Lions Take Down Mustangs in Hitting Battle Royal
Middletown Pa. - The Penn State Harrisburg Lions were in control taking a five run lead early on; but a monster six run Mustang 7th forced the Blue and White to make a dramatic comeback as they took down the visitors 8-6.
Clint Hicks (State College, Pa. / State College) got the nod today and despite starting the game giving up a double off the first bater, he battled back to not give up any runs through the first four innings. Harrisburg's offense started strong after Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Cal. / Cerritos) walked and Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) got on base in the first inning. This set up Brian Balshy (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra) to knock another double and get the men on the scoreboard early going up 2-0.
Clay Thrasher (Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin) helped build the momentum for a big inning when he doubled to left field in the third inning. The lions continued to pour it on with an additional three runs thanks to RBI's from Thrasher, Crammer, and SS John Cataldo (Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove). The Blue and White held a 5-0 lead after three innings.
The fourth, fifth, and sixth inning went pretty quick as both teams defense kept the play moving quickly. Until the seventh inning when just as the crowd felt things were in the bag, Stevenson put together an impressive offensive effort to score six runs and take the lead. It took two pitching changes to get out of the inning, but eventually Dan Samick (Frederick, Md. / Frederick) took control off things and work the Lions out of a tight spot to end the disastrous inning.
Harrisburg did not the let it get them down and responded back immediately. Cataldo earned another RBI scoring Cody Henry (Halifax, Pa. / Halifax) to even things up. Tim Gonzalez (Whittier, Cal. / St. Paul) connected for an RBI and to throwing errors helped the Lions take a 8-6 lead going into the final two innings.
Samick finished things out to earn his first win of the year. Right fielder Ross Baker (Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin) hit strong for the lions going 2-4, while Cataldo earned the high mark of the day going 3-4 with 2 RBI's and scoring one run.
The Lions are still just one win away from reaching the .500 mark. They hope to hit that mark Tuesday at home vs Valley Forge Christian and then turn their focus to conference play starting Saturday against Keuka College.
Click below for post game commentary.