April 14, 2012
HOPWOOD, Pa. - Sophomore Alex Fogle (Connellsville, Pa.) hit a hard ground ball down the right field line past a diving first baseman to score freshman Colvin Adey (Connellsville, Pa.), who scored from second, as Penn State Fayette rallied for a 12-11 comeback win over Penn State York in the second game of a Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference doubleheader at Hutchinson Park on Saturday.
The single was Fogle's first hit of the game, but it was a timely one as the Roaring Lions capped a come from behind win to improve to 9-15, 5-7 in the PSUAC. Junior Nolan Zavora (Charleroi, Pa.) picked up the win in relief in game two after winning game one with 5 2/3 innings as the starter.
Fayette shutout York in game one, winning 3-0 in a pitcher's duel that saw only four hits for each team. Senior Sam Beucher (Connellsville, Pa.) picked up the save, escaping jams in both the sixth and seventh innings to hold up Zavora's win.
GAME ONE--Penn State Fayette--3, Penn State York--0
Zavora started strong in game one, retiring the first eight batters he faced before a walk and single forced the Roaring Lions to escape York's first threat of the game. Zavora struck out the next batter looking and the Fayette offense went to work.
After a flyout, sophomore Chris Jeffrey (Garard's Fort, Pa.) walked, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Freshman AJ Tworzydlo (Centerville, Pa.) singled up the middle to plate Jeffrey and give Fayette the 1-0 lead.
Following scoreless innings in both the fourth and fifth, York made their second push in the top of the sixth. Zavora retired the first two batters of the inning, but a single and walk chased the starter from the mound. Senior Jonathan Eicher (Uniontown, Pa.) walked the only batter he faced, and Beucher was called in to escape a bases-loaded jam, forcing a flyout to end the York threat.
Fayette created their own pressure in the home half of the sixth, as Fogle singled to lead-off the inning but was thrown out trying to advance to second. After a strikeout, senior Zach Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.) and sophomore Braden Royer (Greensburg, Pa.) walked and each advanced on a wild pitch to leave runners at second and third for sophomore Connor McKeel (Upper St. Clair, Pa.). McKeel drove an 0-1 pitch to deep center field for a two-run double to give the Roaring Lions breathing room at 3-0.
Beucher struck out the first batter he faced in the top of the seventh, but Nick Baker singled to right and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Another strikeout was followed by a walk and an infield single to load the bases for Tyler Page. Beucher induced a groundball to Fogle, who flipped the ball to Tworzydlo at second for the forceout and the win.
Zavora gave up only two hits in 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, walking two while striking out two. Beucher picked up his second save of the season with 1 1/3 innings, striking out two and walking one while giving up two hits.
The Roaring Lions had only four hits in game one, as junior Cody Ward (Connellsville, Pa.) added the other single for Fayette in the fifth.
GAME TWO--Penn State Fayette--12, Penn State York--11
The bats came alive for both teams in game two, as each team finished with 14 hits and 10 runs were pushed across in the first inning alone. Freshman starting pitcher Harold McCutcheon (Claysville, Pa.) struggled in the first inning, but limited the damage and Fayette went into the home half down 3-0.
Fayette exploded for seven runs in the first, as York's starting pitcher Nick Wallin had to be replaced before the bottom of the first started. The Roaring Lions took advantage of the move as Ward singled to lead-off, and advanced to third on an error by York on an attempted pick-off at first base. Adey reached on an infield single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Fogle hit a sacrifice fly to left field and Beucher doubled to center to score Adey and cut the deficit to 3-2. Durbin singled and Zavora hit a sacrifice fly to center field to plate Beucher and tie the score at 3-3. Walks to McKeel and Jeffrey left the bases loaded for Royer, who doubled deep down the left field line to clear the bases and give Fayette a 6-3 advantage. After a walk and a pitching change, Royer advanced to third on a wild pitch and then scored on a second wild pitch to make it 7-3.
York went quietly in the second, and Fayette built upon their lead with a double to right field by Beucher, who eventually scored on Zavora's RBI single through the left side.
York answered in the third, chasing McCutcheon with three hits and a walk that made it 8-5 and left runners at second and third. McKeel came on in relief, allowing both inherited runners to score but leaving Fayette with a lead at 8-7. McCutcheon's line finished at 2 1/3 innings, giving up seven runs, six earned, on seven hits while striking out one.
Both teams went scoreless through the middle of the fifth, but Fayette extended their lead in the home half of the fifth with two runs. Jeffrey's bunt single led off the Fayette rally, and Royer walked before a single by Ward loaded the bases. Following a strikeout, Fogle cracked another sacrifice fly, this time to right field, as Jeffrey scored and Royer advanced to third. Royer would then steal home on a failed pick-off attempt of Ward at first base, as Ward slid safely into second and Royer scored.
York answered in the sixth, plating four runs of their own. Two errors and two hits sandwiched a strikeout, but chased McKeel in favor of Zavora, who inherited one baserunner who would eventually score. York pushed across a fourth run on a single for an 11-10 lead before Zavora escaped the Lions charge.
Durbin answered for Fayette, cracking a long home run to left field on a 2-1 pitch to lead-off the inning and tie the score at 11-11. Fayette went down in order following Durbin's homer, but Zavora forced a 6-3 doubleplay to end a York threat and give the Roaring Lions a chance for a walk-off win.
Ward walked after a groundout, and Adey's infield single gave Fayette runners at second and third. Ward was picked off at second, but Adey advanced to second during the rundown to set the stage for Fogle. The Roaring Lions' shortstop then took a 2-0 pitch down the right field line past a diving Page and Adey crossed the plate to give Fayette the 12-11 win, their first walk-off victory of the season.
Zavora, who also drove in two runs, picked up the win in relief with 1 2/3 innings, giving up one unearned run on three hits. McKeel was crucial in relief, giving Fayette three innings of three-run ball, although only one run was earned. McKeel gave up four hits but struck out five.
Five Fayette players finished with multi-hit performances in game two, as Adey cracked three hits, and Ward, Beucher, Durbin and Royer added two each. Royer and Fogle finished with three RBIs apiece, marking a career-high for Royer.
The Roaring Lions return to the field on Sunday, April 15 at noon as they host Penn State Mont Alto for a doubleheader at Hutchinson Park.