Thrilling Comeback Highlights Baseball's Opening Day

Thrilling Comeback Highlights Baseball's Opening Day

Penn State Harrisburg 12, Eastern Mennonite 11 – Game 1


Harrisburg Lineup

1. Williams, lf 2. Smith, cf, 3. Torres ss, 4. Van Houten, 3b, 5. Koroneos 1b, 6. Winters dh, 7. Aug c, 8. O'Dell rf, 9. Struve 2b, De Leon sp


EMU Lineup

1. Merica lf, 2. Scott rf, 3. Roberts 1b, 4. Lindsay 2b, 5. Tricarico dh, 6. Lee cf, 7. Willis 3b, 8. Judy c, 9. Quinn ss, Hall sp


How It Happened

Now that's how you start the season. Penn State Harrisburg opened its 2019 campaign with a thrilling 12-11 come-from-behind victory at Eastern Mennonite in the first game of a doubleheader on Monday afternoon, Feb. 25.


Trailing 7-1 after three innings, the Lions (1-0) methodically worked their way back into it by adding runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh stanzas before finally pulling in front for the first time all day with three runs in the top of the ninth.


With his team down 11-9 and one away, Bret Williams got the rally started with a double. After Chase Smith was hit by a pitch, Miguel Torres singled to load the bases, allowing Travis Van Houten to cap his outstanding outing with a single to left field that drove in a pair and tied the score. Casey Winters put the Blue & White ahead for the first time with an RBI groundout to third base two at-bats later.


The Royals (3-4) moved the tying run into scoring position in the bottom of the frame but pitcher Brendan Riotto was able to work out of trouble and get back-to-back fly outs to end the game and seal the comeback win.


At the Plate

- Travis Van Houten had a monstrous game, going 3-5 with a home run, a double and five RBI.

- Bret Williams was strong in the lead-off spot, finishing 3-5 with a pair of doubles and three runs scored.

- Miguel Torres proved clutch, going 3-5 with three RBI and three runs scored.

- Casey Winters had a multi-hit outing, while Chase Smith and Jackson Struve each scored two runs.

- The two teams combined to rack up nine extra-base hits.


 On the Mound

- Michael De Leon got the start for Penn State Harrisburg, going two innings and striking out two batters.

- Brandon Riggs, Tyler Jackson and Austin Kunkel each made relief appearances, with Kunkel allowing just one hit to go along with three strikeouts.

- Brad Richards got the win for the Blue & White after throwing 1.2 innings, while Brendan Riotto earned the save.


 Around the Diamond

- Chase Smith and Jackson Struve each stole a base for the Blue & White.

- The Lions overcame a pair of errors to earn the victory.

- EMU was clean in the field and did not commit an error in game one.

- This was Penn State Harrisburg's first season-opening victory since 2015.



Penn State Harrisburg 7, Eastern Mennonite 7 – Game 2 (8 Innings) 


Harrisburg Lineup

1. Williams lf, 2. Smith cf, 3. Torres ss, 4. Van Houten 3b, 5. Koroneos 1b, 6. Winters dh, 7. Angstadt Jr. rf, 8. Kell c, 9. Struve 2b, Gettys sp


EMU Lineup

1. Merica lf, 2. Scott lf, 3. Roberts 1b, 4. Lindsay 2b, 5. Tricarico c, 6. Lee cf, 7. Willis 3b, 8. McFadden dh, 9. Quinn ss, Brewer p


How It Happened

The endeavor of playing baseball in February got the better of Penn State Harrisburg and Eastern Mennonite in the game two of a season-opening doubleheader on Monday evening. With darkness creeping in, umpires were forced to call the game after eight innings, resulting in a 7-7 tie.


After the Royals (3-4-1) erased the Blue & White's early 4-1 advantage, the Lions (1-0-1) regained the lead when Zachary Koroneos blasted a two-run homer in the top of the fifth, bringing around Travis Van Houten in the process and putting the visitors back out in front 7-5.


EMU kept at it, however, and eventually drew even with Penn State Harrisburg thanks to plating one run in the fifth and seventh stanzas, respectively. The Royals had a chance to pull ahead in the bottom of the eighth when a pair of runners moved into scoring position but Van Houten came up big and struck out Corey Willis to end the inning and the game.


At the Plate

- Zachary Koroneos tallied two RBI and scored a run thanks to his first homer of the year.

- Casey Winters went 2-3 with an RBI in the DH spot.

- Bret Williams drove in a pair of runs and Chase Smith added a double.

- Zach Roberts and Brett Lindsay accounted for four of EMU's six hits.


On the Mound

- Zach Gettys got the start for the Lions, throwing three innings and allowing two earned runs to go along with six strikeouts.

- Justin Kaplan threw one inning of relief, with none of his runs allowed of the earned variety.

- Travis Van Houten closed out the final four innings, allowing just two hits and striking out six batters.

- Penn State Harrisburg chased EMU starter Ryan Brewer from the game after he surrendered six hits in 4.1 innings of work.


Around the Diamond

- Errors hurt the Lions, as three defensive miscues led to four unearned runs.

- Miscues also cost Eastern Mennonite, as four errors led to four unearned tallies for the Blue & White.

- The Royals racked up three stolen bases in the nightcap.


Who's Next?

The Lions return to Virginia next weekend for a three-game series at Lynchburg. Game one of a doubleheader begins at 12 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, March 2.


Stay Connected

Be sure to follow the Lions on Instagram (@pennstatehbgathletics), Twitter (@PSHbgAthletics), and Facebook (Penn State Harrisburg Athletics) for all the latest on Penn State Harrisburg athletics.