MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg baseball improved to 12-0 in North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) play thanks to a doubleheader sweep of conference foe Penn State Berks on Saturday afternoon, April 17. The hometown Lions got a sterling performance from Drew Harshbarger in game one's 7-0 victory before closing things out with an 8-2 win in the nightcap.
Starting pitcher Drew Harshbarger kept Penn State Berks off the scoreboard and allowed just one hit in 6.1 innings of work during a 7-0 victory on Saturday afternoon. The hard-throwing right-hander allowed just four base runners on the day and racked up 11 strikeouts.
Penn State Harrisburg got on the board first when a Bret Williams ground ball plated Chase Smith in the bottom half of the opening frame. Before the inning was through, Matt Isaac double to right center field with the bases loaded, clearing the base paths and putting the home team ahead 4-0.
In the fourth, Smith's sacrifice fly scored Robbie Skinner and Dallas Hite came across on a wild pitch. The hometown Lions capped the scoring in the opener when Matt Parks singled to right field and drove in Williams in the bottom of the sixth.
With two men on in the top of the seventh, reliever Tyler Jackson spelled Harshbarger and got two quick outs to seal the victory.
Penn State Harrisburg used the middle innings of game two to pull away and secure the series and season sweeps of Penn State Berks. Dallas Hite had a big game at the plate, finishing a double shy of the cycle and driving in four runs, while the home team's pitching staff did not allow an earned run.
After the visitors plated one in the top of the first, Hite led off the bottom half by roping the first pitch he saw over the fence in left field to tie things up. Penn State Harrisburg created some breathing room in the fourth when Hite's triple drove in Drew Bechtold and Maddux Ryan. Chase Smith added an RBI single that scored Hite and Bret Williams wreaked havoc on the base paths, swiping third and scoring on a throwing error.
It was Hite who drove in another run in the seventh, singling home Ryan before Smith put an exclamation point on the team's scoring with a two-run blast. Penn State Berks got back an unearned run in the eighth but it proved far too little too late.
- Drew Harshbarger earned his fifth win of the year in impressive fashion. He allowed just one hit and four base runners while striking out 11 batters during 6.1 innings of work in game one.
- Bret Williams reached base four times in the opener, going 2-for-3 with a double, a walk, an RBI, and two runs scored.
- The Lions stole six bases in the opener, with Hite and Williams swiping two bags each.
- Hite was stout in the second game, going 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple, four RBI, and three runs scored.
- Penn State Harrisburg swiped eight more bases in game two, with Williams and Drew Bechtold stealing two apiece.
- Thanks to Saturday's victories, Penn State Harrisburg completed the four-game season sweep of Penn State Berks.
The Blue & White face a tough non-conference test when they host Keystone, a squad receiving votes in the national rankings, for doubleheader action on Tuesday afternoon, April 20.