Middletown , Pa. - The Blue and White men's baseball team played valiantly in front of their hometown crowd for the first time this season. After moving last weekend's home games to In the Net sports complex, the Thursday March 20th baseball game against the Wesley Wolverines was the team's first true home contest.
Harrisburg got things started off early as leadoff hitter Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Cal / Cerritos) singled to left field. Logan Hall (Sunbury, Pa. / Shikellamy) then used a sacrifice bunt to move him into scoring position. Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) and Eric Hoover (Hershey, Pa. / Hershey) both hit singles to load the bases. The bases remained filled when Brian Balshy (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra) got his chance to get an RBI with two outs. His single scored Crammer and kept the bases filled for John Cataldo (Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove). Cataldo took one for the team to score another runner and advance to first.
Jim Murphy (Drexel Hill, Pa. / Monsignor Bonner) was the final hit of the impressive first inning, scoring Hoover for an early 3-0 lead. Starting Pitcher Will Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) used the lead to throw with confidence and poise. His pitching combined with the team defense kept Wesley off the scoreboard for the first six innings.
Unfortunately, despite hitting the ball well and plenty of guys getting on base, the Lions were not able to increase the 3-0 lead they had since the first inning. In the top of the 7th, the Wolverines finally got on the board thanks to a deep shot over the left field wall that scored two. They used the same long ball in the 8th to score another two and found themselves in the lead when it mattered most; leaving Harrisburg with only six outs to tie things up.
The Lions were shut out in the 8th and Chaney kept his cool to close things out in the top of the ninth to complete the game giving up eight hits, one walk, and striking out two. In the bottom of the ninth Harrisburg started off right when Houseal singled to left. Hoover then got up 3-0 in the count before two straight strikes made it a full count with the game on the line. A very close called third strike was so close to putting the Lions with two men on and no outs.
Instead it was a momentum staller and one out. A Balshy ground ball to third moved a runner to scoring position, but unfortunately another ground ball ended Harrisburg's hope of getting their first Capital Athletic Conference win.
The Wolverines stole the 4-3 win today, but the Lions will get another chance later in the season to try and even things up. Harrisburg is now 0-3 in conference play. They host Christopher Newport for a double header Saturday March 22nd starting at 1:00 p.m.