Baseball Sweeps Fitchburg State for First Florida Wins
AUBURNDALE, Fla. – The Penn State Altoona baseball team broke out the broomsticks on Sunday to record the first wins of its Florida trip, sweeping Fitchburg State University in a doubleheader at Lake Myrtle Park.
Penn State Altoona (3-3) took game one 16-5, then defeated Fitchburg State (0-4) 11-4 in the nightcap.
Game One: Penn State Altoona 16, Fitchburg State 5
Penn State Altoona jumped on Fitchburg early in the game, putting 13 runs on the board over the first three innings to take a commanding lead en route to a comfortable victory. The Lions totaled 16 runs on 13 hits.
Jake Hillard (State College, PA/State College) and Phaly Moravek (Leesburg, VA/Tuscarora) each had a three-hit game for the Lions. Hillard was 3-for-4 with a home run, four runs batted in, and a run scored, while Moravek went 3-for-4 with a triple, three RBI, and two runs scored. Logan Margroum (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) was 1-for-3 with a grand slam.
Alex Kitko (Houtzdale, PA/Moshannon Valley) started on the mound and recorded his first win of the season, as the right-hander pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed three earned runs. Collin Hickey (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown East) tossed a scoreless 1 1/3 innings in relief with one strikeout, and Cole Brechbill (Hagerstown, MD/North Hagerstown) pitched the final inning while striking out two and yielding one earned run.
Penn State Altoona struck first, putting two runs on the board in the bottom of the first inning. Corey Chamberlain (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) drove in the game's first run with a double to right-center, and he later scored on an infield throwing error to make it 2-0.
Fitchburg responded with two runs of their own in the top of the second, as Vincent Eramo's two-run home run to left-center tied the score 2-2.
The Lions reclaimed the lead when they together a five-run bottom of the second, helped by two big swings of the bat. After Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) and Alex Hlivia (State College, PA/State College) led off the frame with base hits, Moravek tripled to right to give Penn State Altoona a two-run advantage. A walk by Chamberlain put another runner on base for the Lions, and Hillard capitalized with a three-run homer to left that made it 7-2.
The Falcons used the long ball to get a run back in the top half of the third, when Liam Goldstein's solo shot to left cut the Penn State Altoona lead to 7-3.
But the Lions came up with another big inning in the third, putting six more runs on the board. Walks by Garrett Alauzen (Pittsburgh, PA/Chartiers Valley), Carey, and Hlivia loaded the bases, and Grayson McClain (Mount Union, PA/Mount Union) drew the inning's fourth walk to plate Alauzen. In the next at-bat, Moravek's base hit to center scored Carey to make it 9-3. Two batters later with the bases still loaded, Margroum ran into a pitch to score four, as his grand slam to left-center upped the Lions' advantage to 13-3.
Penn State Altoona tacked two more runs on to their total in the fourth. Tyreke Green (Altoona, PA/Altoona) doubled down the left field line to drive in Austin Orris (Carlisle, PA/Carlisle), and Hillard's single through the left side brought Green home later in the inning to make it 15-3.
The Lions picked up a run on another bases-loaded walk later in the game, when James St. Laurent-Friend (Wake Forest, NC/Wake Forest) drew a base on balls with the bases full to score Brendan Kuhns (Altoona, PA/Altoona).
Fitchburg capped the game's scoring in the top of the seventh, when Goldstein's fielder's choice grounder drove in one run and Cole DuHaime scored on a throwing error during the play.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 11, Fitchburg State 4
Penn State Altoona's bats again led the way, producing 11 runs on 15 hits, while the pitching held Fitchburg to four runs on five hits.
Timothy Richard (Douglassville, PA/Daniel Boone) went 4-for-4 with a double, a home run, four RBI, and two runs scored. Margroum went 3-for-5 with two doubles, three RBI, and two runs scored.
Anthony Iannizzi (Leesburg, VA/Heritage), Hillard, and Moravek each finished with a two-hit game. Iannizzi was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI, Hillard was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Moravek was 2-for-4 with a run scored and a walk. Chamberlain was 1-for-3 with three runs scored and two walks.
Eli Wiles (Kittanning, PA/Armstrong) picked up his first collegiate win with a solid start on the mound, going five innings and surrendering just two earned runs while striking out four. Sam Homan (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) and Mack Meengs (State College, PA/State College) each came out of the bullpen to toss a scoreless inning with two strikeouts.
Penn State Altoona again built an early lead to start game two.
In the top of the first, Hillard's sac fly to left, Margroum's RBI double down the right field line, and Richard's two-run double to left-center put the Lions up 4-0.
Fitchburg got a run in the bottom of the first when Goldstein scored on a wild pitch, but Penn State Altoona added three more runs to its lead in the second when Margroum's base hit to left-center plated two runs and Richard came home on a wild pitch.
The Falcons made it a three-run game in the third. Connor Morehouse hit a two-run homer to left, and Eramo scored on a wild pitch to cut Penn State Altoona's lead to 7-4.
But Penn State Altoona kept Fitchburg off of the scoreboard for the rest of the game, while adding four more runs to its total.
In the fourth, Chamberlain scored on a throwing error before Richard's two-run homer made it 10-4. In the sixth, Iannizzi's RBI single into left field set his team's lead at 11-4.
Penn State Altoona baseball is off tomorrow, its first of two off days this week. The Lions are scheduled to return to action on Tuesday, March 8, when they will face Thomas College in a single, nine-inning game at the newly-constructed Northeast Regional Park in Davenport. First pitch is set for 1:30 p.m.