ALFRED, N.Y. – Penn State Altoona baseball opened up its weekend road trip on Saturday afternoon with a pair of games against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Alfred State College, and the Lions came away with one win and one loss in the doubleheader at Pioneer Park.
Penn State Altoona (13-9, 4-2 AMCC) won game one 9-3, but the Lions suffered a 7-6 walkoff loss in game two.
"We played pretty well today. Unfortunately, the baseball gods weren't on our side today, and Alfred State walked off against us in game two," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "Our pitcher really seemed to get squeezed in the ninth and was forced to throw the ball down the middle, and Alfred State was able to take advantage of it. We need two tomorrow to end the New York trip 3-1."
Game One: Penn State Altoona 9, Alfred State 3
The Lions turned a well-played game into a victory, as the team scored nine runs on 10 hits, showcased error-free defense, and limited the Pioneers (11-11, 4-4 AMCC) to three runs on six hits.
Chase Clouser (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) went 2-for-3 at the plate with a triple, three runs scored, and a stolen base. Austin Anderson (Macungie, PA/Emmaus) was 2-for-3 with a double, two runs batted in, one run scored, and one stolen base. James Mays (Dyer, IN/Lake Central) went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Clayton Hain (Schaefferstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) registered his second complete game effort of the season on the mound and improved his season record to 2-0. In seven innings, he limited Alfred State to three runs on six hits and three walks while tallying four strikeouts.
Penn State Altoona got on the board in the top of the second inning, when Anderson's RBI double to left-center and Richard Carey's (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) RBI single up the middle made it 2-0. Cumming's sacrifice fly in the third inning increased the Lions' lead to 3-0.
Alfred State cut Penn State Altoona's lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth inning, when Danny Doran led off the frame with a home run to left field.
But the Lions got two more runs across in the fifth, using another sac fly from Cumming and Schanne's RBI base hit up the middle to grow their lead to 5-1.
The Pioneers again used the long ball to narrow their deficit, when Colin Johnson's two-run homer to left in the sixth made it 5-3.
But a four-run seventh by the Lions gave Penn State Altoona some more breathing room on the scoreboard. With the bases loaded, Schanne and George Stiuso (Milford, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's) were each hit by pitches to bring in runs. A double play in the next at-bat allowed Cumming to score, and Anderson's RBI single to left upped the Lions' lead to 9-3.
Game Two: Alfred State 7, Penn State Altoona 6
The Lions held a lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, but Alfred State rallied to score a pair of runs to walk off as winners.
Stiuso blasted his second home run of the season, a three-run homer, while Cumming also hit his second home run of the season, a two-run shot. Clouser accounted for two of the Lions' six hits, going 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk, and a stolen base.
Austin Miller (Orbisonia, PA/Southern Huntingdon) got the start at pitcher and took a no decision. In five innings, he allowed three earned runs on four hits and three walks while striking out six batters. Tyler Manger (Lindenhurst, NY/Lindenhurst) pitched 3 2/3 innings in relief, taking the loss after yielding three runs on five hits and a walk with one strikeout.
The Lions staked out an early lead, when Cumming's two-run home run to left field made it 2-0 in the top of the first inning.
Alfred State answered with two runs of their own in the bottom half of the first, tying the game on Johnson's sac fly to center and Connor Pingitore's RBI base hit down the right field line.
Clouser's RBI double to left in the top of the fifth put Penn State Altoona back on top, 3-2. But the Pioneers responded quickly again, when Samuel Dickerson's RBI single to left and a throwing error brought two runs across in the bottom of the fifth to give the home team a 4-3 advantage.
Mike Gibson's sac fly in the seventh got another run in for Alfred State, helping the Pioneers to a 5-3 lead.
The Lions jumped back into the lead in the top of the eighth. After Peter Jacobs (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) led off with a single to shortstop and Cumming reached when he was hit by a pitch, Stiuso hit a three-run homer to right field to give Penn State Altoona a 6-5 lead.
But Alfred State had the last laugh in the bottom of the ninth, when Andy Pichardo's two-out, two-run double to right-center propelled the Pioneers to a 7-6 walkoff win.
Penn State Altoona baseball will wrap up its New York weekend road trip tomorrow with a two-game set against AMCC foe Hilbert College. The doubleheader will be played at Niagara University, with game one's start time scheduled for 1:15 p.m.