Lions Split Again; Branden Rutt Impressive 7-8

Lions Split Again; Branden Rutt Impressive 7-8

Middletown Pa - The Penn State Harrisburg baseball team split for a second time this week today against the visiting Penn State Altoona Lions.  Both teams went home with a 4-3 win, Altoona taking the first and Harrisburg getting the second. 

Harrisburg started their first game Sunday going down one run in the top of the third inning.  The home team did not wait long to respond scoring two in the bottom of the inning.  Starting Pitcher Will Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) handled things with poise until the sixth inning when Altoona recaptured the lead from 3 hits including a HR putting Harrisburg down 4-2 with only six outs to regain a lead. 

Travis Crammer (Cerritos, Cal / Cerritos) singled to left field for an RBI brining Tim Gonzalez (Whittier, Cal. / St. Paul) to home plate for the score to bring the home team within one run in the fifth.  NEAC player of the week Crammer also homered for a fourth time this season in the third inning of game 1.   Unfortunately, despite the lions feeling in control for most of the game, Harrisburg would not score again and fell in the opening game 4-3.   

Game two had a different feel to it.  Harrisburg was still hitting the ball well, but their defense showed they wanted to secure a win.  Daniel Samick (Frederick, Md. / Frederick) had the defensive play of the game with a diving catch in right field in the top of the fourth. 

Harrisburg pitcher Clint Hicks (State College, Pa. / State College) gave up an early run in the first inning that was answered back in the second inning with a Samick walked followed up by a Cole Nye (Newmanstown, Pa. / Eastern Lebanon) getting hit by a pitch.  This set up the two runs that came that inning thanks to a SAC fly and SAC bunt moving the runners in. 

Harrisburg added to their lead in the fourth and fifth innings giving them a 4-1 lead going into the last two innings.  Hicks finished the bottom of the sixth inning to make it five straight innings not giving up any runs to head into the final inning with a 4-1 lead.  Altoona made every one hold their breath after a quick 2 run HR by the visitors was enough for Coach Bown to make the change and go to his closer.  Tom Chaney (Lancaster, Pa. / Lampeter-Strasburg) subbed in for three straight outs and another strong save for the sophomore pitcher. 

Today's hot hand was Branden Rutt (Ephrata, Pa. / Ephrata) who went an absolutely impressive 7-8.  Catcher and DH Rutt actually got on base every time; only one fielder's choice kept him from the perfect offensive outing today. 

Harrisburg continues to look stronger every time they come out.  Hopefully they can fine tune themselves a little more and get to .500 on the year.  The lions currently are 6-8 with four games this upcoming week starting Tuesday when they host Dickinson.