Hazleton Battles, Stauffer shines as Lions Get First Win

Hazleton Battles, Stauffer shines as Lions Get First Win

In the second game of the twinbill with the University of Valley Forge, the Nittany Lions of Hazleton battled from start to finish and rode the arms of Colin Stauffer and Charles Karchner enroute to a 9-5 victory. Stauffer gave the Lions a much-needed quality pitching performance as he registered 8 K's on the day, walked 4 and only gave up 3 hits in picking up his first collegiate pitching win.  He gave up all five Patriot runs, but all were unearned.  Karchner was strong in relief throwing two innings of shut-out baseball striking out 2, walking 1 and only issuing 1 walk as he got the first save of the year.

As they did in the first game, the Lions came out right away in the first inning scoring two runs to open the game.  Tim Kindler walked, but was erased at second on a fielders choice by Karchner.  Karchner stole second, and came all the way around to score via the wild pitch.  After a strikeout for the second out, Tanner Lawrence walked, moved to second on a passed ball, and scored when Stauffer lined the ball up the middle for a singe.  The Nittany Lions led 2-0 going into the bottom of the first.  Just as was in the first game, the Patriots came right back in their half of the inning scoring two runs on their own tying the game at two each. 

In the second with one out, Jordy Tejeda singled and moved to second on a fielders choice. Kindler then stroked a single to right easily scoring Tejeda to put the Lions back up, 2-1. Hazleton tacked on another run in the third when Adam Michalesko opned the frame with a double and then scored on a Lawrence single to give the Lions a 4-1 lead.  Stauffer threw shutdown innings in both the second and the third holding the patriots down through 3 innings.

Hazleton failed to score in the 4th inning, and then things got weird for them in the bottom of the frame.  Stauffer struck out the leadoff batter, but the ball scooted away from Lawrence and he slipped when retrieving the ball allowing the runner to safely get to first. He then struck out the next two batters, registering his third "K" of the inning; but still having a runner at first.  He walked the next batter putting 2 men on when a fly ball to right field was misplayed for a triple, scoring 2 runs; the throw to third was thrown out of play allowing the run to score and giving Valley Forge the 5-4 lead.

Continuing to battle as they had all day, Hazleton came back in the top of the 5th to score four runs.  After a strikeout, back to back walks to Stauffer and Dominic Yannuzzi put runners at first and second. James Brielmeier stepped to the plate and drilled a ball to the left center gap for a double scoring Stauffer and Yannuzzi and chasing Patriots starting pitcher Jeff Espinal.  Ryan Finch came on in relief and immediately threw a wild pitch allowing Brielmeier to move to third.  A perfectly executed bunt and run by Tejeda gave the Lions another run in the inning.  Tejeda stole second, moved to third and scored when Finch balked now putting the Lions back on top, 8-5.

Karcher came to the mound to relieve Stauffer in the bottom of the 5th and went right to work.  After getting the first two outs with a K and a ground ball to second, Karcher proceeded to load the bases on an error, a single and a walk.  He pitched out of the jam by coaxing a ground ball to third for the final out of the inning preserving the Lion lead. 

In the top of the 6th with one out, Lawrence got hit by a pitch and promplty stole seond.  Yannuzzi then hit a slow roller allowing Lawrence to move to third while beating the throw at first.  The Lions then execuited a double steal to push across another run making the score 9-5. In the bottom half of the frame, facing the top of the order, Karchner pitched a 1-2-3 inning to shut the door and finish the game as it was called on account of darkness and give the Lions their first win of the season by a final score of 9-5.

Offensively, Tejeda led the Lions with two hits and one RBI.  Michalsko and Brielmeirer added doubles while Kindler, Lawrence, and Stauffer all contributed singles.  Lawrence swiped three bases, Tejeda and Kindler stole two apiece, and Stauffer and Yannuzzi both stole one each giving the Lions a total of nine stoled bases in the game.  In both of the games of this double-header, Hazleton stole a total of 16 bags.

With the win, the Lions move to 1-8 on the year.  They are back in action again Friday as they will attempt to open their PSUAC schedule when they trave to Scranton to play Penn State Worthington-Scranton at Matt McGloin field in double-header action (All three games of this series will be played at McGloin Field).  The first pitch of the twinbill is scheduled for 2:00 PM.