LANCASTER, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg baseball's offensive prowess was on full display during the team's North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) doubleheader sweep of Lancaster Bible on Saturday afternoon, April 10. The Lions hit 14 total home runs and scored a combined 39 runs on the day behind an 18-1 win in the opener and a 21-12 victory in the nightcap.
Penn State Harrisburg racked up 14 hits, including seven of the extra-base variety, and Drew Harshbarger went five strong innings on the mound during a convincing 18-1 victory in the first game of Saturday's conference doubleheader.
After Matt Parks got the scoring started with a solo home run in the top of the second, the Lions broke things open with a five-run third inning. A Casey Winters three-run homer stretched the early lead before a Matt Isaac single to center field plated Parks and a Tyler Aug RBI single drove in Isaac two at-bats later.
The Blue & White kept things rolling in the fourth, using two hits, four walks, a hit-by-pitch, and a wild pitch to tack on four more runs. The Chargers got on the board thanks to a solo shot in the bottom of the frame but the visitors answered right back with two more runs in the top of the fifth.
Penn State Harrisburg put things out of reach in the top of the sixth when a Parks double scored Dallas Hite and Chris Flynn, an Isaac groundout plated Winters, and a Maddux Ryan double brought Parks around before Tyler Aug hit a two-run blast to cap the game's scoring.
Harshbarger allowed just two hits and one run to go along with nine strikeouts before Hunter Merritt came on to get the final six outs.
After nearly putting up 20 runs in the opener, Penn State Harrisburg crossed the 20-run threshold in the nightcap, earning the doubleheader sweep and remaining undefeated in conference play thanks to a 21-12 victory in the second contest of the twin bill.
Seven different Blue & White batters combined to hit 11 home runs in game two, led by Bret Williams' trio of long balls. Matt Parks and Maddux Ryan each hit two homers in the nightcap, while Chase Smith, Dallas Hite, Matt Isaac, and Kevin Lehner hit one bomb apiece.
Williams put the visitors on the board first with a two-run blast in the top of the first inning but the Chargers cut the deficit in half when a wild pitch allowed a runner to come across in the bottom of the second.
The top of the third saw the Lions hit four solo homers, including one each from Williams, Parks, Isaac, and Ryan, and stretch the advantage to 6-1. Lancaster Bible drew to within striking distance in the bottom of the stanza, however, as a three-run homer cut the deficit to a more manageable two runs after three stanzas.
Penn State Harrisburg halted the home team's momentum in the top of the fourth when Hite went yard and Parks homered for the second time in game two, this time bringing Williams and Casey Winters around with him. Smith added his first long ball of the season in the top of the fifth and Isaac followed it up by driving in Williams and Winters with a single to left field to make it 14-4.
After LBC got one back in the bottom half, Williams hit his third blast of the game, this one a grand slam, in the top of the sixth. Before the inning was through, Ryan added a two-run home run that pushed the run total to 20. Lehner got into the act in the ensuing stanza and his solo shot put an exclamation point on Penn State Harrisburg's scoring for the day.
- With the pair of victories, Penn State Harrisburg improved to 12-2 on the season and 8-0 in conference play.
- The 11 home runs hit in game two are a single-game program record for the Blue & White.
- The Lions have reached the double-digit run total in eight of the team's 14 games this spring.
- The trio of home runs hit by Bret Williams in the nightcap were the 53rd, 54th, and 55th of his career. His sixth-inning grand slam was his second of the year.
- Matt Parks also had a three-homer day, hitting one in the opener and adding two more in game two.
- As a team, Penn State Harrisburg has now hit 24 home runs on the year.
- The Lions racked up a combined 19 extra-base knocks across both contests.
- Thanks to his nine strikeouts in game one, Drew Harshbarger increased his total to 30 on the season. His victory was his fourth of the spring.
The Lions face a tough test when they host No. 18 Shenandoah for a pair of non-conference contests on Wednesday afternoon, April 14.