Middleport, Pa. - In a rescheduled contest from Wednesday, the Nittany Lions (2-3, 0-3 PSUAC) faced off with Penn State University Athletic Conference rival Schuylkill (4-3, 1-0 PSUAC) in a nine inning contest on Thursday afternoon in the Schuylkill Valley. Schuylkill jumped out ahead with a three run first inning, then poured on seven runs in the third frame to open up a commanding lead over the Nittany Lions. Hazleton would claw back with a pair of runs in both the fifth and sixth innings, but Schuylkill would match that effort to close out the game early by the final score of 14-4 in eight innings played.
Already facing a three run deficit, the seven-run third inning proved fateful for the Nittany Lions. Hazleton would commit five errors defensively in the frame as Schuylkill sent 12 batters to the box in the lopped sided inning.
The Nittany Lions would bounce back with quality at bats in the fifth inning, with senior Aaron Glass (Shippensburg, Pa.) cashing in the first of two Nittany Lion scores with an RBI hit to left field, but Schuylkill would stymie the Hazleton rally. Working in relief, John Toomey would enter the game for Schuylkill and strand three Hazleton baserunners to limit the damage, allowing the home squad to reclaim their 10 run cushion on a Matt Roberts home run in the bottom half of the inning.
Glass's bat would stay hot as he came to the plate in the six inning, smacking a two-run home run over the left field fence to cut the deficit back to eight runs, but Toomey would retire six of the next eight Nittany Lion batters to close the door on any Hazleton comeback effort.
Roberts would tack on his second long ball of the day in the bottom half of the eighth, a solo shot to right center field to lead off the frame, and Schuylkill would send home the game-ending score on a wild pitch, ending the game via the 10 rule by the score of 14-4 in eight innings.
Glass would lead the Hazleton offense with a 2-for-3, three RBI performance at the plate, including his first home run of the season.
Freshman Adam Michalesko (Drums, Pa.) scored twice on base hits from Glass, adding two hits to his credit in three at-bats. Michalesko, who was tapped for the start for Hazleton, earned the loss on Thursday allowing seven earned runs on eight hits in three innings of work.
Matt Roberts led all hitters on Thursday going 3-for-4 with five RBI and two home runs. Karlos Joseph added a 3-for-4 effort from the dish, scoring twice and driving in a run on a sacrifice fly ball. Two addition Schuylkill batters had multi-hit days including Nick Jacoby and Dakota Bitner. Both went 2-for-3 with RBI to round out the top hitters of the day.
John Toomey earned the win for Schuylkill in relief, tossing three and two thirds innings of two run ball. Toomey allowed three hits while striking out three batters in the winning effort.
A leadoff walk is followed by three consecutive Schuylkill hits including RBI smacks from Roberts and Jacoby. Tyler Starry puts the home team up 3-0 with a two-out, RBI single to left field before Hazleton retires the side.
Schuylkill loads the bases with back to back singles and a walk to start off the third, but earns just two additional hits in the inning as Hazleton miscues add up to seven Schuylkill scores. Kaledas and Bitner earn RBI singles while Roberts and Joseph add sacrifice fly balls to help inflict the damage to put the home team on top 10-0.
Adam Michalesko leads off the frame with a walk and swipes second base to get into scoring postion. The freshman moves up to third on a passed ball and easily comes into score on the Aaron Glass single to left.
Courtesy running for the hard hitting catcher, sophomore Joseph Bissol (Washington Crossing, Pa.) advances to third on a failed pick-off attempt and comes into to score the second Hazleton score on a fielder's choice ground ball off the bat of freshman Greg Lyons (Millville, Pa.), leaving Hazleton trailing Schuyllkill 10-2.
Matt Roberts answers the Hazleton scores with a two-out, two run home run, extending the Schuylkill lead back to a ten run advantage.
Michalesko leads off the Hazleton half inning with a base hit to center field. With two outs, Glass drives the ball over the left field wall, cutting the deficit to eight runs, 12-4 in favor of Schuylkill.
Roberts leads off the frame with a solo shot to right center field. With two outs and two runners aboard, Hazleton fails to exit the inning, loading the bases on an infield error. Karlos Joseph scores from third base on a wild pitch to the next batter, pushing the score to 14-4 Schuylkill and ending the game.
Hazleton is postponed over the weekend against Penn State Wilkes-Barre due to field conditions and impending rain on Friday. Hazleton is schedule to make up the homestand nine inning contest, previously scheduled for Friday, March 31 on Monday, April 3 at the Drifton Sports Complex.