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Bats Power Lions to Sweep of Greensburg

Bats Power Lions to Sweep of Greensburg

CRESSON, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona baseball team used a potent offensive performance to break out the broomsticks against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Pitt-Greensburg on Sunday afternoon at Calandra-Smith Field, totaling 26 runs and 30 hits in a doubleheader sweep of the Bobcats.

Penn State Altoona (13-17, 5-7 AMCC) used a 10-run sixth inning to come back and defeat Pitt-Greensburg (3-23, 3-9 AMCC) 12-6 in game one, and the Lions hung on for a 14-12 victory in game two.

Game One: Penn State Altoona 12, Pitt-Greensburg 6

The Lions trailed 5-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth, but Penn State Altoona rallied for 10 runs to surge ahead and ultimately defeat the Bobcats.

Grayson McClain (Mount Union, PA/Mount Union) was 2-for-4 with four runs batted in, one run scored, and one stolen base, and Phaly Moravek (Leesburg, VA/Tuscarora) went 2-for-3 with his first collegiate home run, three RBI, three runs scored, and a walk. Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) was 2-for-4 with a run scored, an RBI, and a stolen base, and Alex Hlivia (State College, PA/State College) went 2-for-2 with a run scored and a walk.

Alex Kitko (Houtzdale, PA/Moshannon Valley) started on the mound and took a no decision, pitching four innings and yielding five runs. Cameron Dubbs (Palmyra, PA/Palmyra) tossed three innings out of the bullpen and picked up his first win of the season, holding Pitt-Greensburg to one run on five hits and a walk.

Pitt-Greensburg drew first blood in the top of the second on Will Thorp's RBI single to right, but the Lions answered with a two-run single from McClain in the bottom half of the inning that put Penn State Altoona up 2-1.

The Bobcats responded quickly, scoring two runs in the top of the third to jump back in front. Jace Cappellini's sacrifice fly to right tied the score, and Michael Sullivan delivered an RBI single to right-center to make it 3-2.

Pitt-Greensburg extended its lead to 5-2 in the top of the fourth, when Brody Bonadio's RBI double and Hunter Gideons' RBI single got two more runs across for the visitors.

The Bobcats' three-run lead remained until the bottom of the sixth, when Penn State Altoona plated 10 runs to leap ahead, 12-5. Moravek's two-run homer made it a one-run game, and Hlivia scored on an error to tie things up. RBI singles from Tyreke Green (Altoona, PA/Altoona), Carey, and Jake Hillard (State College, PA/State College) put Penn State Altoona in front, 8-5. Corey Chamberlain (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) drove in another run with his groundout to shortstop, and Moravek's RBI single made it 10-5. Another RBI hit from McClain drove in a run for the Lions, and Cole Brechbill (Hagerstown, MD/North Hagerstown) scored on a wild pitch to give Penn State Altoona a seven-run advantage.

Pitt-Greensburg got its final run on a Randy Hubbard RBI single to center in the top of the seventh.

Game Two: Penn State Altoona 14, Pitt-Greensburg 12

Penn State Altoona constructed an 11-0 lead after three innings, but Pitt-Greensburg mounted a valiant comeback effort to tie the score in the top of the eighth. However, the Lions reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the eighth and escaped with the sweep-sealing victory.

Hillard went 3-for-3 with a double, a triple, and a home run to go along with five RBI and two runs scored. Carey also had a three-hit game, batting 3-for-4 with a double, three RBI, three runs scored, and a walk.

McClain was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, two walks, and a stolen base, Chamberlain was 2-for-5, and Anthony Iannizzi (Leesburg, VA/Heritage) was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI.

Sam Homan (Altoona, PA/Bishop Guilfoyle) got the nod on the mound for game two and finished with a no decision. The left-hander tossed six innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out a career-high 10 batters.

Collin Hickey (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown East), Mack Meengs (State College, PA/State College), and Eli Wiles (Kittanning, PA/Armstrong) all saw time out of the bullpen, with Wiles pitching the final 1 1/3 innings and picking up his third win of the season.

The Lions grabbed the early lead by scoring four runs in the bottom of the first. McClain scored on an error, Hillard drove in two with his triple to right-center, and Logan Margroum (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) plated a run with his groundout to shortstop.

Penn State Altoona kept it coming in the second, scoring six more runs to boost their lead into double digits. Carey's two-run double to center preceded an RBI single from Garrett Alauzen (Pittsburgh, PA/Chartiers Valley) that made it 7-0. After a pitching change, Hillard blasted his fifth home run of the season, a two-run shot to increase his team's lead to 9-0. An RBI single from Moravek later in the frame put the Lions ahead 10-0.

Hillard's RBI double to left-center in the third inning upped Penn State Altoona's lead to 11-0.

Pitt-Greensburg began to chip away at its deficit in the top of the fifth. Bonadio cleared the bases with a hit, and Jacob Davey added a sacrifice fly to narrow the Lions' lead to 11-4. In the sixth, Jordan Cavanaugh's RBI double and a run-scoring fielder's choice from Bonadio made it a five-run game, 11-6.

The Bobcats pulled even with Penn State Altoona in the top of the eighth when they scored five more runs. Bonadio's two-run single to center cut the Lions' lead to three, and Thorp scored on a wild pitch during the next at-bat to make it 11-9. RBI singles from Davey and Christopher Hammond knotted the score at 11-11.

The Lions responded quickly to take back their lead, scoring three runs in the bottom of the eighth. Grant Barberich (Leesburg, VA/Heritage) scored on an error after leading off the inning with a single, putting Penn State Altoona back on top. Run-scoring base hits by Brendan Kuhns (Altoona, PA/Altoona) and Carey added some insurance to Penn State Altoona's lead, increasing it to 14-11.

Pitt-Greensburg threatened to come back again in the top of the ninth. Thorp singled and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 14-12, and the Bobcats brought the potential tying run to the plate. But Penn State Altoona got out of the inning without allowing any further damage, sealing the doubleheader sweep.

Penn State Altoona baseball continues its schedule on the road tomorrow, Monday, April 25, getting back into non-conference play for the final time this season. The Lions will travel to Williamsport to take on Penn College in a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.