Barre earning the complete game win from the mound and the game winning three run home run. Gurynski allowed just one run on six hits and one walk while striking out eight Hazleton batters in the winning effort.
Game 2: Penn State Hazleton 4, Penn State Wilkes-Barre 2
Hazleton fell behind Wilkes-Barre in the early portion of play, but Eric Varner navigated his way out of trouble to hold the home team just two runs after three innings of play. Like in game one, the big hit came from the trailing squad, though this time Hazleton was the benefactor. Paul Jay Wiegand came to bat with one out and two runners aboard, belting his first home run of the season and boosting the Lions over top Wilkes-Barre. Hazleton would add an insurance in the sixth inning for freshman Dan Gilligan who took over for Varner to earn a four out save by the final score of 4-2.
A sacrifice bunt paid off, allowing a Wilkes-Barre runner to score on a single by Sean-Paul Williamson, giving the home team an early 1-0 advantage.
A double with two outs by Eric Gurynski plates a run to extend Wilkes-Barre's lead to 2-0 after three innings.
Senior Corey Ryba singled to lead off the inning and moves up to third base on an Aaron Glass double. With one out in the frame, Paul Jay Wiegand delivers the go ahead runs with a home run, putting Hazleton up 3-2.
Frshman Austin Felter came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs, delivering a clutch single to notch an insurance run for the closer Dan Gilligan.
Hazleton managed just six hits but none bigger than the Wiegand home run. The freshman finished 1-4 with three RBI and a run scored to lead the offense. Felter also finished 1-4 with the RBI single in the sixth frame.
Eric Varner earned his second win of the season throwing five and two thirds innings. Varner allowed two runs on nine hits, walking just one Wilkes-Barre batter and striking out three hitters.
Four players accounted for eight of the nine Wilkes-Barre hits in the game two loss. Michael Delaney finished 2-4 with a run scored while Sean-Paul Williamson went 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Francis Brodi finished 2-4 and game one starter Eric Gurynski went 2-3 with an RBI.
Alexander Klinger struck out eight Hazleton hitters in just over five innings pitched. The hurler allowed four runs on five hits while walking four batters in the loss.
Hazleton heads back on the road on Friday to face Penn State Worthington Scranton in a pair of must win PSUAC contests.