Miscues by Hazleton once again spelled disaster for the the local Lions as they spotted Penn State Wilkes-Barre five runs in the first inning and later allowed three more unearned runs as Wilkes-Barre went on to win 8-3 in both teams' Penn State University Athletic Conference opener. After rain washed out the weekend series between the two teams, they met mid-week at Hilldale Baseball Field in the first of three make-up games between the two teams.
Wilkes-Barre opened the game Scoring five runs when Rich Scott doubled and Tanner Williams doubled sandwiching an error on a strikeout. Leroy Fetting singled chasing home Williams and Brandon Hardiman scored on another error by Hazleton.David Staskiel then singled bringing in two more runs to end the scoring for the inning. By the end of the frame the damage was done and the 5-0 lead was too much for Hazleton to overcome.
Hazleton would get on the board in the second inning when Josh Malkemes (Mountain Top, PA) would single to right followed up by a Jacob Taschler (Palmerton, PA) double down the right field line. Malkemes would advance to third on the hit and scored when Wilkes-barre threw the ball away attempting to make a play on Taschler at second. Wilkes-Barre answered again in the 4th when Scott would once again reach on an error. A high pop-up between the mound and third was misplayed allowing scott to go all the way to third and Hardiman to second. Fetting once again came through for Wilkes-Barre singling home both runners upping the lead to 7-1 in favor of Wilkes-Barre.
Brian Hardima would score in the 8th when he reached on an error, advanced to third on a single by Scott, and speed home on a passed ball. With Wilkes-Barre leading 8-1 Hazleton would mount a threat in their half of the 8th when Dominic Yannuzzi (Hazleton, PA) led off with a single to left field. Colin Stauffer (Hazleton, PA) would follow it up with a double to the left-center gap moving Yannuzzi to third. Brett Kosciolek (Lake Hauto, PA) then singled to left to score Yannuzzi and Wyatt Kindler (Mountain Top, PA) would single chasing home Stauffer. That was all Hazleton would get on the day as Charles Karchner (West Hazleton, PA) would make it all the way to second on an error by in the outfield but woud end up stranded there to end the game.
Jordan Choman (1-0) would pick up the win for Wilkes-Barre while Kosciolek (0-1) took the loss. Yannuzzi and Malkemes would lead Hazleton with three hits apiece, both also hitting doubles on the day. Stauffer and Taschler added to the extra-base total both clubbing two-baggers and Tachsler getting an RBI. The teams will meet again next week again on Tuesday in part two of the series in a double-header scheduled to be played once again at Hilldale. In the meantime, Hazleton resumes PSUAC play again on friday when they travel to Matt McGloin Field in Scranton to play Penn State Worthington-Scranton in the series opener. Hazleton will look to pick up it's first conference win as the first pitch is scheduled for 2:30 PM.