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Baseball Splits Non-Conference Doubleheader With Wildcats

Baseball Splits Non-Conference Doubleheader With Wildcats

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona baseball team wrapped up a busy stretch on Monday afternoon, facing non-conference opponent Penn College in a doubleheader at Muncy Bank Ballpark at Historic Bowman Field for the Lions' fifth and sixth games in the past three days.

Penn State Altoona (14-18) nabbed a 3-2 victory in game one, and Penn College (18-15) countered with a 7-3 win in the nightcap.

Game One: Penn State Altoona 3, Penn College 2

The Lions came out on top in a low-scoring affair in game one, as each team totaled just five hits apiece. Penn State Altoona was helped by strong pitching and error-free defense, and the Lions did enough at the plate to squeak out a one-run win.

Austin Miller (Orbisonia, PA/Southern Huntingdon) got the start on the mound in game one and pitched well to record his first win of the season. Over five innings of work, the righty held Penn College to just one run on two hits and two walks, and he struck out four batters.

Chase Hoffman (Milton, PA/Milton) made his first collegiate appearance on the mound to pitch the final two innings, holding Penn State Altoona's lead to pick up his first career save. Hoffman allowed just one run on three hits and a walk while tallying three strikeouts.

Grayson McClain (Mount Union, PA/Mount Union) had two of Penn State Altoona's five hits, going 2-for-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk. Garrett Alauzen (Pittsburgh, PA/Chartiers Valley) was 1-for-3 with a run scored, Jake Hillard (State College, PA/State College) went 1-for-3 with one run batted in and a stolen base, and Logan Margroum (Hollidaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) was 1-for-2 with a walk.

Penn State Altoona went ahead early, manufacturing two runs during a hitless top of the first inning. McClain led off with a walk, and Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to put two runners aboard for the Lions. Alauzen's sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, and McClain scored on a wild pitch to put Penn State Altoona on the board. Hillard followed with a sacrifice fly to right, plating Carey to make it 2-0.

Penn College broke through for its first run of the day in the bottom of the fourth. Jacob Carles led off the frame with a bunt single and later scored on Tyler Rudolph's groundout to third, cutting the Lions' lead to 2-1.

Penn State Altoona got that run back in the top of the sixth, adding an important insurance tally to boost its lead to back to two, 3-1. The inning began with back-to-back base hits from Alauzen and Hillard, and after an out, Margroum walked to load the bases. Corey Chamberlain's (Claysburg, PA/Claysburg-Kimmel) sac fly to left allowed Alauzen to score, putting some padding back in the visitors' lead.

The Wildcats drew to within one run again in the bottom of the sixth, when a Rudolph RBI single to left narrowed Penn State Altoona's advantage to 3-2. After that, a single and hit batter loaded the bases for Penn College with two outs, but Hoffman got the next batter to fly out to left to end the threat and strand three runners on base.

The Lions kept the Wildcats off the scoreboard in the seventh to secure the game one win.

Game Two: Penn College 7, Penn State Altoona 3

This time, three runs was not enough for Penn State Altoona, as Penn College put three on the board in the third and scored four more in the fourth en route to a 7-3 victory.

Brendan Kuhns (Altoona, PA/Altoona) was 2-for-3 with a stolen base, while Hillard went 1-for-2 with three RBI, a walk, and his sixth home run of the season. Margroum and McClain each walked twice, with McClain also stealing a base.

Mack Meengs (State College, PA/State College) made the start at pitcher in game two and was saddled with the loss. In two innings, the left-hander allowed a pair of unearned runs on a hit and four walks while striking out three.

Collin Hickey (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown East) yielded five runs over two innings in relief, and Cole Brechbill (Hagerstown, MD/North Hagerstown) finished the game with two scoreless, one-hit innings while striking out a pair.

Penn State Altoona used a Hillard sac fly to right to go up 1-0 in the top of the third. But Penn College capitalized on a pair of Lion errors in the bottom half of the inning, scoring three runs to leap in front, 3-1.

The Wildcats added four more runs to their total in the bottom of the fourth, when Shane Price hit a two-out grand slam to right to extend the home team's lead to 7-1.

Hillard answered with a long ball of his own in the top of the fifth, homering to right after Alauzen led off the inning with a walk to cut the Penn College advantage to 7-3. But that home run represented the final scoring play of the game, as the Wildcats closed out the game two victory over the Lions.

Next up, Penn State Altoona will return to Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play this Friday, April 29 at home, when the Lions will host Pitt-Bradford for a doubleheader starting at 2:00 p.m. at Stewart Athletic Field.

Those games were originally scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, April 26. However, they were rescheduled on Monday afternoon to accommodate Pitt-Bradford's finals week schedule.