MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – The sunshine in Myrtle Beach has seen Penn State Harrisburg play some very good baseball the past two days. After picking up the their first win of the year against Ursinus one day earlier, the Lions won again on Monday, Mar. 4. This time Manhattanville was the Blue & White's victim. Harrisburg jumped out to a 4-1 lead and held off a seventh inning charge by the Valiants to seal the 4-1 victory.
Junior pitcher Jim Klingerman (Telford, Pa. / Souderton) took to the rubber and got the win thanks to a stout 6 1/3 innings pitched. He gave up just five hits and two earned runs in his first start of the season.
Both teams went scoreless through the first two innings before Harrisburg's offense came to life in the top of the third. Junior second baseman Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Cal. / Cerritos) got a two-out rally started by singling to left field and stealing second base. Sophomore catcher Branden Rutt (Ephrata, Pa. / Ephrata) drove him in when he singled to center field and advanced to second base on the throw. Junior outfielder Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) picked up an RBI of his own when his single to right field scored Rutt and made it 2-0 Lions.
After struggling to get things going early, Manhattanville finally got to Klingerman in the bottom of the third. After a lead-off walk and ensuing balk, the Valiants used a single down the left field line to get on the board.
The Blue & White answered right back in the next stanza when sophomore Cole Nye (Newmanstown, Eastern Lebanon) went yard. The designated hitter knocked his first collegiate home run over the right field fence, bringing in junior outfielder TJ Richartz (Lancaster, Pa. / Penn Manor) and upping the Lions' lead to 4-1.
Klingerman and his defense allowed just one hit over the course of the next three innings until the seventh when the Valiants made a late push.
A walk, a Harrisburg error, a sacrifice bunt and a single to center allowed Manhattanville to cut the deficit to 4-2. Sophomore pitcher Daniel Samick (Frederick, Md. / Frederick) took over for Klingerman and got the two outs needed to get out of the inning and preserve the advantage despite a Manhattanville sacrifice fly leading to an unearned run.
The Lions were unable to add to their run total but it didn't matter. Samick went to work and used his curveball effectively in the final two innings, sitting down the Valiants 1-2-3 in both the eighth and ninth stanzas.
In 2 and 2/3 innings of work, Samick allowed just one hit and struck out three batters. He gave up no walks and allowed just the lone unearned run to cross the plate.
Houseal and sophomore shortstop John Cataldo (Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove) led the team with two hits apiece. Nye's two RBIs were a team-high.
In a game in which scoring was at a premium and Manhattanville's starting pitcher Don Fisher went the distance, the Lions did enough to pick up their second win in as many days. The victory improved Penn State Harrisburg's record to 2-3 on the year.
Harrisburg's penultimate game of its Spring Break trip comes under the lights on Tuesday, Mar. 5 when the Lions take on Eastern at 6 p.m.