April 15, 2012
HOPWOOD, Pa. - After being routed 13-2 in game one of a Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference doubleheader against Penn State Mont Alto, Penn State Fayette was unable to hold a late lead and fell 10-6 in game two at Hutchinson Park on Sunday afternoon.
Mont Alto turned a one-run deficit into a four-run lead with five runs in the top of the seventh inning in game two, and Fayette was unable to avoid the sweep.
The Roaring Lions (9-17, 5-9 PSUAC) remain in the playoff hunt, but need some help and must win out at Penn State Hazleton and Penn State Scranton on April 21 and 22.
GAME ONE: Penn State Mont Alto 13, Penn State Fayette 2 (5 innings)
Fayette fell behind early in the opener, as Mont Alto put up two quick runs on senior starting pitcher Zach Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.), but cut the deficit in half with a run of their own in the bottom of the first on an RBI single from sophomore Alex Fogle (Connellsville, Pa.).
Mont Alto scored in every inning, chasing Durbin after two-plus innings of work, scoring seven runs on five hits. The Lions also got to senior reliever Jonathan Eicher (Uniontown, Pa.), who relieved Durbin in the third with runners on second and third.
Mont Alto plated three runs in each of the middle three innings, taking an 11-1 lead into the bottom of the fourth. Sophomore Connor McKeel (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) hit a sacrifice fly to right field, but Fayette would not threaten again.
After two runs by the Lions in the top of the fifth, Fayette failed to score, invoking the 10-run rule after five innings of play.
Mont Alto cracked 12 hits to Fayette's eight, and starting pitcher Chase King struck out seven in five innings. Tyler Geesaman finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and Joel Umbrell also finished with three RBIs for the Lions.
GAME TWO: Penn State Mont Alto 10, Penn State Fayette 6
Fayette took the early lead in game two, scoring one run in the first and two in the second for a 3-0 lead behind Beucher on the mound.
Durbin doubled to center field in the first to score junior Nolan Zavora (Charleroi, Pa.), and Beucher set down the Lions in order in the second to let the Fayette bats go back to work. With two outs and no runners on, sophomore Braden Royer (Greensburg, Pa.) singled through the right side and Ward doubled to left to advance Royer to third. Zavora singled up the middle for two RBIs and Fayette had a 3-0 lead.
A groundout pushed in a run for Mont Alto in the third, and Fayette went quietly in the home half. The Lions finally got to Beucher in the fourth, cracking five hits to score three runs for a 4-3 lead.
The Roaring Lions answered in the bottom of the inning, as Fogle smacked a two-run home run to deep right field and a 5-4 advantage. Mont Alto was able to knot the score at 5-5, plating one run off of Ward, who relieved Beucher to start the fifth.
Fayette would once again grab the lead in their half of the fifth, as Durbin homered to left field to lead-off the inning and give Fayette a 6-5 lead.
Mont Alto and Fayette were both silenced in the sixth, but Mont Alto came alive in the seventh. After a flyout and a single, Cody Casey stole second base and scored on a single to left field by Zeb Thorson to knot the score at 6-6. After another flyout, King doubled to right field to score Thorson. A Fayette error allowed King to score on a groundball, and Jeremy Pagano made the Roaring Lions pay with a home run to deep center field for a 10-6 Mont Alto lead.
Fayette left two runners on in the seventh, but Thorson picked up the win in relief for Mont Alto. Thorson did not allow a run over the final three innings, walking five and striking out two while holding Fayette hitless.
The Roaring Lions did manage nine hits, but Mont Alto had 13 in the win. Geesaman and Pagano had two hits apiece for Mont Alto, driving in two and three runs, respectively. Zach Harvey and Travis Barthalow also added two hits apiece.
Royer scored two runs for Fayette, and Durbin finished with three hits and two RBIs in game two. Fogle finished with two hits and two RBIs, while Zavora added two RBIs.
The Roaring Lions can advance to the PSUAC Playoffs with sweeps of Hazleton and Scranton next weekend, but will need some other help. Hazleton and Mont Alto must lose four and five games, respectively, and Penn State Wilkes-Barre must drop two of their last four for Fayette to make the playoffs.