Baseball Splits Doubleheader at Juniata
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona baseball team returned to action on Tuesday afternoon, traveling east to take on non-conference opponent Juniata College in a doubleheader at Langdon-Goodale Field.
Penn State Altoona (8-10) pulled out an 8-7 victory in game one, and Juniata (6-11) won the nightcap 5-1.
Game One: Penn State Altoona 8, Juniata 7
The Lions fell behind early but fought back to take the lead in the third inning. Juniata tied things up in the bottom of the fifth, but Penn State Altoona reclaimed the lead in the sixth and held on the rest of the way.
Kyle Glass (Imler, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) made the start on the rubber for the Lions and picked up his third win of the season, going five innings, allowing four earned runs, and striking out three batters. Alex Kitko (Houtzdale, PA/Moshannon Valley) tossed two scoreless innings in relief and struck out three batters to record his first collegiate save.
Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) was 3-for-4 to lead the Lion hitters, blasting his second home run of the season, scoring three runs, and driving in one. Grant Barberich (Leesburg, VA/Heritage) was 1-for-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and two walks. Corey Chamberlain (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) and Grayson McClain (Mount Union, PA/Mount Union) each drew three walks while recording one RBI apiece.
Penn State Altoona scored a run in the top of the first inning when McClain led off the game with a walk and later scored from third on an infield error. Juniata jumped ahead in the bottom of the first, however, when Eric Soccio's two-out, two-run single up the middle gave the home team a 2-1 lead.
The Lions tied the score in the top of the second, helped by four walks drawn during the frame. With the bases loaded, Chamberlain drew the fourth free pass of the inning to score Carey from third, making it 2-2.
But the Eagles came back with three runs in the bottom of the second to move ahead on scoreboard again. Back-to-back RBI singles from Aaron Bollinger and Isaac Maclay preceded Jake Swank's run-scoring groundout, and Juniata claimed a 5-2 advantage through two innings.
Penn State Altoona worked its way in front with a four-run top of the third. Phaly Moravek (Leesburg, VA/Tuscarora) and McClain drew consecutive bases-loaded walks to plate Garrett Alauzen (Pittsburgh, PA/Chartiers Valley) and Barberich, and a passed ball during the next at-bat allowed Carey to come home from third. Alex Hlivia's (State College, PA/State College) RBI groundout to shortstop brought Moravek home, and the Lions went ahead 6-5.
Carey added a run to the Lions' total with one swing of the bat to start the fifth inning, leading off the frame with a home run to left-center to extend Penn State Altoona's advantage to 7-5.
But Juniata used the long ball to knot the score in the bottom half of the fifth, as a two-out, two-run homer to left-center by Joey Allegrini knotted things up 7-7.
However, Penn State Altoona grabbed the lead back in the top of the sixth. Jake Hillard (State College, PA/State College) started the inning with a base hit and later moved up to third on a double play. Barberich capitalized on the two-out situation, singling to left to score Hillard and put the Lions back in front, 8-7.
Juniata put the potential tying run aboard in the sixth and seventh innings, but Kitko and the Lions shut the door on any Juniata comeback hopes, as Penn State Altoona successfully closed out the game to earn the win.
Game Two: Juniata 5, Penn State Altoona 1
The teams faced off in a nine-inning contest in game two, with Juniata establishing a lead in the bottom of the third and never relinquishing it.
Tristin Lockett (Mifflin County, PA/Mifflin County) was Penn State Altoona's starting pitcher and took the loss, tossing four innings and allowing three runs while recording seven strikeouts. Eli Wiles (Kittanning, PA/Armstrong) pitched four innings in relief, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out three.
At the plate, Carey produced another three-hit game for the Lions, going 3-for-3 with a run scored. McClain was 1-for-3 with a double, an RBI, and a walk, and Alauzen, Chamberlain, and Hillard also had one hit apiece.
The Lions put the game's first run on the board in the top of the third. With two outs, McClain's double to right plated Carey, who reach earlier in the frame on a base hit to center, to give Penn State Altoona a 1-0 lead.
But Juniata responded quickly, taking the lead in the bottom half of the third on Maclay's two-run homer to left-center. The Eagles went on to add three more runs to their total, thanks to RBI groundouts by Bollinger in the fourth and sixth innings and an error in the eighth that allowed Michael Warren to score.
Penn State Altoona baseball is scheduled to return to action this Thursday, March 31, when the Lions will again travel to face another non-conference opponent. The team will head to Williamsport that day to take on Penn College in a doubleheader starting at 1:00 p.m.