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By Frank Maira, special to Franklin County Free Press

MONT ALTO – The Penn State Mont Alto baseball team opened its Spring Break trip March 2 and lost a heartbreaker to Chesapeake College before rebounding by winning four of the next six games in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The Nittany Lions completed their trip on Tuesday with a thrilling 11-5 win over Penn State Wilkes-Barre as they improved to 4-5 overall.

Game 1: Chesapeake College 8, Penn State Mont Alto 7

Trailing 3-0 entering the top of the sixth inning, the Nittany Lions plated home both Chance McClure(Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg Area) and Caleb Leggett (Williamsport, Md. / Williamsport).

Chesapeake responded with another run in the bottom half of the inning.

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Then, with bases loaded in the top of the seventh, Colby Black (Shippensburg, Pa. / Big Spring) smashed a grand slam to give his team the lead.

Freshman Chayse Fisher (Mercersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan) slashed an RBI double giving Mont Alto the 7-4 advantage entering the bottom half of the frame.

The Skipjacks got the best of reliever Jeremiah Younker (Hagerstown, Md. / Williamsport) who took the loss giving up four on two hits.

Game 2: Olney College 8, Penn State Mont Alto 2

Mont Alto once again scored first with the Nittany Lions gaining a 2-0 lead in the top of the second inning.

A pair of RBI doubles off the bats of Hunter Martin (Hagerstown, Md. / North Hagerstown) and Chayse Fisher (Mercersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan) put them ahead.

Olney Central College — an NJCAA institution out of Illinois — responded with a pair of their own runs in the bottom half of the inning.

Olney went up 3-2 in the third when Martin walked in a run.

Senior Aric Smoker(Newville, Pa. / Big Spring) pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief and gave up a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.

The Knights scored three more off Cameron Lee (Warrenton, Va. / Fauquier) who threw 2 1/3 innings, while giving up seven hits.

Game 3: Penn State Mont Alto 7, College of DuPage 6

A scoreless affair through the first three innings, PSUMA tagged Jonny Vesevick for three runs in the top of the fourth inning.

The inning started with singles from Colby Black(Shippensburg, Pa. / Big Spring) and Jeremiah Younker (Hagerstown, Md. / Williamsport) who both ended up scoring.

An RBI single from Brady Topper(Littlestown, Pa. / Littlestown) plated a run as well as a double from Chayse Fisher(Mercersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan) that scored a pair. 

The Chaps answered with a solo run in the fifth and grabbed the lead with a five-run sixth. Only two of the runs scored in the sixth inning were earned runs.

Fisher earned his third RBI of the game as he singled home Younker, who ended up scoring the winning run.

AJ Millar (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) improved to 1-1 on the season picking up the win and striking out one in a 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Fisher and Younker led at the plate as each went 2-for-3 and the senior also slashed a triple.

Game 4: College of DuPage 6, Penn State Mont Alto 4

The Chaps opened with a three-run first inning and took the lead for good with a two-run fourth. Rocky Szmydt got the win in an inning pitched and Ian Pickell picked up the save as Mont Alto threatened in the top of the seventh.

Colby Black (Shippensburg, Pa. / Big Spring)Chayse Fisher (Mercersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan)Caleb Leggett (Williamsport, Md. / Williamsport) and Joseph Wunsch(Dover, Del. / Dover Area) each recorded RBIs. Brady Topper (Littlestown, Pa. / Littlestown) went 3-for-4 with three singles.

Paul Steiger (Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro Area) was credited for taking the loss on the mound, giving up five earned runs on seven hits. He lasted 3.1 innings before being replaced by fellow newcomer Spencer Seaman (Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg Area) who tossed 3.2 innings, while only giving up a run on two hits.

Game 5: Penn State Mont Alto 4, Penn State Schuylkill 1

AJ Millar (Harrisburg, Pa. / Central Dauphin) tossed his best game of his collegiate career to date earning the complete game win. He only gave up three hits while also striking out four against Schuylkill.

The lone run of the game was scored in the top of the fifth on a De’Zhane Amey fielder’s choice.

Jeremiah Younker (Hagerstown, Md. / Williamsport) produced an RBI single in the bottom of the first and Hunter Martin (Hagerstown, Md. / North Hagerstown) gave his team a pair of insurance runs with a double that plated both Younker and Topper.

An RBI single that was poked in the gap by Nick Jacoby (Shippensburg, Pa. / Shippensburg)gave PSUMA the 4-1 win.

Game 6: Penn State Mont Alto 5, Penn State Schuylkill 2

In a more competitive matchup, neither team was able to gain an edge as they traded one-run advantages before going into extra innings tied at two runs apiece.

Mont Alto exploded for three runs in the top of the eighth inning as both Younker and Jacoby earned bases loaded walks while Chance McClure (Chambersburg, Pa. / Chambersburg Area)slashed an RBI fielder’s choice.

McClure also earned the win on the mound tossing 1.2 innings while striking out a batter in the final frame.

Game 7: Penn State Mont Alto 7, Penn State Wilkes-Barre 5

Mont Alto rallied from an early 3-0 first inning deficit by scoring five runs in the bottom half of the frame.

PSUMA managed five hits within the inning as a Jeremiah Younker(Hagerstown, Md. / Williamsport) triple scored three runs, while a Hunter Martin(Hagerstown, Md. / North Hagerstown) double scored Younker. Mitchell Knode(Hagerstown, Md. / Chambersburg Area) earned his first collegiate RBI with a single that completed the innings scoring.

Caleb Leggett (Williamsport, Md. / Williamsport) put his team up 6-3 and a pair of doubles from Matt Peck (Waynesboro, Pa. / Waynesboro Area) and Colby Black(Shippensburg, Pa. / Big Spring) with each earning RBI’s put the Nittany Lions up 9-3. They scored two more insurance runs within the fifth inning.

Chayse Fisher (Mercersburg, Pa. / James Buchanan) picked up the win tossing four innings, while giving up three earned runs. Junior reliever Clark Payne (Shenandoah Junction, W.Va. / Heritage Academy) threw 1.1 innings in relief.

Up Next:

Mont Alto (4-5) will look to continue its winning ways with a doubleheader against The Apprentice School slated for Saturday, March 9.

First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. as this doubleheader was rescheduled from Feb. 16.

Frank Maira is assistant director of athletics at Penn State Mont Alto

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