MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg twice grabbed early one-run leads over Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) opponent Frostburg State on Saturday, Apr. 5. And twice the Lions were unable to make their advantage stick. Despite getting solid outings from starting pitchers Will Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) and Derek Slagle (York Haven, Pa. / Red Land), Penn State Harrisburg struggled offensively and eventually fell to the Bobcats 7-1 in the opener and 13-1 in the doubleheader finale.
Chaney cruised through the first six innings of game number one, allowing just two hits. Frostburg State finally got to him in the top of the seventh and used three hits, including a double, to score two runs and take its first lead of the afternoon at 2-1. Chaney's final line was as follows: eight hits, five earned runs and two walks allowed in addition to his two strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work.
Slagle's numbers were very similar in the second contest, as was his progression through the early innings. He allowed just three Bobcat hits in the first five innings. The lone Frostburg run scored during that timeframe was unearned. In the top of the sixth, the Bobcats finally got their bats on Slagle's pitches and used a homerun and three doubles to score four runs and grab a 5-1 advantage. In six innings of work, he allowed five hits, four earned runs and two walks to go along with a strikeout.
Penn State Harrisburg jumped out to an early lead in the first game when sophomore Bryan Balshy (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra Area) walked to lead off the bottom of the second inning and junior Jim Quinn (Thornton, Pa. / Garnet Valley) was hit by a pitch. Junior Jim Murphy's (Drexel Hill, Pa. / Monsignor Bonner) sacrifice bunt moved them along and fellow junior John Cataldo (Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove) drove in Balshy thanks to a groundout to shortstop. The Lions' 1-0 advantage held for the next four innings.
The Blue & White managed an even quicker start offensively in the nightcap. Leadoff man Logan Hall (Sunbury, Pa. / Shikellamy) reached base thanks to a perfect bunt down the third base line and freshman Tom Denniston (Harrisburg, Pa. / Bishop McDevitt) followed it up with a walk. Hall stole third base and senior Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) drove him in with a single to left center field and gave the home team another 1-0 edge.
After the Bobcats tied things up in the top of third, Penn State Harrisburg had a golden opportunity to retake the advantage in the bottom of the fourth stanza. Balshy and freshman Troy Taber (Park Ridge, N.J. / Park Ridge) started the frame with back-to-back singles before Quinn worked a walk to load the bases. Unfortunately, the Lions' offense stalled and they were unable to post any runs.
Despite the lopsided final scores, the Blue & White were in the thick of both games for two thirds of each outing. In the end, the Lions just couldn't match Frostburg's output and were outhit 10-3 in the first game and 17-5 in the second.
Balshy was 1-3 with a run scored in the opener and Cataldo recorded the team's lone RBI. Houseal, the school's recently crowned all-time hits leader, was 2-4 and drove in a run in the second outing while Balshy, Hall and Taber accounted for the squad's three other hits.
The pair of defeats dropped Penn State Harrisburg to 4-20 overall and 1-11 against CAC competition. The Lions now have just four conference games remaining on their 2014 schedule. Their next outing comes this Monday afternoon, Apr. 7 when they travel south to take on Marymount (Va.) in single game competition. The Blue & White defeated the Saints 4-1 in the teams' first meeting two weeks ago.
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