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Baseball Sweeps Chatham in Home Opener

Baseball Sweeps Chatham in Home Opener

ALTOONA, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona baseball team started its 2022 home schedule with a sweep of non-conference opponent Chatham University on Monday afternoon at Stewart Athletic Field.

The Lions (7-9) won game one 9-8 on a walkoff in the bottom of the seventh, then picked up a lopsided 26-4 victory in game two over Chatham (6-3).

Game One: Penn State Altoona 9, Chatham 8

Penn State Altoona led 8-5 going into the seventh, but Chatham rallied for three runs in the top of the final frame to tie the score. However, the Lions bounced back to score in the bottom of the seventh to record the walkoff win.

Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) was 3-for-4 with a double, and three other Lions had a multi-hit game. Jake Hillard (State College, PA/State College) was 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored, Garrett Alauzen (Pittsburgh, PA/Chartiers Valley) was 2-for-4 with a home run, two runs scored, and one run batted in, and Logan Margroum (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Corey Chamberlain (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) hit a grand slam, and Alex Hlivia (State College, PA/State College) came up with the walkoff RBI hit.

Alex Kitko (Houtzdale, PA/Moshannon Valley) got the start at pitcher and finished with a no decision, tossing 5 1/3 innings and allowing five runs while striking out two batters. Adam Wildasin (Hershey, PA/Hershey) pitched 1 2/3 innings out of the bullpen and picked up the win, his first victory of the season.

Penn State Altoona scored the day's first run in the bottom of the second when Alauzen reached on a two-out single and later scored on a fielding error. The Lions doubled their lead in the third, when Margroum's two-out RBI single to right-center made it 2-0.

Chatham jumped ahead by plating three runs in the top of the fourth. Tyler Cote's RBI single to center got the Cougars' first run across, and Luke Paulson followed with a run-scoring sacrifice bunt up the first base line to tie the score. Quinn Burke's RBI triple to right-center gave the visitors a 3-2 lead.

But the Lions used the long ball to quickly reclaim the lead in the bottom half of the fourth. Alauzen led off the frame by blasting his first collegiate home run of the season over the left field fence, knotting the score at 3-3. After that, Carey doubled, Anthony Iannizzi (Leesburg, VA/Heritage) was hit by a pitch, and Grayson McClain (Mount Union, PA/Mount Union) walked to load the bases. After a fielder's choice groundout, Chamberlain hit a grand slam to left – his first collegiate homer – to propel Penn State Altoona back into the lead, 7-3.

Chatham got two runs back in the top of the fifth, when Dylan Vogel scored on a wild pitch and Brandon Greiner drove in a run with his sac fly to center.

Penn State Altoona added a run in the bottom of the sixth, when a Phaly Moravek (Leesburg, VA/Tuscarora) RBI single to left gave the Lions an 8-5 lead heading into the seventh.

But Chatham came back to tie the score in the top of the seventh. Caleb Lehman's two-run homer to left-center cut the Lions' lead to one, and Brady Wingeart's groundout scored Greiner from third base later in the inning to make it 8-8.

Penn State Altoona responded by scoring a run in the bottom of the seventh to win the game. With one out, McClain doubled down the right field line. After a pitching change, Hlivia delivered the game-winning hit for the Lions, singling to left to drive in McClain and give the home team a walkoff victory in its first home game of 2022.

Game Two: Penn State Altoona 26, Chatham 4

15 different Lions finished with at least one hit, as Penn State Altoona scored 26 runs on 26 hits for a big win in game two. The team's total of 26 runs is tied for the fourth-most runs in a single game in program history, and the Lions also finished the game with the second-most total bases (41) and the fourth-most hits (26) and RBI (25) in a single game in team history.

Carey and Alauzen each had a three-hit game to lead the way for the Lion bats. Carey was 3-for-3 with his first career home run, three RBI, and three runs scored, while Alauzen went 3-for-3 with a double, three runs scored, and two RBI.

Iannizzi was 2-for-2 with a home run, three RBI, two runs scored, and a walk, and Fred Guarino IV (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) went 2-for-3 with a grand slam, five RBI, and two runs scored. Margroum finished 2-for-3 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI, and Hillard went 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, and a run scored.

Timothy Richard (Douglassville, PA/Daniel Boone) was 2-for-3 with a double, two RBI, and two runs scored. Brendan Kuhns (Altoona, PA/Altoona) hit 2-for-3 with a run scored, and Jake Yokobosky (Newton, NJ/Kittatinny Regional) was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored.

Sam Homan (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) earned his first win of the season on the mound, going four innings and limiting Chatham to two runs on four hits and a walk while notching six strikeouts. Austin Miller (Orbisonia, PA/Southern Huntingdon) pitched one scoreless inning in relief with two strikeouts, and Cameron Dubbs (Palmyra, PA/Palmyra) pitched two innings while yielding one earned run and striking out one.

Chatham grabbed a 2-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-run single to right by Lehman.

But Penn State Altoona came back with a seven-run bottom of the first inning. Hillard drove in one run with his groundout to third, and Hlivia scored on a throwing error during the next play to tie the score. Richard's RBI double and Alauzen's RBI single gave the home team a two-run advantage, and McClain's two-run single to right made it 6-2. Iannizzi came home on a throw to second base during McClain's steal, extending the Lions' lead to five runs.

Penn State Altoona had another big inning in the third, putting nine more runs on the board. Iannizzi hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot to left, to start the scoring in the frame. Hillard's RBI single to center and Richard's RBI single to shortstop added two more runs, and Alauzen followed with an RBI double to left-center. Next, Carey's three-run homer to left made it 16-2.

The Lions were not finished, however, as they exploded with a 10-run bottom of the fourth. Three RBI singles from Guarino, Yokobosky, and Grant Barberich (Leesburg, VA/Heritage) and a bases-loaded walk drawn by Dominic McCaffrey (Spotswood, NJ/St. John Vianney) got Penn State Altoona's run total to 20. James St. Laurent-Friend (Wake Forest, NC/Wake Forest) scored on Austin Orris' (Carlisle, PA/Carlisle) fielder's choice, and Chase Hoffman (Milton, PA/Milton) drove in a run with his bases-loaded walk. Guarino capped the scoring in the inning with a grand slam, his first collegiate home run.

Next up, Penn State Altoona baseball will travel to Chambersburg on Wednesday, March 23 to take on non-conference opponent Wilson College in a doubleheader. Game one is scheduled to start at 1:00 p.m.