March 31, 2012
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – Penn State Fayette baseball struggled to score runs on Saturday, falling 2-1 to conference foe Penn College in game one before dropping game two, 8-3, in Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference action at Historic Bowman Field.
Trailing 2-1 in game one, the Roaring Lions (3-11, 1-3 PSUAC) had a runner on third with no outs in the top of the seventh but were unable to tie the game, squandering stellar pitching performances from sophomore Nolan Zavora (Charleroi, Pa.) and senior reliever Jonathan Eicher (Uniontown, Pa.). Fayette struggled to score in game two, scoring only one run in the first six frames before turning in a two-run seventh, but to no avail.
GAME ONE—Penn College—2, Penn State Fayette—1
Fayette loaded the bases in the first inning, including a single by sophomore Alex Fogle (Connellsville, Pa.), but could not take an early lead. Penn College answered with a run in the first off of starting pitcher Zavora, as a single, stolen base and passed ball preceded a two-out single to make it 1-0.
The Roaring Lions had runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, but could not score as the teams went scoreless through the next three frames. Fayette was finally able to crack Penn College starter Zach Yetter for a run in the fifth as Zavora opened with a walk and senior Zach Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.) cracked his seventh double of the season to put runners on second and third. Following two pop-outs, freshman Colvin Adey (Connellsville, Pa.) walked to load the bases. Sophomore Braden Royer (Greensburg, Pa.) worked a 3-1 count before walking in what turned out to be Fayette's only run of the game, tying the score at 1-1.
Penn College answered in the home half of the fifth, as Garrett Hornung cracked a lead-off triple to left-center field that chased Zavora, as Eicher came in to try and control the damage. After a flyout, Skylar Gingrich followed with a sacrifice fly to score Hornung, who scored both Wildcats runs, and a 2-1 lead. Eicher escaped further damage in the fifth and set the Wildcats down in the sixth to lead into Fayette's last shot.
Fogle tripled to left-center to lead off, and a strikeout left Adey at the plate with one out. A failed squeeze attempt left Fogle in a rundown, and he was tagged out for the second out of the inning. Relief pitcher Zach Buterbaugh struck out Adey to end the threat and polish off the Penn College win.
Zavora finished with four-plus innings of work, giving up two runs on five hits while striking out two. Fayette finished with only three hits—Fogle's two and Durbin's double. Eicher gave up two hits and no runs in two innings of relief.
Jarod Bull earned the win in relief for the Wildcats, pitching 1 2/3 innings, striking out three.
GAME TWO—Penn College—8, Penn State Fayette—3
Fayette went scoreless through the first three innings of game two, as Penn College jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Freshman starting pitcher Harold McCutcheon (Claysville, Pa.) was touched up for four second-inning runs as a string of five hits in six batters gave the Wildcats an early advantage.
The Roaring Lions finally crossed the plate in the fourth as Durbin led off with a double down the left-field line. Senior Sam Beucher (Connellsville, Pa.) followed with an RBI double to right-center to plate Durbin and get Fayette on the board at 4-1.
After McCutcheon left in the third with an injury, Eicher stepped up in relief to hold Penn College scoreless in the third and fourth innings. The Wildcats touched up the reliever in the fifth with a single, stolen base and an RBI single, but Eicher induced a double-play and groundout to avoid further damage. Fayette could not capitalize, as Wildcats starter Jacob Wrenn held the Roaring Lions in check through six innings.
Penn College opened up the game in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three runs to make it 8-1. Down to their final out, Fayette rallied for two runs in the seventh to make it 8-3, but the rally fell short. Freshman AJ Tworzydlo (Centerville, Pa.) started with a two-out single, and a hit batter and walk loaded the bases. Fogle reached on an error as two runs came around to score, but Durbin's deep line drive to left field was caught and Penn College escaped the Roaring Lions comeback effort.
McCutcheon took the loss after giving up four runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings before giving way to Eicher, who finished with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings of relief while giving up four runs.
The Roaring Lions managed six hits in game two—two from Beucher and Durbin, and one each from Fogle and Tworzydlo. Wrenn took the win with six innings of five hit ball, giving up one run and striking out three.
Fayette returns to conference action on Sunday, April 1 at 1:00 p.m. when they take on Penn State Brandywine in Media, Pa. The Lions swept Fayette last season.