Late rally spoils Hazleton's home finale vs. Penn State York

Tanner Lawrence awaits the pitch.
Tanner Lawrence awaits the pitch.

Drifton, Pa. - Playing in their final home game of their careers, Hazleton seniors Aaron Glass (Shippensburg, Pa.) and Corey Ryba (McAdoo, Pa.) were honored prior to today's matchup with Penn State York. The duo have consistently remained as two of the Nittany Lion's top hitters over the past several seasons and showed that again today with both players garnering hits in Sunday afternoon's nine inning contest. Hazleton played well enough to win, but a tumultuous final inning saw York plate five scores to earn the victory by the final score of 10-5.

York took an early 1-0 lead but Hazleton responded with a three run inning in the bottom half of the third frame.  A double by freshman Tim Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) left runners at first and third allowing freshman Wilson Guarnera (Camp Hill, Pa.) to tie the game with a sacrifice fly. With Kindler stranded at second base, it was Adam Michalesko's (Drums, Pa.) turn and the freshman delivered Hazleton the lead with his first home run of the season, a two run shot over the left field fence. 

After a single tally in the fourth inning, York would storm back with a two out rally in the sixth frame. The visitors would string five consecutive hits together, including RBI base hits from Johnny Stratton and Brendon Delridge to retake the lead 5-3. But Hazleton would claw back into the game in their next two at bats. Ryba would drive in Michalesko with a single to left field in the sixth inning and Hazleton would manufacture a run courtesy of a walk and a fielding error by York, knotting the score at 5-5.

There it would remain until the final inning. Freshman Ryan Taras (Nesquehoning, Pa.) had pitched two and a third innings of solid relief work for the Nittany Lions, but York would figure out the freshman in their last at bat. The first five hitters for the visitors would reach safely, taking a two run lead in the process. With one out and the bases loaded, York would add three insurance scores with a bases loaded walk to Dixon Wiley, followed by a two-RBI single by Delridge. Facing a five run deficit, Hazleton could not come up with a rally in the bottom half of the ninth against York relieve Walker Monteith who retired the side in order to pick up the win for York.

Top Performers

Michalesko led the Nittany Lions with a pair of scores, finishing 1-for-3 with the two-run blast in the third. Wilson Guarnera added two RBI in a 1-for-4 effort at the plate while Ryba finished 1-for-3 with an RBI. 

Sophomore Daniel Gilligan (Charlton, Ma.) pitched five and two-thirds innings for Hazleton, exiting the game in the sixth inning with a no decision. Gilligan allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits while striking out a pair of York hitters.

Brendon Delridge dominated the bottom half of the York batting order, totaling four RBI and a run scored in a 3-for-5 effort at the plate. Austin Lehman and Dixon Wiley both collected multiple hits and an RBI while Monteith added an RBI with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate. Monteith would pick up the win for York, allowing just one hit in two and two-thirds innings of work from the hill.

Next Up

With two more games on the schedule, the Nittany Lions will look to play spoiler on Tuesday when they take on playoff contender, Penn State Wilkes-Barre. Hazleton will finish the season on the road, with a double-header against their local rival beginning at 2:00 p.m. at Hilldale Field.