PITTSBURGH, Pa. – Penn State Altoona baseball took on nationally-ranked Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent La Roche College in a doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon, and the Lions lost 5-1 in game one and 10-4 in game two to the #21 Redhawks.
Penn State Altoona (6-14, 3-5 AMCC) showed improvement from yesterday's doubleheader sweep at the hands of Pitt-Greensburg, but the Lions were unable to pull out a victory in either of Wednesday's games.
"We faced probably the two best pitchers in the league today, and we were able to battle and compete in both games," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "We will be ready to come Saturday to take two from D'Youville to get back to .500 in the conference."
Jacob Plunket (Altoona, PA/Altoona) got the start on the mound in game one and tossed the first complete game of his collegiate career. In six innings pitched, the right-hander allowed five runs on six hits and five walks while striking out four batters.
Peter Jacobs (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) had two of the Lions' five hits, going 2-for-4. Austin Anderson (Macungie, PA/Emmaus) went 1-for-3 with a run scored, while Dylan Bates (Towanda, PA/Towanda) finished with the Lions' lone run batted in.
La Roche (16-5, 5-1 AMCC) jumped out to an early lead, posting a four-run bottom of the first inning. Dylan Urban's two-run double to left opened the scoring, and Jay Novak's fielder's choice groundout plated another run. Austin Hoffman's RBI base hit to right made it 4-0.
The Redhawks made it 5-0 in the second, when Urban drove in another run with his single to left. But Plunket and the Lions buckled down and put up zeros over the next four innings.
Penn State Altoona got on the board in the top of the third when Bates' fielder's choice allowed Anderson to score, making it 5-1. But the Lions were unable to score any more runs, as La Roche nabbed the four-run win in game one.
In game two, Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) started on the mound and took the loss. The righty went 5 2/3 innings and surrendered seven earned runs. Tyler Manger (Lindenhurst, NY/Lindenhurst) threw 2 1/3 innings in relief, giving up one earned run.
Chris Michaelis (Albany, NY/Albany) went 1-for-3 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk for the Lions, while Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Anderson hit 1-for-3 with a run scored and a walk.
Gino Quahliero's RBI single in the bottom of the second put La Roche on the board, and the Redhawks added two more runs in the third on Shane Roebuck's RBI double and an error. Jonathan Spina's RBI hit in the fourth increased the home team's lead to 4-0.
James Mays (Dyer, IN/Lake Central) got a run across for Penn State Altoona in the top of the fifth inning, when his RBI single drove in Michaelis to make it 4-1.
La Roche got that run back in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI double from Novak, but Penn State Altoona plated three runs in the top of the sixth. Michaelis drew a bases loaded walk to bring home one run and start the rally. After that, the Lions got a run on Matt Cody's (Mechanicsburg, PA/Mechanicsburg) RBI groundout and Carey's RBI single to center, cutting La Roche's lead to 5-4.
But the Redhawks countered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, then tacked on two more in the eighth.
Penn State Altoona baseball's next games are this Saturday, April 14, when the Lions will host AMCC opponent D'Youville College for a doubleheader at Juniata Civic Baseball Field. Game one of that twinbill starts at 1:00 p.m.