Miscues Hurt Lions in 11-3 Loss to Lakeland
FOUR CORNERS, Fla. – Several key Penn State Altoona mistakes helped Lakeland University jump out to a big lead in Thursday morning's game at Northeast Regional Park, as the Muskies defeated the Lions baseball team 11-3 in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational.
Lakeland (7-3) led 5-0 after two innings and 9-2 after six innings, en route to an eight-run victory over Penn State Altoona (3-5). The Lions committed two errors, and several other miscues aided the Muskies' scoring efforts.
Grayson McClain (Mount Union, PA/Mount Union) went 2-for-3 with a triple, a walk, and two runs scored. Anthony Iannizzi (Leesburg, VA/Heritage) also had a two-hit game, going 2-for-4 at the plate. Corey Chamberlain (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) and Jake Hillard (State College, PA/State College) each had an RBI double.
Sam Homan (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) started on the mound for Penn State Altoona and was charged with the loss, giving up five earned runs through 4 2/3 innings while striking out six Lakeland batters. Cameron Dubbs (Palmyra, PA/Palmyra) pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief of Homan, and Cole Brechbill (Hagerstown, MD/North Hagerstown) pitched the final three innings out of the pen.
Lakeland grabbed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Jack Banks struck out but reached base on a wild pitch, moved up to second on a single, and advanced to third on another wild pitch. Kellen Hodges' groundout to second allowed Banks to score, giving the Muskies the early lead.
In the second, Zak Keegan started the inning by reaching on a throwing error, and Austin Palmer, the next batter, reached first on another strikeout wild pitch. A balk allowed Keegan to score from third, and a hit batter put another runner aboard for Lakeland. In the next at bat, a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt plated two runs, and Nathan Hemmerling's RBI single to left put the Muskies ahead 5-0.
Penn State Altoona broke through for two runs in the bottom of the third. With one out, McClain tripled to right-center and scored when Alex Hlivia (State College, PA/State College) followed with an RBI base hit to center. One batter later, Hillard's double down the left field line drove in Hlivia and cut Lakeland's lead to 5-2.
Lakeland added three more runs to its total in the top of the fifth, as RBI singles by Tyler LaMack, Hunter Frisk, and Keegan increased the Muskies' lead to 8-2. La Mack's two-out solo homer to right in the sixth upped his team's advantage to 9-2.
Penn State Altoona got another run across in the bottom of the seventh, when McClain reached on a one-out single up the middle and scored on Chamberlain's double down the left field line.
But Lakeland responded by tacking two more runs on to its total in the top half of the eighth, when Frisk's two-run single to right made it 11-3.
Penn State Altoona baseball returns to action tomorrow, Friday, March 11, when the Lions will take on Illinois College in a doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games at Northeast Regional Park's field #2. First pitch of game one is scheduled for 9:15 a.m.