York, Pa. - The Nittany Lions battled cold weather and a potent York offense on Sunday afternoon as they kicked off Penn State University Athletic Conference play at Shyrock Field in York, Pa. Hazleton was tied or the held the lead by the fifth inning of both contests on Sunday, but mounting walk totals came back to bite the Nittany Lions as York rallied in the later innings to sweep Hazleton in the double header by scores of 7-3, and 14-4.
Hazleton out-hit York 8-4 in game one of the afternoon, but 13 free passes by Nittany Lion pitching kept stress on the Hazleton throwing staff. Freshman Adam Michalesko's (Drums, Pa.) start was cut short in large part due to a mounting pitch count as a result of eight free passes. Michalesko offered a strong effort, striking out four and allowed zero hits to York batters before exiting after a two-run third frame for York. Hazleton senior Corey Ryba (McAdoo, Pa.) and freshman Wilson Guarnera (Camp Hill, Pa.) smacked back to back extra base hits to give Hazleton a brief one run lead before York responded with single scores in their fourth and fifth at-bats. York would go on to add three insurance scores in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach by the final tally of 7-3.
The Nittany Lions would take command of game two with a three-run top half of the fourth, led by a go-ahead RBI single from Ryba. Hazleton would hold a three run advantage behind the pitching of sophomore Daniel Gilligan (Charlton, Ma.) who allowed just one run through four innings of play, but the wheels would come off in the fifth inning as the York offense caught fire. York tagged Hazleton relief pitching for 12 hits and 13 runs in the final inning and a third, erasing the Hazleton lead and invoking the mercy rule in the sixth frame to earn the 14-4 victory.
Game 1: Penn State York 7, Penn State Hazleton 3
Guarnera led the Nittany Lions with a 2-for-3 performance at the plate, adding an RBI on a triple in the fourth inning. Adam Michalesko finished 2-for-4 while Rbya ended the game 1-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Austin Shaffer went 1-for-2 with a run scored and an RBI to lead a York squad who was limited to just four total hits in the game. Kent Walker earned the victory from the hill, tossing six innings for the home squad. Walker allowed three runs on eight hits, walking four batters and striking out three.
York strikes first for a two run advantage over Hazleton. York's patience pays off for four walks to plate their first score, then tacks on a second score on a sacrifice bunt by Cory Lytle.
Back to back singles from freshman Tanner Lawrence (Pinellas Park, Fl.) and Dan Gilligan start a promising inning for the Nittany Lions. Corey Ryba follows with a one-out double to score both runners and then comes in to score on the triple by Guarnera, giving Hazleton a 3-2 edge.
A lead off single from York leads to a manufactured run to tie the game. Austin Shaffer works his way to third base with one out and comes home on a sacrifice fly by Tyler Spencer.
York retakes the lead with a two-out single by Shaffer, scoring Jonny Stratton from third base.
Hazleton miscues aid the York offense for three runs. After a lead off double, Dixon Wiley makes his way to third base and comes home on a wild pitch. Later in the inning York loads the bases with two outs and picks up two additional scores, first coming on an infield error and adding their final run on a bases loaded walk to extend their lead to the final result of 7-3.
Game 2: Penn State York 14, Penn State Hazleton 4 (Final, 6 Innings)
Freshman Tim Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) collected two of Hazleton's six combined hits, scoring one run in three at bats. Corey Ryba and sophomore Joseph Bissol (Washington Crossing, Pa.) drove in one run each, Ryba finishing 1-for-3 and Bissol with a 1-for-2 effort.
Dan Gilligan finished 1-for-3 at the plate, while tossing four innings of one run baseball from the mound. Gilligan walked five, but surrendered just two hits while striking out three batters.
York was led by Brady Lefever who drove in four runs while going 3-for-4 at the plate. Walker Monteith added three RBI's and a run scored in a 3-for-3 effort, earning the win for York in 2.1 innings of relief work on the mound. Austin Lehman and Jonny Stratton both notched two RBI with one hit each to round out the top hitters for York.
Tim Kindler smacks a two-out triple and puts Hazleton on the board first, scoring on a wild pitch to the next hitter.
A lead off walk comes back to haunt Gilligan and knot the score at 1-1. Walker Monteith smacks a two-out double to plate the tying run from second base.
Four straight Hazleton hitters reach base to lead off a three run inning for the Lions. Ryba connects for a bases loaded single to score the go ahead run and freshman Grant Lyons scores next as Hazleton benefits from a second wild pitch. With one out and runners on second and third, Joe Bissol gives Hazleton a 4-1 lead with a sacrifice fly ball.
York sends 15 batters to the plate, notching nine hits and taking advantage of three free passes from Hazleton relief pitching to retake the lead and effectively put the game out of reach with an 11 run offensive frame.
York loads the bases with back to back singles with the third batter reaching on a Hazleton error. With one out in the inning, Lefever smacks a single to center field and two runs score on the play, putting York on top by 10 runs and ending the contest in a 14-4 York victory.
The Nittany Lions will look to bounce back as PSUAC eastern conference play continues. Hazleton will travel to Penn State Schuylkill on Thursday, March 30 for a weekday double-header beginning at 2:00 p.m.