MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – After dropping the first game of the team's Myrtle Beach spring break trip to a strong King's squad, Penn State Harrisburg rebounded nicely with a 5-3 comeback victory over Wilkes on Tuesday, Mar. 6. Freshman Clint Hicks (State College, PA/State College) threw a gem, pitching a complete game, giving up nine hits and only two earned runs while striking out two batters and surrendering no walks.
The Colonels got on the board first in the bottom of the second inning when Tyler Marino (Wilkes-Barre, PA/Meyers) plated thanks to a Hicks' balk, one of the few mistakes the young pitcher made all day. Wilkes picked up its second run of the stanza when Joel Watson (Honesdale, PA/Honesdale) scored on a passed ball.
The blue and white chipped away in the top of the third. Senior captain TJ Houseal (Maytown, PA/Donegal) singled and followed it up by stealing second base. Most impressively, the Lions' lead-off man stole home two batters later, successfully converting one of the rarest and most difficult plays in all of sports.
Wilkes retook the lead in the bottom half of the stanza. Junior Scott Skammer (Dallas, PA/Dallas) picked up an RBI by singling in Watson to give the Colonels a 3-2 advantage.
Hicks cruised from there, allowing just five hits and shutting out Wilkes the rest of the way. In the top of the seventh, the blue and white offense thanked him for his efforts and put together a two-out rally that gave the Lions the lead for good.
A Dalton Trolinger (Carlisle, PA/Cumberland Valley) walk moved Houseal along to second base. The duo stole second and third and TJ's younger brother Colton (Maytown, PA/Donegal) walked to load the bases. Freshman clean-up man Isaac Polinsky (Owigsburg, PA/Blue Mountain) delivered in a big way when his team needed it most, smoking a triple to clear the bases and put Penn State Harrisburg up 5-3.
With two down in the bottom of the ninth, the Colonels managed to put runners on first and second. But freshman shortstop John Cataldo (Pine Grove, PA/Pine Grove) scooped a Carmen Lopresto (Pittston, PA/Pittston Area) ground ball and threw out Tom Plessl (Schnecksville, PA/Parkland) at second base to end the game and give the Lions their first victory of their South Carolina slate.
Colton Houseal went 2-4 on the day, walking once and scoring a run while Polinsky recorded a game-high three RBIs. The elder Houseal went 1-4 with a walk, scored two runs and stole a game-high three bases. With the win, Hicks now sits at 2-0 on the year.
The Lions picked up their second non-conference victory of the young season and improved to 2-4 overall. Penn State Harrisburg has four games remaining in this week's spring break play.