Baseball Starts AMCC Schedule With Sweep of Pitt-Greensburg
GREENSBURG, Pa. – Penn State Altoona baseball got its 2019 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference schedule off to a great start on Wednesday afternoon, sweeping Pitt-Greensburg in a doubleheader at Bobcat Park.
The Lions (9-7, 2-0 AMCC) won game one 6-3, then prevailed 5-3 in game two. Penn State Altoona was backed by more solid pitching, picking up some big hits along the way.
"Big sweep for us today. Once again, we relied on our arms to pick up two big victories," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "George's [Stiuso] bomb was a huge momentum booster in game two, after stranding so many base runners earlier in the game."
Game One: Penn State Altoona 6, Pitt-Greensburg 3
The Lions got a strong start on the mound while making the best of their seven hits, getting six runs across to top Pitt-Greensburg (5-12, 2-2 AMCC) by three.
Sawyer Kline (Bellwood, PA/Bellwood) notched his second complete game victory of the season. The right-hander tossed seven innings and allowed two earned runs on seven hits and a pair of walks while recording five strikeouts.
George Stiuso (Milford, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's) went 2-for-2 with a double, a run batted in, and a run scored. Jordan McCall (Holldaysburg, PA/Hollidaysburg) was 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored, and Chase Clouser (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) was 1-for-2 with a double, two RBI, two walks, and a run scored.
Pitt-Greensburg scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first inning on Tyler Holland's RBI groundout to third base.
Penn State Altoona countered with a pair in the top of the second. After Stiuso led off with a double, Dylan Bates' (Towanda, PA/Towanda) single down the left field line drove him in to tie the score. Later in the inning, McCall reached on an outfield error, allowing Bates to score from second base to give Penn State Altoona a 2-1 lead.
The Bobcats tied the game in the fourth, when Evan Johnson's sacrifice fly to left knotted the score 2-2.
But once again, the Lions responded right away by plating a pair of runs to grab the lead. In the fifth, Clouser's two-run double to right-center gave Penn State Altoona a 4-2 lead. The Lions added insurance in the top of the seventh, when Clouser scored on an infield error and Stiuso hit a sac fly to bring home Catcher Cumming (Altoona, PA/Altoona).
Pitt-Greensburg picked up a run in the bottom of the seventh on Brody Bonadio's RBI double, but the Bobcats did no further damage, as the Lions secured the game one win.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 5, Pitt-Greensburg 3
More good pitching led the way for Penn State Altoona, which edged the Bobcats by two runs to pick up the doubleheader sweep.
Aaron Sharp (Freeburg, PA/Midd-West) pitched 6 2/3 innings to record his second win of the season, allowing a pair of runs on eight hits and four walks while striking out a season-high eight batters.
Jaryd Palmer (Northumberland, PA/Shikellamy) relieved Sharp, pitching a scoreless 1/3 inning. Tyler Manger (Lindenhurst, NY/Lindenhurst) tossed the final two innings of the game for his second save of the season, allowing one run on four hits and striking out four.
Bates led Penn State Altoona in hits, going 2-for-5 with a run scored. Clouser was 1-for-3 with two walks, and Stiuso blasted his first home run of the season.
The Lions capitalized on a two-out error to take the lead in the top of the first inning, when an infield miscue allowed Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) to reach home, giving his team a 1-0 advantage.
Jordan Cavanaugh's RBI single through the left side knotted things up 1-1 in the bottom of the third, but Penn State Altoona retook the lead in the top half of the fourth when McCall's RBI double to center put his team back on top, 2-1.
The Bobcats tied the score again, this time on Bonadio's RBI base hit to center in the sixth that made it 2-2.
But Penn State Altoona put together a three-run top of the seventh, taking the lead for good. Stiuso put the Lions up by two, when his two-run homer to right made it 4-2. Later in the inning, Clayton Hain (Schaefferstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) scored on a wild pitch to give his team a three-run lead.
Pitt-Greensburg scored a run in the bottom of the ninth, when Johnston's single up the middle brought in Holland. But it proved to be too little, too late for the Bobcats, as the Lions left with the doubleheader sweep.
Next, Penn State Altoona baseball will prepare for its home opener this Friday, March 29, when the Lions make their return to Stewart Athletic Field on campus for the first time since the 2015 season. The baseball team will host non-conference opponent Saint Vincent College on Friday for a doubleheader beginning at 1:00 p.m.