KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Penn State Altoona baseball split a doubleheader against Anna Maria College on Thursday, winning game one 5-1 before dropping the nightcap 8-6 in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational at Osceola Heritage Park.
The Lions (3-6) were powered by strong pitching in their game one win. In game two, Anna Maria (5-3) came back from a three-run deficit to get its revenge.
Game One: Penn State Altoona 5, Anna Maria 1
The Lions were propelled by a stellar start on the mound by Sawyer Kline (Bellwood, PA/Bellwood-Antis), who went the distance to record his first win of the season. In seven innings, the right-hander allowed just one run on four hits and three walks while striking out 14 batters. Kline's 14 strikeouts tie for the second-most in a single game in Penn State Altoona baseball history.
Anna Maria plated its only run of the game in the top of the first inning, when Nick Genatossio's RBI single to left-center put the Amcats on the board.
Penn State Altoona nabbed the lead in the bottom of the third, using Jordan McCall's (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) RBI single to right-center and Chase Clouser's (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) run-scoring groundout to leap ahead, 2-1.
The Lions added to their lead in the fourth inning. Dylan Bates (Towanda, PA/Towanda) walked and later scored on an error, and Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) drove in another run with his base hit to left. Penn State Altoona tacked on another run in the fifth, when Cumming drew a walk and later came home on a fielding error.
Kline and the Lions' fielders put up zeroes while allowing just two hits over the final six innings to ice the win.
Game Two: Anna Maria 8, Penn State Altoona 6
Penn State Altoona appeared poised to notch its first doubleheader sweep of the week, as the Lions led 5-2 through four-and-a-half innings. But Anna Maria scored six runs in its last two innings at the plate to jump in front and salvage the split.
Clouser was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI for Penn State Altoona. Stephen Schanne (Mantua, NJ/Clearview Regional) batted 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Clayton Hain (Schaefferstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) also hit 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Justin Virga (Port Jefferson Station, NY/Comsewogue) was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Austin Miller (Orbisonia, PA/Southern Huntingdon) started on the mound and was tagged with the loss. In 5 1/3 innings, he yielded five earned runs on nine hits and one walk while striking out nine. Jaryd Palmer (Northumberland, PA/Shikellamy) tossed the final 2/3 inning for the Lions, giving up one run on one hit.
The Lions created some two-out magic in the top of the first inning. With two down, Schanne's two-run single to right put Penn State Altoona on the board. One batter later, Schanne scored on an error to make it 3-0.
Anna Maria got two runs back in the bottom half of the first, when Jake Crevier's two-run double down the left field line cut the Lions' lead to 3-2.
But Penn State Altoona scored a run in each of the next two innings to pad its lead. Clouser's RBI double in the second and Virga's RBI base hit upped the Lions' advantage to 5-2.
Anna Maria trimmed its deficit to one run again, getting two runs across in the bottom of the fifth. Jason Shell's RBI groundout and Crevier's run-scoring infield single closed the gap to 5-4.
Anna Maria succeeded in its comeback push in the sixth, when Genatossio's three-run triple put the Amcats on top, 7-5. Adam Twitchell helped to add an insurance run for Anna Maria when his sac fly to center brought Genatossio home, making it 8-5.
Schanne led off the top of the seventh with a double, then scored when Hain singled to right-center. But a double play and strikeout ended any hopes of a rally by the Lions.
Penn State Altoona baseball wraps up its Florida trip tomorrow, Friday, March 8, when the Lions will play Gordon College in a nighttime doubleheader at Lake Myrtle Park in Auburndale. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 4:45 p.m.