Lions stumble after play resumes with Schuylkill

Joan Vasquez makes a catch behind the plate.
Joan Vasquez makes a catch behind the plate.

Drifton, Pa. - Friday's nine inning matchup with Penn State Schuylkill failed to reach completion after the rains fell in Leesport, Pa. Play resumed on Saturday on Hazleton's home turf, although as the game continued it was all Schuylkill who scored runs in bunches to top Hazleton 13-3 after eight innings. 

It was a good start for Hazleton on Friday until the rains came. Senior Charles Karchner led off the game with a home run and freshman Jacob Taschler (Palmerton, Pa.) cashed in freshman Rafael Santos (Hazleton, Pa.) with an RBI single in the second frame but as the rains moved into the Big Vision sports complex, the Hazleton advantage quickly evaporated. Schuylkill racked up five hits in the pivotal fourth inning, scoring two runs via a passed ball and wild pitch and two additional runs with RBI sinlges to go up 4-2 over the Lions before the game was halted due to weather. 

Play resumed in Drifton on Saturday and Schuylkill picked up right where they left off on Friday. Schuylkill added eight runs in their next three at-bats, taking advantage of three Hazleton miscues over that period of time. While Schuylkill made their run through the middle innings, Hazleton was left scoreless except for a sacrifice fly by sophomore Brett Kosciolek (Tamaqua, Pa.) in the seventh inning. Hazleton trailed 12-3 after coming up empty in the top half of the eighth inning and Schuylkill closed the door on the first game of the series after blanking the Lions. Aided by a balk and a wild pitch, Schuylkill found themselves with runners at the corners and with two out, Schuylkill's Derrick Eberhart singled up the middle to score the game ending run. 

Santos led Hazleton with a 2-for-3 effort at the plate and a run scored followed by Karchner who went 1-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Brett Kosciolek earned the loss for Hazleton after surrendering the lead during the fourth inning rainstorm on Friday. Kosciolek allowed three earned runs on five hits while striking out two Schuylkill hitters. 

Next up: The Nittany Lions resume the series with Schuylkill later in the day on Saturday and will finish up the three game set at a later date.