News Item - Sports - Intercollegiate Athletics at Penn State Altoona
Lions Split Season-Opening Twinbill at Eastern Mennonite
2/11/2017 — HARRISONBURG, Va. - Penn State Altoona baseball opened its 2017 schedule on Saturday afternoon at non-conference opponent Eastern Mennonite University, and the Lions lost game one 7-2 before bouncing back to prevail 6-4 in the nightcap.
"In game one, we came out a bit sloppy, which was to be expected, as we didn't get much time outdoors before today," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "The bats finally started coming around, and it carried over into game two."
In Penn State Altoona's (1-1) loss in game one, starting pitcher Mike Marley (Middletown, NJ/Red Bank Catholic) went five innings while striking out a pair. In his first collegiate appearance on the mound, Oliver Dailey (Boalsburg, PA/State College) added a scoreless inning in relief.
Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) was 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored for the Lions. Gavin Roselli (Coatesville, PA/Bishop Shanahan) was also 1-for-3 with a run scored.
A Lions throwing error in the bottom of the first inning proved costly, when Eastern Mennonite (1-1) plated a pair of runs to grab the early lead. Kyle Salladay reached on the error, which allowed Zach Roberts to score the game's first run. In the next at-bat, Salladay scored on a groundout to shortstop to make it 2-0.
Joe Hall's RBI single up the middle in the second gave the Royals a 3-0 lead. In the third, Ryan Hedrick's RBI groundout to shortstop and Kyle Mathews' RBI double upped the home team's lead to 5-0.
Roselli broke up a no-hit bid in the top of the fifth inning and helped the Lions get on the scoreboard. Roselli led off the frame with a base hit, Chase Clouser (Columbus, OH/Dublin Jerome) followed with a walk, and Matt Cody (Mechanicsburg, PA/Mechanicsburg) loaded the bases with a single. Chris Michaelis' (Albany, NY/Albany) groundout to third scored Roselli to make it 5-1.
But Eastern Mennonite added two more runs to its lead in the fifth, when David Meehan's RBI single through the right side drew in one run and Adam Marston scored from third on a double steal.
In the top of the sixth, the Lions put one more run in their total when Breon reached on a one-out double and later came around to score on a passed ball.
In game two, however, Penn State Altoona was much sharper all around. The Lions totaled eight hits and six runs, good enough to earn the victory and salvage the doubleheader split.
Jordan McCall (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI. Ryan Biever (Jonestown, PA/Northern Lebanon) batted 2-for-2 with a run scored.
On the mound, the Lions got a strong outing in a no decision from starter Aaron Sharp (Middleburg, PA/Midd-West), who went four innings and surrendered only one hit and one run while recording three strikeouts. Bradley Lau (South Riding, VA/Freedom) pitched one inning in relief, and Jared Dailey (Boalsburg, PA/State College) earned the win while pitching two innings and striking out two.
"Game two was a much cleaner game all around and was a complete team effort," said Barnard. "Sharp gave us four great innings, allowing only one bunt single. McCall and Biever swung it well at the bottom of the order. We got a lot of freshmen some experience today, and it's nice to leave Virginia with a win."
Penn State Altoona drew first blood in the top of the second inning on McCall's RBI single through the right side.
After Eastern Mennonite tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the third on a sacrifice fly to center from Salladay, the Lions scored two more runs in the top of the fourth on McCall's two-run double.
The Royals again battled back to tie the game, scoring twice in the sixth. Meehan's RBI single to left made it a one-run game, and Griffin Stanley's two-out RBI base hit knotted the score at three.
Penn State Altoona responded again, plating three runs in the top of the seventh to go ahead for good. Cody's sac fly to right put the Lions up 4-3, and after a walk, Trenton Ebersole (Chambersburg, PA/Chambersburg) drove in two more runs with his single to center.
Eastern Mennonite got a run back in the bottom of the seventh on Mathews' run-scoring double to right-center, but Penn State Altoona was able to hang on to secure its first win of the season.
Next up, Lions baseball travels back to Virginia on Friday, February 24 for a doubleheader at non-conference opponent University of Mary Washington. First pitch of game one is set for 12:00 p.m.
Photo: Freshman outfielder Jordan McCall was 2-for-4 with three RBI in the Lions' 6-4 win in game two at Eastern Mennonite University on Saturday.
TAGS: men's baseball