By Ashley Jacobs, Sports Information Director
Photo by Ryan Mills, Student Athletic Photographer
Penn State Mont Alto Baseball opened their season with two games at home over the weekend. Mont Alto first saw action in their non-conference game against Division III McDaniel College on Friday afternoon. Although the game ended in an 8-3 loss for Mont Alto, they played well against their competition for it being their first game of the 2011 season. Starting pitcher Derek Coy (Shippensburg, PA/Shippensburg) struck out eight in six innings pitched.
On Saturday, Mont Alto hosted Penn State Beaver and split their first PSUAC conference games of the season. To start the game on the mound, freshman Nathan Topper (Littlestown, PA/Littlestown High School) pitched the first collegiate baseball game of his career. Beaver scored the first run of the game in the top of the second. During the third inning, Mont Alto committed two errors, giving Beaver the opportunity to get on base and capitalized by Cory Wagner (Monaca, PA/Center) sending the ball out of the park for a three-run home run, putting Beaver up 5-0 in the fourth. Sophomore short stop, Trevor Ile (Greencastle, PA/Greencastle-Antrim) cracked a hit to center field earning him a triple. Ryan Chaney (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) had a base hit and an RBI and as well as Brad Kiracofe (Greencastle, PA/Greencastle-Antrim), changing the score to 5-2 going into the fifth. The fifth inning found Beaver scoring two and Mont Alto not getting on base. Sophomore Zack Fegely (Gardners, PA/West York) relieved Topper in the seventh, allowing no one to get on base. Mont Alto wrapped up the seventh with one more run, both Daniel Cordell (Greencastle, PA/Greencastle-Antrim) and Nick Hedges (Littlestown, PA/Littlestown) with a single and Cody Casey (Carlisle, PA/Big Spring) with the RBI. Beaver took the first win of the double header.
Mont Alto came out strong in the next game, with Cordell earning a double and Ile sending him home with the RBI in the first inning. The second inning was rough for Mont Alto, giving up three runs to Beaver. But Mont Alto came back in the fifth, with an inning full of doubles. Ile, Jason Staubs (Waynesboro, PA/Waynesboro) and Chaney hit back-to-back doubles, while Staubs and Chaney both earned RBIs, tying the game up 4-4. Freshman Brandon Dupert (Landisburg, PA/West Perry) pitched the first six innings until Ile came in at the top of the seventh. Ile gave up no hits, giving Mont Alto the chance to win in the bottom of the seventh. Staubs sent a line drive to center field, Nevin VanArtsdalen (Gardners/Bermudian Springs) bunted, getting to first when Beaver over threw and Topper was intentionally walked. Leaving the bases loaded, Staubs scored on a wild pitch that went past the catcher.
"We hit the ball during both games, Dupert did a super job, the team stayed in the game and fought for the win," Head Coach Jim Brown commented. Ile not only earned the win and the save for giving up no hits, but he also had an RBI, triple and a double for the day. "I am not pitcher but being a captain, I knew we had to step it up as a team. This is the first games we have all played together as a team, we are doing well but still working on things, "Trevor Ile explained.
The team is now 1-1 in the PSUAC and 1-2 overall. They will host Christendom College on Monday, March 28th for a 4:30 p.m. game.