MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Penn State Harrisburg took Manchester to the limit on Saturday, Mar. 2 in the team's first outing of its 2013 Spring Break slate in Myrtle Beach. The Lions got five strong innings from starting pitcher Tom Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lancaster-Strasburg) and the Blue & White offense gave the Spartans fits. Unfortunately, after fighting back from two separate deficits, Harrisburg failed to score in the top of the ninth inning, falling 13-12 in a shootout.
Manchester got on the board first, scoring one run in the bottom of the first inning. Penn State Harrisburg came roaring back in the middle innings, plating three runs in both the top of the third and two in the second.
In the third, junior outfielder Colton Houseal (Maytown, Pa. / Donegal) drove in junior infielder Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Cal. / Cerritos) before scoring, along with catcher Branden Rutt (Ephrata, Pa. / Ephrata), when Clay Thrasher (Hummelstown, Pa. / Lower Dauphin) reached first base on a third strike passed ball and Manchester's catcher committed a throwing error.
Crammer singled-in designated hitter Dan Samick (Frederick, Md. / Frederick) in the fourth before scoring when sophomore infielder John Cataldo (Pine Grove, Pa. / Pine Grove) singled to center field in the next inning.
Harrisburg continued to pour it on in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring a run in each stanza. Back-to-back doubles from Thrasher and first baseman Brian Balshy (Palmyra, Pa. / Palmyra) put another run on the board in the fifth and Houseal recorded his second RBI when his single allowed outfielder TJ Richartz (Lancaster, Pa. / Penn Manor) to cross the plate in the sixth.
The Lions looked to be in the driver's seat when holding an 8-4 advantage heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. The Spartans, however, used a big half stanza that saw them record seven hits to score eight runs and swing the momentum back in their favor.
The Blue & White showed resilience and a lot of heart when the men scored two runs in the seventh and eighth innings, knotting the ballgame up at 12 apiece. Balshy scored when junior Dalton Trolinger knocked a pinch-hit single to right center field and Crammer used a single of his own to plate Samick. Rutt's RBI ground out in the seventh cut the deficit to 12-11. The Lions tied it up when Balshy took advantage of a passed ball and scored from third base in the eighth.
However, a Harrisburg error in the bottom of the eighth allowed Manchester to score its final run and gain an advantage it wouldn't relinquish.
Chaney went 5 and 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and five earned runs. He gave up just one walk and struck out three batters in his first start for Penn State Harrisburg. Freshman Derek Slagle (York Haven, Pa. / Red Land) was strong in a relief appearance, going 2 and 2/3 innings and giving up just one hit, one unearned run and a walk. He also struck out two batters.
Balshy, Crammer and Houseal had great days at the plate and combined for 10 Penn State Harrisburg hits. Balshy was 4-5 on the evening, driving in two runs and scoring twice. Crammer went 3-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored while Houseal also went 3-6 and recorded two RBIs in addition to scoring a run.