April 11, 2012
HOPWOOD, Pa. - Penn State Fayette managed only one hit but scored a 2-1 victory over Penn State Beaver on the strength of a two-run homerun by senior Sam Beucher (Connellsville, Pa.) in game one before dropping a heartbreaker, 10-9, in game two of a Pennsylvania State University Athletic Conference baseball doubleheader on Wednesday afternoon at Hutchinson Park.
Beucher picked up the win in the series opener, pitching a complete game to keep the Roaring Lions in the playoff hunt. Fayette (7-15, 3-7 PSUAC) has eight games remaining in the PSUAC.
The Roaring Lions fell behind in game two, but battled back before Beucher was thrown out at home trying to score on a single by sophomore Alex Fogle (Connellsville, Pa.), falling 10-9.
GAME ONE--Penn State Fayette--2, Penn State Beaver--1
Beucher smacked Fayette's only hit in game one, but it proved large as the two-run homerun to deep center field gave Fayette a 2-0 lead after two innings, and Beucher was equally impressive on the mound as he shut down the Lions to give Fayette the win.
Beucher finished with five strikeouts in seven innings, walking two and giving up only four hits and one run.
Beaver's Tyler Schuster matched Beucher's performance on the mound, going six innings with nine strikeouts. But Schuster ran into trouble in the bottom of the second, as a walk to senior Zach Durbin (Carmichaels, Pa.) brought Beucher to the plate. Beucher drove the second pitch he saw to deep center field, plating Durbin and giving Fayette their only hit of the game.
The Roaring Lions had only one other baserunner, a walk to junior Cody Ward (Connellsville, Pa.) in the sixth, but they did not need any other offense.
Beucher's hiccup came in the fifth, as Cory Wagner homered to right-center to cut the Beaver deficit in half. Despite having runners on first and third, Beucher picked off Andy DiPietrantonio to end the threat and Beaver got only one other baserunner as Fayette escaped with a 2-1 win. DiPietrantonio finished with two hits for Beaver.
GAME TWO--Penn State Beaver--10, Penn State Fayette-9
Fayette started game two with runs in the first two innings, but Beaver answered with two each in the third and fourth innings to take a 4-2 lead.
Beucher singled home junior Nolan Zavora (Charleroi, Pa.) in the first, before a Beaver throwing error behind the runner at first allowed sophomore Braden Royer (Greensburg, Pa.) to score and give the Roaring Lions a 2-0 lead.
Beaver answered with two runs in the third, touching up starting pitcher Durbin to tie the score at 2-2. The Lions plated two more in the fourth, as DiPietrantonio doubled down the left field line to score one with two outs and chase Durbin from the mound. Freshman Harold McCutcheon (Claysville, Pa.) gave up a single to Mike Karas that plated DiPietrantonio, but escaped further trouble.
Durbin, who took the loss, gave up four runs on five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking two and striking out one.
After 12 innings of solid pitching, the bats for both teams woke up in the sixth inning.
Beaver took an 8-2 lead in the sixth, as McCutcheon gave up four runs in the top half of the inning. Senior Jonathan Eicher (Uniontown, Pa.) relieved McCutcheon, holding the Beaver lead to 8-2 after McCutcheon finished with one strikeout and three walks over two innings, giving up four runs on three hits.
Fayette battled back in the home half of the sixth, cutting the Beaver lead to 8-6. Wagner relieved starting pitcher Zack DelTurco after five innings of two-run ball. DelTurco gave up only two runs on four hits, but was replaced to start the sixth. Fayette took advantage with a walk by sophomore Connor McKeel (Upper St. Clair, Pa.) and a single from Royer. A wild pitch advanced the runners before a strikeout, and Zavora cracked an RBI-single to leave runners at first and third. A walk to Ward loaded the bases, and a failed pick-off attempt with Durbin at the plate scored Royer and cut the lead to 8-4. After a striekout, Beucher was intentionally walked to load the bases for Fogle, who walked on a full-count to plate Fayette's fifth run. Another walk by freshman Colvin Adey (Connellsville, Pa.) made it 8-6 and chased Wagner in favor of Vincent Beatty, who forced a groundout from McKeel to escape the bases loaded jam.
Beaver pushed across two more runs in the top of the seventh as two Fayette errors helped the Lions to a 10-6 lead.
The Roaring Lions came back in the bottom of the seventh, and had a chance to tie the game, but Beucher was cut down at the plate to end the game. After a strikeout, sophomore Chris Jeffrey (Garard's Fort, Pa.) singled down the left field line and Zavora was hit by a pitch before another strikeout cut Fayette down to their last out. Durbin and Beucher both walked, with Beucher's plating Jeffrey and cutting the lead to 10-7. A balk advanced each runner, scoring Zavora and leaving second and third for Fogle. Fogle singled up the middle to score Durbin, but Beucher was gunned out at home by center fielder Alex Filippi to end the Fayette threat and give the Roaring Lions a series split.
Beucher and Fogle each had two RBIs in game two, as Fayette earned eight hits and walked 13 times.
The Roaring Lions return to action on Saturday, April 14 at 2:00 p.m. when they host Penn State York at Hutchinson Park.