By: Matylda Zamudio
LEMONT FURNACE, Pa. — The Penn State Beaver men's baseball team fell to PSUAC rival Penn State Fayette in two close games on Saturday afternoon.
Beaver lost a close first game to Fayette, 10-8.
Beaver's batters came out swinging in the top of the first, putting up five runs (5-0). The Lions then forged ahead 6-0 by adding another run in the top of the second, but Fayette cut the Lions' lead in half after earning three runs in the bottom of the second (6-3) and then added two runs in the bottom of the third to cut the score down to one run (6-5). Both teams were quiet in the fourth and the fifth, but Beaver started to pull ahead once again with two runs at the top of the sixth to bring the score to 8-5. But the tables turned on the Lions, as Fayette hit back with five runs to take a 10-8, resulting in a loss for Beaver in the first game.
But Beaver shock off the loss came out swinging in the top of the first of game two with junior Scott Hughes (Aliquippa/Central Valley) facilitating the offense after stealing home to earn the first run of the inning (1-0). Freshman Jacob Beck (Beaver) then advanced junior Justyn Francona (New Brighton) to score (2-0). Beaver kept the scoring going after freshman Trey Luffy (Baldwin) doubled-in Beck and junior Shelton Hilliard (Baden/Ambridge) to score and put the Lions up by four runs. The Lions then held Fayette to zero runs to wrap the first (4-0) and then got the offensive attack going once again in the top of the second after Francona advanced sophomore Stefan Romaniuk (Alpha/Notre Dame) with two outs on the board (5-0). The Lions allowed Fayette to make a comeback in the fourth after they allowed five hits and four runs to make it a tie game at 5-5 and then earn another run in the bottom of the fifth to take the lead over Beaver (6-5). Beaver then wasn't able to tie the score before the seventh ended, taking a second loss for the day.
Hughes led the offense in game two, where he went 4 for 4 at bat followed by Luffy, who went 1 for 2 with 2 RBIs. Francona came in the fourth inning and gave up the lead, taking the loss in game two (L, 0-1).
After today's doubleheader against Fayette, Beaver sits at an 8-12 record for the season and is 1-5 in the conference.
The Lions will be back for more conference action when they face off against Penn State New Kensington at home on April 5. The game is slated for 2 p.m.