Middletown Pa. – The Penn State Harrisburg Baseball team faced off against the nationally ranked and Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) leader Christopher Newport on Saturday April 21st. The double-header contest had major playoff implications as well as being Senior Day for the Lions.
Christopher Newport 13 vs. Penn State Harrisburg 2
Penn State Harrisburg 6 vs Christopher Newport 5
Penn State Harrisburg: 26-8 Overall, 12-4 CAC
Christopher Newport: 29-7 Overall, 13-3 CAC
How it Happened:
The first game of the day fell to the #9 ranked Captains. Newport took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, forcing Harrisburg to make a pitching change before the inning was completed. Penn State gave up two more runs in the second, but found the right pitching selection with Bobby Patterson. Patterson settled down the team and gave the Lions time to find their offensive form.
Harrisburg scored two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning and nearly scored a third, but a great throw from right field that caught a man at home plate. Christopher Newport scored another run in the seventh making to take a 6-2 lead going into the final two innings. Newport made the game out of reach in the ninth with a dominating final inning that added seven more runs to claim a 13-2 win in game one.
Penn State knew they played well despite the final score and returned ready to fight to even the series in game two. The Lions scored three runs in the fourth thanks to a three run homer by Ryan McSorley as well as three more in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead.
Newport answered and showed why they are a top ten team in the country in the seventh inning by scoring five runs to cut the deficit to one run. Both teams played well to the end, but the Lions held strong and took home the important win 6-5 to even the series. The play of the day was arguably in the top of the fifth inning when Newport had two runners on base with two outs. Chase smith, ran down and laid out for a diving catch at left center field to close out the inning and keep the visitors scoreless at the time.
"Today was a test to see how good we really are." Head Coach Ryan Bown continued with "to get a split without playing our best games shows how good we can be."
The Lions play Sunday at home verse Lebanon Valley College, Monday at Messiah and Wednesday at Shenandoah. They will finish off their regular season on the road against Salisbury University. The Seagulls are currently in second place, but the Lions have the ability to overtake them with two wins.
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