ALTOONA, Pa. – The Penn State Altoona baseball team celebrated its first games on campus since 2015 with a doubleheader sweep, defeating non-conference opponent Saint Vincent College 10-4 and 3-0 on Friday afternoon at Stewart Athletic Field.
For the past three seasons, the Lions were displaced from their home field on Penn State Altoona's campus due to the construction project to renovate and expand the Adler Athletic Complex. The last time that the baseball team had played on Stewart Athletic Field was April 26, 2015.
The Lions (11-7) reclaimed their home field on Friday by continuing their recent surge. The sweep was Penn State Altoona's second in a row, and the team has now won 10 of its last 12 games. The Lions displayed their most well-rounded performances of the season in Friday's doubleheader wins over St. Vincent (10-7).
"Two nice wins today against a 10-5 St. Vincent squad. We have been playing much better as of late, and we are slowly starting to get our offense back on track the way it was last year," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "We feel we are getting close to putting it all together, and when we do, we expect to be a tough opponent to anyone we square off against."
Game One: Penn State Altoona 10, St. Vincent 4
The Lions totaled a season-high 11 hits as a team, while continuing their trend of strong pitching and defense. Four Penn State Altoona batters finished with a multi-hit game.
Chase Clouser (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) was 2-for-3 with his second home run of the season, scoring three runs, driving in a pair, and drawing one walk. Stephen Schanne (Mantua, NJ/Clearview Regional) was also 2-for-3 with a double, a triple, two runs batted in, and two runs scored.
Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) batted 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI, two runs scored, and a stolen base. George Stiuso (Milford, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's) went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a run scored, and a stolen base.
On the mound, Zane Leister (Middleburg, PA/Midd-West) started and improved his season record to 2-0. In four innings of work, the right-hander limited St. Vincent to three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out one batter.
Penn State Altoona's bullpen took over after the first four innings and did quality work. Mitchell Carmody (Babylon, NY/Babylon) made his first collegiate appearance on the bump, tossing two innings and allowing one unearned run and one walk. Clayton Hain (Schaefferstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) pitched a spotless seventh inning with one strikeout.
The Lions wasted little time getting on the scoreboard, as they got three runs across in the bottom of the first inning. After Breon and Clouser led off the frame with singles, Schanne's triple to deep left brought them home. The next batter, Stiuso, doubled to left-center to drive Schanne home.
St. Vincent responded with three runs of their own in the top of the second. Bobby Finn led off with a home run to left-center for the Bearcats, and RBI singles from Nick LaCava and Tanner Yard later in the inning tied the score 3-3.
Penn State Altoona retook the lead in the bottom half of the second after capitalizing on a two-out error. Breon reached on a throwing error with two outs, then stole second base. Clouser followed with a walk, and both runners moved into scoring position on a wild pitch. Cumming came through with a base hit down the right field line, bringing both runners home and putting the Lions back on top, 5-3.
Clouser's two-run homer over the right field fence in the bottom of the fourth inning extended Penn State Altoona's lead to 7-3.
The Lions went on to plate three more runs in the fifth. Dylan Bates (Towanda, PA/Towanda) hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Schanne, who had led off the inning with a double. Later, Breon's two-run double down the left field line made it 10-3.
St. Vincent got a run in the top of the sixth on LaCava's RBI groundout to shortstop, but the Bearcats did no further damage, as the Lions wrapped up a win in game one.
Game Two: Penn State Altoona 3, St. Vincent 0
The Lions earned their second shutout win of the season with more good pitching and defense, along with some timely hits.
Austin Miller (Orbisonia, PA/Southern Huntingdon) started on the mound and picked up his first collegiate win, tossing five scoreless innings and allowing just three hits and two walks. The righty recorded three strikeouts.
Hunter Goshorn (Carlisle, PA/Boiling Springs) pitched a scoreless sixth inning with one walk and one strikeout, and Bates picked up his first save of the season by pitching the seventh and limiting St. Vincent to only one hit and one walk while striking out one.
Four more Lion batters finished with a multi-hit game, as the team pounded out 10 more hits.
Breon went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Richard Carey (Milton, DE/Cape Henlopen) was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Joey Brown (Wading River, NY/Shoreham-Wading River) was 2-for-3 with a run scored and a stolen base, and Clouser also batted 2-for-3.
The Lions used three straight infield singles to lead to the game's first run in the bottom of the third. Carey led off with a slow-rolling base hit to the third baseman, and Breon followed with a well-placed bunt single toward first. Clouser loaded the bases with his sharply-hit grounder to the shortstop, and Hain drove Carey in with a sac fly to left.
Carey upped the Lions' lead to 2-0 in the fourth with is RBI single to right, and Breon's RBI double to right in the sixth increased Penn State Altoona's advantage to 3-0.
With Saturday's doubleheader against Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference opponent Hilbert College postponed due to weather, the Lions' next games will be on Tuesday, April 2 at home against AMCC foe Pitt-Bradford. That day's doubleheader is scheduled to get underway at 1:00 p.m. at Stewart Athletic Field.