EPHRATA, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg opened the 2020 season with a doubleheader sweep of Franklin & Marshall at Ephrata High School's War Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 22. The Lions (2-0) picked up a 15-7 win in game one before earning a 6-4 victory in the nightcap.
Ryan McSorley led the way in the opener, going 5-for-5 with a triple, a double, three RBI and three runs scored. Zachary Koroneos drove in three runs, Travis Van Houten hit two doubles and Chase Smith scored three times. Van Houten got the start on the mound, allowing just three hits and two earned runs in 5.2 innings of work. Reliever Tyler Stabley got the win after surrendering just one hit in 1.1 innings thrown.
A hit batter, walk and fielding error hurt the Blue & White in the top of the first and spotted the Diplomats (0-2) a 2-0 lead in the early going. Penn State Harrisburg benefitted from two hit by pitches in the bottom half, however, and Van Houten doubled to score Smith before a Koroneos sacrifice fly plated McSorley.
The Lions took their first lead in the bottom of the third when another sac fly from Koroneos drove in McSorley for the second time on the day.
The Blue & White appeared to be in the driver's seat when they chased reigning American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Mideast Regional Pitcher of the Year Jonathan Cole from the game after five innings but the Dips used a double, three singles and wild pitch to score a pair of runs in the top of the sixth and reclaim the advantage.
It was Penn State Harrisburg's effort in the bottom of the sixth, however, that changed the complexion of the contest. The Lions forced three F&M pitching changes, while taking advantage of six walks, two hit by pitches, a wild pitch and an error. A Bret Williams RBI double and a three-run triple from McSorley provided the pop needed to push across 11 runs during the frame.
Game two was more tightly contested but timely slugging helped the Blue & White prevail and complete the two-game sweep. McSorley stayed hot and launched his first home run of the spring. Tyler Aug also got into the home run act, hitting his first of the season as well. Stabley made his second relief appearance of the afternoon in the second outing and came away with his second victory on the rubber.
Penn State Harrisburg clung to a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth but the Diplomats threatened with two men on during the stanza. Fortunately, the Lions worked out of the jam and tacked on two more insurance runs in the ensuing two innings to create just enough breathing room to hold on for the win.
The Blue & White will now turn their attention to the south, as they're set to head to Randolph-Macon for another tough non-conference outing on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 23. First pitch is set for 2:30 p.m.