Hazleton, PA. Penn State Hazleton baseball player Tanner Lawrence (Pinellas Park, Fl.) had a monster year at the plate for the local Nittany Lions. Lawrence ended the 2018 season leading the PSUAC and the USCAA in doubles as well as finishing in the top five in both conferences in RBI's, batting average, slugging percentage and on-base percentage. By the end of the season, teams began to employ special defensive shifts and intentionally walked him as ways to keep him from hitting the ball. His hitting prowess did not go unnoticed as he was named to the 2018 Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference 1st Team All-Conference squad this past Monday. Lawrence was named the top catched in the eastern division, a position he assumed after an early season injury necessitated his move behind the plate. Lawrence was jointed by fellow Nittany Lions Charles Karchner (Hazleton, Pa.), Tim Kindler (Mountain Top, Pa.) and Dominic Yannuzzi (Hazleton, Pa.).
For Lawrence, it was the second consecutive year he collected post-season honors. In 2017, Lawrence was named to the PSUCA Honorable Mention team as an infielder. This year, his 14 doubles led the PSUAC and USCAA during through regular season play. He finished second in the PSUAC in batting average with a .468 mark, adding a .548 on-base percentage and a .646 slugging percentage. While playing in minimally 6 games less than the other leaders, Lawrence ended the year with 37 hits, 22 runs, and 28 rbis.
For Kindler, it was also his second consecutive year being honored by the conference in the post-season after a 2nd team nod in 2017. Despite missing five games due to injury, Kindler finished second on the team with an average of .382 and struck out just three times all season. Kindler finished in the top 20 of the PSUAC in a number of statistical areas and on the defensive side, Kindler collected 7 assists and had only one error in 40 attempts.
After a one year hiatus, Charlie Karchner returned to the Nittany Lion Baseball team with a vengance. He collected 31 hits and 27 runs on his way to a .378 batting avg. finishing in the top three on the team as well in the top 20 of the PSUAC. Previously, Karchner has been named to the PSUAC All Academic Team in 2016.
Yannuzzi was a pleasant surprise in his first year playing for the Nittany Lions. Being shifted from the outfield, to the infield and even being pressed into pitching duties, Yannuzzi was the ultimate utility player. His 22 hits, 15 rbi's and a batting avg. of .319 placed him fourth on the team behind Lawrence, Kindler and Karcher. He pulled down a fielding percentage of .859 as well as collecting 2 big wins from the mound helping the Lions win 8 of their last 10 games of the season.