Middletown, Pa - The Penn State Harrisburg Men's Baseball team had their first home game of the season today against the Mt. Aloysius Mounties. In what became a defensive pitching battle, a lone 9th inning run by Mt. Aloysius in the top of the inning was just enough to hold on for a 1-0 win.
Will Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) was on the mound for Harrisburg hoping to get his second win of the year. Although he allowed the lead off batter to get on base to start the game, Chaney showed poise and control ending the early threat with three straight outs.
Chaney got through the first three innings only giving up 2 hits with Harrisburg feeling comfortable with their defensive presence shutting down the opposition. Unfortunately, it took until the fourth inning for the Blue and White to get their first hit.
Branden Rutt (Ephrata, Pa. / Ephrata) singled to lead off the inning and with contact from the next two hitters, found himself on third with two outs. This would end up being the Lions closest effort to reaching home plate.
The game moved very quickly as both pitchers stole the show as the innings went by, leaving nothing but zeros on the scoreboard. By the time we reached the start of the ninth inning, Chaney was hoping to get three more outs for a complete game shut out and have his team get one exciting run in the bottom of the inning for the win.
Unfortunately the roles were reversed and a Mountie single followed up by what became an extremely crucial stolen base would be the difference in today's outcome. The stolen base allowed Mt Aloysius to get in scoring position and a line drive to right field was just deep enough to beat the throw to the plate and score the only run for the day.
Harrisburg put the ball in play in the bottom of the ninth but could not find any gaps. The Mt. Aloysuis pitcher Derrick Capiak threw an impressive two hitter to earn his third win of the year. "He was the best pitcher we have seen so far this year", said first year Head Coach Ryan Bown following the game.
Despite the loss, the Lions are remaining positive and feel confident the wins are on the way. We will find out Sunday when they host Penn State York for a double header starting at noon.
Check out post game comments from Will Chaney.