CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Penn State Altoona baseball saw its 2019 season come to an end on Wednesday afternoon, when the No. 5 seed Lions were defeated 3-2 by No. 4 Wilson College in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference Division III Championship Tournament at Henninger Field.
Penn State Altoona (28-17) is eliminated from the ECAC Tournament with its loss. Meanwhile, Wilson (21-12) advances to face No. 1 seed Pfeiffer University in the tournament's semifinal round this Saturday.
The Lions came out on the losing end of a low-scoring, evenly-played game. Now, the team's season is over.
"Great season. We're going to miss this senior class. They have come a long way in our journey together," said Penn State Altoona head coach RJ Barnard. "We return a lot of talent next year, and we will be expecting big things."
Catcher Cumming (Altoona, PA/Altoona) was 1-for-4 with a triple and a run batted in, and Hunter Breon (Boiling Springs, PA/Boiling Springs) and George Stiuso (Milford, NJ/Gill St. Bernard's) each finished 1-for-4.
Zane Leister (Middleburg, PA/Midd-West) got the nod as the Lions' starting pitcher and was saddled with the loss. In three innings, the right-hander allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks while striking out three.
Tyler Manger (Lindenhurst, NY/Lindenhurst) followed Leister by pitching five scoreless innings out of the bullpen, giving up just two hits and one walk while recording one strikeout.
Penn State Altoona used back-to-back, two-out triples to grab the lead in the top of the first inning. Jacobs' triple to right-center set the table for the Lions, and Cumming's triple to right-center drove him in to give the visitors a 1-0 advantage
Wilson responded quickly, getting one run across in the bottom of the first to tie the game. After a walk and a hit batter started the frame, Hunter Cheek's double to left brought in the tying run for the Phoenix.
Wilson jumped ahead in the bottom of the third inning. Juan Rosario scored on a passed ball to put the Phoenix in front, and Cole Rinehart's RBI double to right gave the home team a 3-1 lead.
Penn State Altoona got a run back in the fourth. With one out, Austin Anderson (Macungie, PA/Emmaus) was hit by a pitch, moved up to second base on Bates' single, and then scored on an error to cut Wilson's lead to 3-2.
But while the Lions put up zeroes the rest of the way, so did Wilson. Penn State Altoona was limited to just three baserunners in the game's final five innings, and the Lions were unable to cash in on any of them, losing by one run.