By Andrew Hunter
Knightly News Sports Reporter
The Central Penn College Knights defeated the Christendom Crusaders in a doubleheader Tuesday afternoon on City Island in Harrisburg, winning 8-0 in the first game and 4-3 in the second game.
The pitching was nearly flawless on the day, with four pitchers combining for the shutout, led by starter Wyatt Koser. The combination of Koser, Noah Shatto, Harvey McClain III and Justin Miller allowed only two hits on the day.
The Knights were able to back up their solid pitching offensively, scoring six runs in the first two innings to allow their pitchers to work with a lead. Zach Boyer was hot at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a double and a triple, two RBIs, two runs and two stolen bases.
Another notable contributor for the Knights was Alex Lilja, who went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. Adam Hoover also chipped in two RBIs during the contest.
In the field, the Knights had near-perfect play. Owen Zell had a spectacular diving catch, going into foul territory to secure the out. Zach Boyer had a solid day at third base, making several key defensive plays to help preserve the lead.
The Crusaders’ offense was able to get only two hits, one each from John Skuba and Thomas Sullivan. Christendom left a total of nine runners on base and could never seem to find enough offense to push any runs across in the game.
Boyer was the Knightly News Player of the Game based on his terrific all-around play.
Similar to the first game, the Knights took a bullpen approach to Game 2. Matthew Dodds started his first collegiate game, allowing the Crusaders to score only two runs on two hits in his 2 2/3 innings pitched.
After gaining momentum in the batter’s box from Game 1, the Knights started off quickly in the bottom of the first inning, scoring two runs, with RBIs from Nathan Wise and Kevon Davis. After that, though, their bats went silent until the bottom of the fifth inning.
After Dodds exited, senior Ryan Stevens entered the game, managing to get out of a bases-loaded jam, allowing one run. Justin Miller entered in the fifth and pitched two quality innings of relief, allowing a single run to score.
The offensive slump ended in the bottom of the fifth. After Boyer reached base on a fielder’s choice, Lilja stepped up to the plate and crushed a two-run home run to left field into the Ollie’s Cheap Seats, putting the Knights on top, 4-2.
With the game on the line, coach Robert Stern turned to frosh Cameron Smiley to close out the game. He quickly struck out a batter, then got the next two batters to pop out and ground out to end the game. Smiliey converted his first save with the team and gave the Knights a 4-3 victory.
For the Crusaders, Dermot Dolowy went 2-for-3 with a run and a RBI. The team was able to register only four hits.
Lilja was the Knightly News Player of the Game, going 2-for-3 with the game-winning home run and 2 RBIs.
With these two victories, the Knights extended their winning streak to six and improved to 13-14 on the season. Christendom fell to 5-15.
The Knights look to keep their winning streak alive today when they travel to Penn State – Scranton. They will return home on April 21 for a doubleheader against Penn State – Wilkes-Barre at FNB Field in Harrisburg.
The Knightly News livestreamed the games from FNB Field. Paul Miller and Thomas Davis were on the call. Gabryelle Breski was the sideline reporter for the contests. The links are available below.
Edited by media-club co-advisers Professor Paul Miller and Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.