Middletown , Pa. - The Penn State Harrisburg men's baseball team took a 2-0 lead in their first game of Saturday's double header against the Christopher Newport Captains. After the start, it felt like today was the day meant for a win.
The Blue and White started things off right as Logan Hall (Sunbury, Pa. / Shikellamy) used a bunt to leads things off with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error. Tom Denniston (Harrisburg, Pa. / Bishop McDevitt) reached on a similar throwing error to first base which also scored Hall. Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) moved the runners and set up Eric Hoover (Hershey, Pa. / Hershey) who got an RBI when he grounded out to second scoring Denniston and giving the Lions an early 2-0 lead.
Christopher Newport responded in the second inning getting some base runners and tying things up 2-2. The game remained tied until Jim Murphy (Drexel Hill, Pa. / Monsignor Bonner) hit an infield single and stole a base to get in scoring position. Eventually it was Hall who got the RBI scoring Murphy to regain the lead for Harrisburg 3-2.
Starting Pitcher Derek Slagle (York Haven, Pa. / Red Land) kept the Lions in the driver's seat and could see the finish line starting the final inning. Harrisburg was just two outs away from taking their first Capital Athletic Conference win when the Captains hit a double to put the tying run in scoring position. Relief pitcher Tom Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) came into the game with more than a little pressure on his shoulders. A second double from Newport scored a runner and tied things at 3-3.
With two outs, The Captains pulled another hit at the perfect time to take their first lead of the game. In the bottom of the ninth, Hall got another hit and stole his second base on the day to get in scoring position with two outs and one last chance for Harrisburg. Unfortunately, Houseal was unable to connect and the Lions had to settle for another difficult loss after leading the majority of the contest.
Game two was a different fixture. Clint Hicks (State College, Pa. / State College) started on the mound for Harrisburg and neither team scored until the third inning when Newport went deep for a solo homerun. They got one more in the fifth and two more runs in the sixth before Hicks would pass the torch to Cody Dakin (Newport, N.C. / West Carteret). Dakin pitched well only giving up one run, but the damage was already done and Harrisburg was not producing anything serious offensively.
Senior Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Cal / Cerritos) was the only Lion with multiple hits in game two going 2-4 on the day. The two loss day is another disappointment, not because the men did not get the win, but due to the fact they were so close to taking a result and let it slip. Harrisburg has shown all season their ability to play with the extremely competitive competition they are facing off against. Where they are lacking is putting together complete games, if they want to turn things around, they need to stay positive and find a way to put together nine innings on both sides of the ball.
The Lions next travel to CAC rival York College for one game on Sunday March 23rd.