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Lions, Bearcats Split Thursday Doubleheader

Lions, Bearcats Split Thursday Doubleheader





4/20/2017 — ALTOONA, Pa. - Penn State Altoona baseball hosted non-conference opponent Saint Vincent College for a doubleheader on Thursday afternoon at Juniata Civic Baseball Field. In game one, the Lions won 17-6 before the visitors responded with an 8-5 win in game two.

In game one, Penn State Altoona (13-16) enjoyed at breakout game at the plate, scoring a season-high 17 runs.

"It was nice to finally get some offense in game one, especially after a week-long layoff," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "George Stiuso launched two homers, which really sparked our offense. But our pitching staff walked way too many guys to allow St. Vincent to stay in the game for half of the game."

George Stiuso (Milford, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's) went 3-for-3 with two home runs -- including one grand slam -- seven runs batted in, and four runs scored. Matt Cody (Mechanicsburg, PA/Mechanicsburg) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, and Hunter Goshorn (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Chase Clouser (Columbus, OH/Dublin Jerome) and Peter Jacobs (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) collected three RBI each. Aidan Plants (Montoursville, PA/Montoursville) tied two Penn State Altoona baseball single game records by walking four times and scoring five runs.

Zane Leister (Middleburg, PA/Midd-West) started on the mound in game one, surrendering four runs in three innings to take the no decision. After Nicholas Malis (Butler, PA/Butler) pitched 2/3 of an inning in his first pitching appearance of the season, Hunter Johnson (Shippensburg, PA/Shippensburg) tossed 1 1/3 innings to notch his first collegiate win on the mound. Bradley Lau (South Riding, VA/Freedom) pitched two scoreless innings to help close the game out.

Back-to-back sacrifice flies from Jacobs and Clouser put Penn State Altoona up 2-0 in the bottom of the first.

The Lions continued to score in the second inning, when they plated six runs. Stiuso was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in one run, and Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) followed with a sacrifice fly to left. Clouser's base hit to shallow left scored two more runs, and Cody's RBI single to left-center got his team's seventh run across. A fielding error in the outfield allowed Clouser to score after Cody's single, and Penn State Altoona took an 8-0 lead into the third inning.

St. Vincent (13-15) got on the board in the top half of the third inning. Tanner Yard was hit by a pitch with the bases full, and Parker Janosko added a sac fly to left to make it 8-2.

But Penn State Altoona got both runs back in the bottom half of the inning when Jacobs' sharply-hit ground ball single to the third baseman drove in two for the Lions.

The Bearcats put three runs on the board in the top of the fourth. Shane Fajt drew a bases loaded walk, TJ Kuny got a run home with his fielder's choice grounder, and Bobby Finn walked with the bases loaded to make it 10-5. In the fifth, St. Vincent narrowed its deficit to 10-6 when a run scored on a throwing error.

The Lions were able to add to their lead in the bottom half of the fifth when Stiuso blasted a two-run home run inside the right field foul pole that put Penn State Altoona's lead at 12-5.

In the sixth, Plants drove in a run with his base hit through the right side to extend Penn State Altoona's lead. With the bases loaded, the next batter, Stiuso, hit a grand slam over the right field fence to make it 17-6.

Stiuso's two home runs in the game were his team-leading third and fourth long balls of the season.

In game two, Penn State Altoona's bats cooled off, as the Lions were limited to just five hits.

"In game two, we showed our youth and immaturity by coming out lackadaisically and unfocused after a blowout win in game one," said Barnard. "We eventually woke up and battled until the last out of the game was recorded, but it was too little, too late."

Zach Wojcik (Limerick, PA/Spring-Ford) led Penn State Altoona at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run. Plants was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBI. James Mays (Dyer, IN/Lake Central) walked three times and scored two runs.

Stiuso started on the mound and tossed one scoreless inning. Jared Dailey (Boalsburg, PA/State College) pitched the second inning, yielding one unearned run while striking out one. Aaron Sharp (Middleburg, PA/Midd-West) pitched two innings and was saddled with the loss, giving up five total runs with only one earned. Oliver Dailey (Boalsburg, PA/State College) tossed two innings and surrendered two runs, and Lau pitched a scoreless seventh inning with two strikeouts.

St. Vincent scored the game's first run in the top of the second inning. With runners at the corners, Patrick Uland attempted a steal of second base and was caught between first and second. During the play, Braden Hoffer scored from third before Uland was tagged out to give the Bearcats a 1-0 lead.

But Penn State Altoona got that run back with one swing of the bat in the bottom of the second, as Wojcik hit his first collegiate home run, a solo shot to left field that tied the score 1-1.

After a scoreless third, St. Vincent got five runs across in a sloppy top of the fourth for Penn State Altoona. Josh Reist's two-run single to left-center put the Bearcats on top. A throwing error allowed Hoffer to score, and Ryan Rojtas' RBI single up the middle gave the visitors a 6-1 advantage.

Plants' two-run double down the left field line in the bottom of the fifth cut into St. Vincent's lead, bringing Penn State Altoona to within three runs, 6-3.

But the Bearcats got both runs back in the top half of the sixth. Finn's sac fly to right brought in one run, and Kuny's RBI single to left made it 8-3.

Penn State Altoona kept fighting and threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh. Mays and Plants led off the inning with walks, and Austin Anderson's (Macungie, PA/Emmaus) single to the shortstop loaded the bases. After a strikeout, Jacobs' single up the middle plated one run, and Stiuso followed with a bases loaded walk to make it 8-5. But St. Vincent turned a game-ending double play to escape with the win.

Lions baseball hits the road this Saturday, April 22 to take on Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Penn State Behrend for a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Photo (by Josh Fetters): Penn State Altoona freshman George Stiuso steps in at the plate during game one of the Lions' doubleheader with Saint Vincent College on Thursday afternoon at Juniata Civic Baseball Field.

TAGS: men's baseball