ALTOONA, Pa. – Penn State Altoona baseball came away from Wednesday afternoon's doubleheader with one win and one loss, splitting a twinbill with nearby Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference rival Mount Aloysius College at Stewart Athletic Field.
The Lions (22-14, 10-6 AMCC) had a 6-5 walk-off win in game one before suffering a 6-1 loss in game two. With two regular season games remaining, Penn State Altoona has now matched its AMCC win total from last season.
"Two hard-fought games today. Both teams played clean games all-around, and they were fun to be a part of. We look forward to meeting up with them again in the postseason," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "We've got to finish strong on Saturday in preparation for the playoffs next weekend."
Game One: Penn State Altoona 6, Mount Aloysius 5
The Lions overcame a 5-2 deficit after five innings, rallying for a big walk-off win over Mount Aloysius (25-11, 12-4 AMCC).
Austin Anderson (Macungie, PA/Emmaus) had the game-winning hit for Penn State Altoona, driving in three runs with a two-out double in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel his team to victory. He finished the game 2-for-4 with a double and four runs batted in.
Austin Miller (Orbisonia, PA/Southern Huntingdon) started on the mound and took a no decision. In 4 1/3 innings pitched, he allowed five runs on eight hits and no walks. Miller also recorded three strikeouts.
Tyler Manger (Lindenhurst, NY/Lindenhurst) tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing just one hit and picking up his second win of the season.
Mount Aloysius struck first, plating a run in the top of the first on Sam Keibler's RBI single through the right side.
Penn State Altoona got two runs across in the bottom of the third to grab the lead. Bates' solo home run down the left field line tied the game, and Chase Clouser (Dublin, OH/Dublin Jerome) put the Lions ahead 2-1 on his RBI base hit to center.
But the Mounties responded with two runs in the fourth to get back on top. After three straight singles loaded the bases to start the inning, Matthew Brown's fielder's choice grounder got one run in to tie the score, and Ryan Leonard's sacrifice bunt allowed the go-ahead from to come home.
Mount Aloysius increased its lead to 5-2 in the fifth, when Keibler's two-run homer to right gave the visitors a three-run advantage.
The Lions began to chip away at the Mount Aloysius lead in the sixth. After a pair of singles, Anderson's RBI base hit to right field narrowed Penn State Altoona's deficit to 5-3.
The Lions completed their comeback in the seventh. With one out, Clouser reached safely on an infield error, and Peter Jacobs (Dix Hills, NY/Half Hollow Hills West) followed with a single to center. After a strikeout, Stiuso walked to load the bases with two outs. Anderson provided the big hit in the next at-bat, lining a pitch into the right-center gap to clear the bases and deliver his team a walk-off win.
Game Two: Mount Aloysius 6, Penn State Altoona 1
In a game highlighted by mostly efficient pitching from both sides, Mount Aloysius came out on top. The Mounties came up with several big hits, while limiting the Lions to just four hits as a team.
Stephen Schanne (Mantua, NJ/Clearview Regional) hit a pinch-hit home run for Penn State Altoona, his second long ball of the season. Justin Virga (Port Jefferson Station, NY/Comsewogue) went 1-for-3, and Jacobs and Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) accounted for the Lions' other hits with 1-for-4 showings at the plate.
Zane Leister (Middleburg, PA/Midd-West) got the start on the rubber, pitching well while being saddled with the loss. In 7 2/3 innings pitched, he held Mount Aloysius to two runs on six hits and five walks while striking out two. Clayton Hain (Schaefferstown, PA/Eastern Lebanon County) pitched the final 1 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs.
The Mounties broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third, when Matt McCourt hit a solo home run to left-center to put his team on the board. In the fourth, Andrew Pasko's pinch-hit RBI double to right extended the visitors' lead to 2-0.
Mount Aloysius padded its lead in the top of the ninth. Daniel Singer's RBI single through the left side brought in one run, and McCourt followed with his second home run of the game, a three-run shot to deep left-center that put the Mounties ahead 6-0.
The Lions avoided a shutout in the bottom of the ninth, when Schanne's two-out, pinch-hit solo home run to left-center made it 6-1.
Penn State Altoona baseball will look to finish its regular season strong this Saturday, April 27, when the Lions will host AMCC opponent Medaille College for a doubleheader at Stewart Athletic Field beginning at 1:00 p.m. The games will have plenty of postseason implications for Penn State Altoona, which is looking to improve its seeding in the upcoming conference postseason tournament.
Saturday's games will also be Senior Day for the Penn State Altoona baseball program, and the Lions will recognize four senior players before game one of the doubleheader.