EDWARDSVILLE, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg was one controversial judgment call away from taking two games from Wilkes on Sunday afternoon, Apr. 27. The Lions used a three-run home run by junior Jim Quinn (Thornton, Pa. / Garnet Valley) to handle the hometown Colonels 10-3 in the teams' first outing before a dropping the second matchup 4-3. In the bottom of the sixth inning, with the score tied at 3-3, Penn State Harrisburg pitcher Tom Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) was called for a controversial balk on his 95th pitch of the game, allowing the go-ahead run to cross the plate.
Four errors cost the Lions in the nightcap as Chaney turned in a solid performance on the mound. The junior went the distance and allowed just four hits and two earned runs in addition to striking out six Colonels.
Wilkes jumped out to a 1-0 advantage in game number two before the Blue & White answered back in the top of the second inning. Senior Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Calif. / Cerritos) led off the stanza with a walk before advancing to second thanks to a Colonel error. Sophomore Bryan Balshy (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra Area) drove him in with a double down the left field line moments later to knot the score at 1-1.
The home team responded with two more runs in the bottom of the frame and took a 3-1 lead into the third inning. The Lions got the bats going again in the top of the fourth as once again Crammer led off the stanza with a single; this time on a bunt down the third base line. He stole second base and Balshy moved him along to third with a single to right field. Junior John Cataldo (Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove) notched an RBI when his single through the left side of the infield plated Crammer to cut the deficit to 3-2. Several batters later, freshman Logan Hall (Sunbury, Pa. / Shikellamy) scored Cataldo and tied the game at 3-3 thanks to a sacrifice fly to right field.
Neither team was able to pull ahead until the bottom of the sixth inning when the field umpire cited Chaney for his balk; a pitching motion he had repeated countless times during the course of the game's first five frames.
Cataldo was 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Crammer went 1-2 with two runs scored. Balshy and Hall each drove in one run with Balshy going 2-3 while sophomore Eric Hoover (Hershey, Pa. / Hershey) went 3-4 with a double.
The first game of the day was all Penn State Harrisburg. After allowing two runs in the bottom of the second inning, Blue & White starting pitcher Will Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) settled in nicely on the bump, earning his fourth win of the season after throwing a complete seven inning game and allowing just eight hits, two earned runs and no walks in addition to striking out two Colonel batters.
Trailing entering the top of the third, Quinn led off the frame with a walk. Junior Jim Murphy (Drexel Hill, Pa. / Monsignor Bonner) reached base after being hit by a pitch before both advanced thanks to a balk. Cataldo's sacrifice fly to right field got the Lions on the board when it plated Quinn and moved Murphy to third base. Hoover singled up the middle a few batters later, scoring Quinn and tying the game at 2-2 before freshman Troy Taber (Park Ridge, N.J. / Park Ridge) singled to center field and drove in Hoover moments later.
The Blue & White added to their advantage in the fourth when Cataldo singled through the left side of the infield and drove in Quinn, giving the Lions a 4-2 lead in the process.
Penn State Harrisburg piled on in the top of the fifth when Taber plated from third base thanks to a Wilkes error and Quinn launched a home run over the tall left field fence that also scored Crammer and sophomore Garrett McCutcheon (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin). After five innings of play, the Lions' offense powered the team to an 8-2 lead.
The visitors capped their scoring in the top of the sixth when a Hall single plated Cataldo from third base and a Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) RBI groundout drove in Hall a few batters later.
Quinn finished 2-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored while Cataldo was 1-1 with two RBIs and a run scored. Taber was 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored while Crammer also went 2-3 and scored a run. Hoover was 2-4 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored.
The victory was Penn State Harrisburg's eighth of the season. The Lions have just two dates remaining on their 2014 campaign. The Blue & White are next in action tomorrow afternoon, Apr. 28 when they travel west for their penultimate matchup of the season; a non-conference doubleheader against Penn State Altoona, before ending things at Lebanon Valley on Tuesday, Apr. 29.
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