Penn State Hazleton fell to New River Community College of Virginia today by the score of 5-3. The loss drove the Nittany Lions to an 0-3 start on the young 2018 season and their Spring Training road trip to the Ripkin Experience in Myrtle Beach, SC. Head Coach Justin Gutsie's goal for the game was to cut down on his pitchers issuing too many walks in the game and get his pitchers to get through more innings and opposing batters. He got his wish as starter Charles Karchner and reliever Tanner Lawrence issues only one walk on the day, and with both pitchers getting through the game, he didn't have to go to his bullpen with multiple pitchers to finish. However, the Muskie's starting pitcher Wyatt Sowers threw a complete game, 6 hit gem, limiting the Nittany Lions to only 3 runs and striking out a whopping 12 batters enroute to the victory.
The Muskies got on the board first in the botton of the first inning. After a two out single and a hit batsman, a double steal attempt resulted in an errant throw to third base allowing the lead runner to score making it 1-0 New River. In the top of the 4th, Hazleton threatened when a Colin Stauffer single put the tying run on first. A sac bunt by Jordy Tejeda moved Stauffer to second, but he was gunned down trying to advance to third on the play and ended the Nittany Lion threat.
In the top of the 4th, the Lions again started to get some momentum going. Tim Kindler led off with a singal followed by a Dominic Yannuzzi walk. On an attempted double steak, Kindler was thrown out at third but Yannuzzi moved up to second. Wilson Guarnera hit into a fielder's choice and an error on the throw allowed Yannuzzi to scamper home for the first Hazleton run of the game (and allowed Guarnara to move to second). Charles Karchner then smacked a single through the left side plating Guarnara and he moved up to second on the throw to the plate. Tanner Lawrence next at bat plated karchner when his infield single was then thrown away allowing Karchner to come all the way around from second.
The Lions could not hold the momentum as New River came right back in the bottom half of the frame and scored 4 runs. two singles followed by a double plated 2 runs to tie the game at 3-3. With one out the Muskies turned the order over to the top and the lead off batter responded with a triple and giving them a 4-3 lead. After the second out, a double scored the final run and ended Karchner's day on the mound. Lawarence came in and shut down the home team for the rest of the game; but Sowers kept the Lions in check and didn't allow any Lion offense the rest of the game.
Kindler led the Lions with a 3-4 day at the plate. Karchner, Lawrence and Stauffer all added singles for Hazleton. karchner ended the day throwing 3.2 innings, giving up 5 runs - 4 earned, allowing 7 hits, 2 BB's and striking out 4. In relief, Lawrence thre 2.1 innings, gave up no runs, striking out none and gave up 1 hit and issued 1 BB.
The Lions have tomorrow off and will finish off their Spring Training schedule with a doubleheader Wednesday night against Penn State Greater Allegheny.