Lions drop fourth straight to Schuylkill

Jake Taschler at the plate.
Jake Taschler at the plate.

Hazleton, Pa. - Following a pair of road losses to Penn State Schuylkill over the weekend, Penn State Hazleton returned to the field on Tuesday afternoon to wrap up the series with their local rival. Runs came at a premium in the two game homestand, but in the end it was Schuylkill coming away with the big hits to cash in multi-run innings and come away with two wins on the day. 

Game One: Penn State Hazleton 2, Penn State Schuylkill 6 - Final, 7 Innings

Hazleton took the lead on two occasions early in the ball game. Following a pair of scoreless innings defensively, the Lions broke the ice in the bottom of the second inning when senior Jacob Taschler cashed (Palmerton, Pa.) in freshman Andrew Meitzler (Saylorsburg, Pa.) on a fielder's choice to put Hazleton up 1-0. Schuylkill tied the game in the top half of the third but Hazleton reclaimed the lead moments later on an RBI single by sophomore Jared Marykwas (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) in the bottom of the third. Hazleton continued to lead 2-1 all the way until the 6th frame until Schuylkill finally got to Hazleton hurler, senior Ryan Wingerter (Dingman's Ferry, Pa.). Wingerter cruised through five innings but allowed runners at second and third base to start off the sixth inning. Wingerter struck out the next batter, but two runs came on a double to left field by Schuylkill's Pat Ryan. Hazleton would change arms mid-inning but Wingerter would be on the hook for two more runs after he left. An defensive error and a fielder's choice would plate two more runs for Schuylkill before the Lions escaped the inning. Schuylkill cashed in an insurance run in the seventh inning and shut down the Lions in the their final two at bats to secure the win. 

Game Two: Penn State Hazleton 1, Penn State Schuylkill 5 - Final 7 Innings

It was another close contest in game two and the Hazleton pitching continued to perform well, but Hazleton garnered just two hits in seven innings off Schuylkill pitching leading to the loss in game two. Schuylkill scored the first run of game on a sacrifice fly to go up 1-0 although Hazleton responded to tie the game in the bottom half of the inning. Sophomore Jared Joyce (Jim Thorpe, Pa.) drove in the Lions only run of the ball game with a sacrifice fly to plate senior Colin Hoy (Harlysville, Pa.). Schuylkill broke the tie in their next at bat and added two more runs on a costly fielding error on a fly ball to the outfield. Hazleton would trail Schuylkill 4-1 for the next four innings, unable to get any offense going against Schuylkill's Owen Shoop. Jared Marykwas settled in after the three-run second inning, tossing six full innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits and a walk but earned the loss with the lack of offensive support. After his exit, Schuylkill added a score on a solo home run in seventh inning, tallying the final run of the game to top Hazleton 5-1. 

Next up: Hazleton returns to action on Thursday, March 30 when the Lions travel to the Maplezone Sports Complex to face Penn State Brandywine in a 5:00 p.m. doubleheader.