CAC Championship Series – Game 1
Penn State Harrisburg 19, No. 3 Christopher Newport 8
1. Torres 2b, 2. Smith cf, 3. Williams lf, 4. Van Houten p, 5. McSorley ss, 6. Koroneos 1b, 7. Winters rf, 8. Aug c, 9. Struve
1. Clark lf, 2. Woodard 3b, 3. DiNapoli ss, 4. Baham 1b, 5. Mason cf, 6. Hicks rf, 7. Grubbs c, 8. O'Brien dh, 9. Cutchins 2b, Husby p
How It Happened
Penn State Harrisburg took game one of the 2019 Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Championship Series from No. 3 Christopher Newport on Thursday afternoon, May 9. Behind three home runs from Chase Smith, the Lions (32-11-1) earned a 19-8 victory at CNU's Captains Park.
Smith racked up seven RBIs, while Miguel Torres and Jackson Struve combined to drive in seven more runs. Bret Williams added a solo home run. Tyler Jackson earned the win on the mound, throwing 4.2 scoreless innings and allowing just three hits.
The visitors struck first with a five-run inning in the top of the second, using four singles, two walks and a sacrifice fly to grab the early advantage. The Captains (33-7) got two back in the bottom of the frame but the Blue & White answered with six runs in the top of the third, highlighted by back-to-back home runs from Smith and Williams.
After CNU plated one in the bottom half, Penn State Harrisburg put up another crooked number thanks to Smith's second long ball of the day; this time a three run shot over the left field fence that brought Jackson Struve and Casey Winters home with him.
Christopher Newport showed why its offense is the highest scoring in the nation when Nick DiNapoli launched a grand slam over the fence in left field to cut what was a double-digit deficit to 14-8 in the bottom of the fifth inning.
The Lions kept the pressure on, however, and added two more runs in the seventh thanks to a Ryan McSorley grounder that drove in Williams and a Zachary Koroneos double to the gap in right center field that brought McSorley around.
Jackson retired the Captains in order in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings and the Blue & White put an exclamation point on the scoring thanks to Smith's third blast of the game, a solo shot in the eighth, and RBI singles from Struve and Miguel Torres in the top of the ninth.
At the Plate
- Penn State Harrisburg racked up 20 total hits, including seven of the extra-base variety.
- Chase Smith had a day, going 4-for-7 with three home runs, three runs scored and seven RBIs.
- Bret Williams went 3-for-5 with a home run, two runs scored and a pair of RBIs.
- Jackson Struve finished 3-for-5 with a double, three RBIs and three runs scored.
On the Mound
- Travis Van Houten got the start for the Lions, allowing eight runs on nine hits and striking out a pair in 4.1 innings of work.
- Tyler Jackson was stellar in relief, earning the win after surrendering just three hits, no runs and no walks in 4.2 innings thrown.
- The Blue & White chased CNU starter Josh Husby from the game in the third after giving up nine runs on seven hits and four walks.
Around the Diamond
- Thanks to his four-hit outing, Chase Smith surpassed the 100-hit mark for his career.
- The teams combined to hit six home runs.
- Jackson Struve stole the game's only base.
- Each team committed one error.
- Bret Williams tallied a team-high six putouts in left field.
The Lions have a chance to clinch their first CAC Title when they take on CNU in game two of the conference championship series tomorrow at 11 a.m. If necessary, a third and deciding game would be contested at 2 p.m.