LA PLUME, Pa. – After a rough start to a non-conference doubleheader on Monday afternoon, Penn State Harrisburg baseball bounced back in a big way to earn the split against Keystone. The Lions suffered a 23-5 setback in the opening contest before the bats roared to life in a 14-4 victory in the nightcap.
After keeping things close in the early going, Penn State Harrisburg struggled to keep Keystone's offense in check as game one wore on, with the Giants putting up runs in all but one inning thanks to 24 total hits, including 12 of the extra-base variety, in the opener.
The home team struck first by plating a pair of runs in the bottom of the first frame but the Blue & White drew even in the top of the ensuing stanza thanks to Dallas Hite's RBI double that drove in Matt Isaac and a double steal that allowed Hite to come across thanks to Tyler Aug's baserunning prowess.
The tie was short lived, as the Giants reclaimed the advantage in the bottom of the second before tallying six runs in the bottom half of the fifth. Aug's RBI double in the sixth allowed Isaac and Maddux Ryan to come home, while Casey Winters' double in the seventh plated Bret Williams. However, Keystone's 8-run bottom of the eighth put game one out of reach for good.
Penn State Harrisburg erased an early deficit before pulling away down the stretch to pick up a convincing victory over Keystone in the second outing of Monday's twin bill. Tyler Jackson, Zach Gettys, and Kieran Kearns were outstanding on the mound, while Bret Williams, Casey Winters, and Maddux Ryan each went yard.
It wouldn't last long, as the Giants responded with a 4-spot in the bottom of the first but Jackson entered and promptly stranded a Keystone runner. The reliever set the tone for the rest of the game by allowing just four hits in 5.0 innings thrown.
The Blue & White drew even by using two doubles, a walk, a wild pitch, and a Keystone error to score three runs in the third before Williams and Winters electrified the Penn State Harrisburg dugout by swatting back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the fifth.
Gettys spelled Jackson in the bottom of the sixth and promptly struck out two of the first three batters he faced to preserve the 2-run lead and the offense did more damage in the seventh, capping a 2-out rally with three runs on four hits and an error that pushed the advantage to 9-4. The visitors kept rolling in the eighth when a Williams single scored Hite and a Parks double drove in Williams. Ryan put the exclamation point on the game's scoring with a towering 3-run homer with two away in the stanza.
- Tyler Jackson's game two win was his first of the season. He went 5.0 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out four batters.
- Zach Gettys was stellar in a relief role in the nightcap. The lefty struck out six and surrendered just one hit in 3.0 innings of work.
- Kieran Kearns finished off the second contest, recording a strikeout after allowing just one hit in the ninth inning.
- In game two, Bret Williams went 2-for-5 with a solo home run, a walk, three RBI, three runs scored, and a stolen base.
- Maddux Ryan's 3-run blast in game two was the first home run of his collegiate career. He went 2-for-4 with four RBI.
- Casey Winters' solo shot in the nightcap was his second homer of the year.
- Dallas Hite finished 3-for-6 at the dish with an RBI, two runs scored, and a pair of stolen bases.
- Williams, Winters, Ryan, Hite, and Matt Parks each had multi-hit performances in game two.
- Hite and Parks each hit two doubles on the day.
- Penn State Harrisburg and Keystone will meet for another non-conference doubleheader, this time in Middletown, on April 20.
It's back to conference play for the Lions when they travel to Lancaster Bible for another twin bill on Saturday afternoon, April 10.