By: Matylda Zamudio
MONACA, Pa. — The Penn State Beaver men's baseball team played its last home game of the season and honored junior Shelton Hilliard (Baden/Ambridge), who played his last home game as a Beaver Lion. The team split against PSUAC rival Penn State Greater Allegheny in Saturday's doubleheader, ending the series 2-1.
The Lions fought their way back from a 4-1 deficit in the third inning to take a well-earned 6-4 victory in game one.
In the first, freshman Jacob Beck (Beaver) started the Lions' scoring after he doubled-in sophomore Stefan Romaniuk (Alpha/Notre Dame) at the bottom of the first (1-0). But the Lions got quiet in the next two innings while Greater Allegheny pulled ahead by three (4-1). But the Lions came alive in the fourth with the batter's combing for five runs with two runners batted-in by freshman Christian James (6-4). The Lions held on to their lead and won game one 6-4.
James led the offense in game one, where he went 3 for 4 at bat and had 2 RBIs.
Junior Scott Hughes (Aliquippa/Central Valley) picked up the win on the mound for game one (W, 3-4). He pitched all seven innings, giving up eight hits and also tallied up three strikeouts against the 32 batters he faced.
Greater Allegheny managed to land on the scoreboard first with two runs at the top of the second. However, Beaver answered back in the bottom of the inning with four runs of its own to take the lead away from Greater Allegheny (4-2). Beaver kept the momentum going in the bottom of the fifth, junior Justyn Francona (New Brighton) smashed a home-run on two out, giving the Lions a 5-3 lead heading the sixth. But the tides shifted when Greater Allegheny sparked a six-run comeback in the top of the seventh, taking the lead away from the Lions 9-5. While Francona doubled-in Romaniuk scored in the bottom of the seventh with two outs, the Lions weren't able to tie it about before taking their third out and took a 9-6 loss in game two.
Francona led the offense in game two, where he went 3 for 4 and had 2 RBIs and two runs in the game.
After relieving freshman Noah Rinker (Ellwood City/Lincoln) in the seventh at the mound, Francona (L, 3-2) took the loss in game two after he gave up the lead.
Beaver now sits at an 11-15 record for the season and is 4-8 in the PSUAC conference standings.
Beaver will now face Chatham University in a road doubleheader on April 16. Game one begins at 2 p.m. and game two is at 4 p.m.