PSU Hazleton finally reached many of the goals it had set for its self after the first few games of its Spring Training schedule at the Ripkin Experience in Myrtle Beach, SC. Head Coach Justin Gutsie needed his starting pitcher to go deeper into the game beyond the third inning and limit the amount of walks issued; he wanted his offense to work counts, be aggressive and not strike out so much as they had been doing earlier in the trip. While getting all of those things, it still wasn't enough for the local Lions to win the game as they dropped the nightcap of their double-header with Greater Allegheny by a score of 6-3.
Hazleton got on the board first in the second inning when Adam Michalesko and Dominic Yannuzzi both drew walks. A beautiful sacrifice bunt by James Brielmeier moved up both runners and Michaleshko scored on a fielders choice RBI by Colin Stauffer. They added to their lead in the third when Charles Karchner singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. Tanner Lawrence followed it up with single chasing home Karchner and pushing Hazleton's lead to 2-0.
Meanwhile, Hazleton starter Colin Stauffer was doing an excellent job keeping the Greater Allegheny bats at bay. Throwing low heat and mixing in a nasty breaking pitch, Stauffer worked well through four innings walking none, striking out three and only giving up one hit. Unfortunately, the 5th inning soom became the downfall for Stauffer as the Greater Allegheny bats started to come alive. After getting the first out on a dribbler back to the mound, David West singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. The next batter popped out to short, but the next four batters for Greater Allegheny all singled pushing across three runs. When Josh Arroyo walked to add on another run, it ended Stauffer's day on the mound. Jordy Tejeda found himself in the reliever's role after only pitching to one batter in the first game and quickly got the third out with a strikeout.
Both teams scored in the 7th and final frame of the game. Greater Allegheny got a walk from Hunter Huges, and then singles from Adam Jacko and Pedro Escobar to plate their 6th run of the game. Hazleton closed out the scoring when Stauffer led off with a double. He moved up to third on a single by Tejeda and scored on a wild pitch making the score 6-3 in favor of Greater Allegheny. Tejeda moved up to second on the wild pitch and moved to third on a Tim Kindler single. However, a sharp one-hopper and a fantastic grab by Greater Allegheny third baseman caught Tejeda in no-man's land for the first out with Kindler moving up to second on the play. A fluke bounce and a perfect throw by the catcher nailed Kindler at third for the second out and a strike-out ended the Hazleton threat and the game.
Tim Kindler finished the game going 2-4 and finished the double-header going 4-8. Charles Karchner had a day in the twin-bill going 3-6 with three triples and one RBI. Jordy Tejeda added two singles in the game while Colin Stauffer doubled and Tanner Lawrence and Adam Michalesko added singles for Hazleton. On the mound, Sauffer finished the day tossing 4.1 innings giving up 5 runs, all earned on 6 hits while walking 2 and striking out 4. In relief, Tejeda pitched1.2 innings giving up one run, earned, and 2 hits, 3 walks and registering 2 strikeouts.
With the loss, Hazleton drops to 0-5 to end it's southern US swing. Due to the snow from the two previous storms back in PA, the University of Maine-Presque Isle game has been cancelled. The Nittany Lions will resume play on Saturday when they travel to Media, PA to play a double-header against Williamson College of the Trades. First pitch is slated for 1:00.