Knights’ bats come alive as they sweep home opener
Central Penn College scores 25 runs in two victories
By Andrew Hunter
Knightly News Sports Reporter
The Central Penn College Knights faced off against Penn State-Fayette in a doubleheader on Saturday and swept both games, 12-8 in Game 1 and 13-11 in Game 2.
To start the day, Knights pitcher Harvey McClain (1-0) took the mound and did not disappoint, striking out three and allowing two hits in 2 2/3 innings. McClain was later relieved by Zavier Hernandez, Wyatt Koser, and Colten Zerby, who got the save. In total, the Knights pitching staff had seven strikeouts and gave up 11 hits. The Knights were also excellent in the field, turning two double plays that helped hold the lead.
On the other side, the Knights were swinging and swinging early, scoring three runs in the first inning with an RBI from Nathan Wise, Gabe Kaufman and Justin Miller. They continued to hit the ball throughout the contest, ending the game with 11 hits and 11 RBIs. Adam Hoover was a clear standout in the batter’s box, having three RBIs on the day to contribute to the Knights’ success.
In the top of the final inning, Penn State-Fayette tried to mount a comeback from the large deficit of 12-5. The Knights inserted Zerby as their closer to try to fend off Fayette from trying to get back into the game.
Penn State-Fayette started the inning with a walk and a single, and then Braeden McKnight reached base on a fielder’s choice and batted in Johnny Iannou. The score stood at 12-6. Andrew Despot hit a single in the next at-bat, scoring Ridley, and bringing the score to 12-7. The final hit for Fayette was a deep double by D’Andrea to plate another run, making it 12-8. Zerby then struck out one and forced a pop-up to end the game by a 12-8 margin.
In the first contest, Owen Zell took home the Knightly News Player of the Game, going 2-for-2 with three runs scored, while also being a part of two crucial double plays.
The second game started with Pitcher Alex Lilja (1-1) throwing a solid 3 2/3 innings, giving up only one hit. Both Adam Hoover and Justin Miller relieved Lilja to help secure the win. The Knights backed up their pitchers with a solid defensive effort, making only one error and making flashy plays in the field.
The Knights kept right where they left off from Game 1 in the batter’s box, having a total of 14 hits that converted to 13 runs. The team had 10 RBIs, led by first baseman Hunter Finkey and right fielder Gabe Kaufman, each who plated three RBIs. Kevon Davis also contributed two RBIs with a clutch base hit in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Seventeen different Knights, whether on the field or pinch-hitting, appeared in this game. Roniel Morel had a solid hit to right field that gave the Knights a boost of energy late in the game.
Penn State-Fayette made a solid effort in trying to come back, cutting the Knights’ lead to only two runs. Big hits from Kaleb Shultz and Andrew Despot sparked their comeback effort, but they could not get it done as the Knights won 13-11.
Kaufman was the Knightly News Player of the Game in Game 2, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three RBIs.
Central Penn improved to 3-5 in the 2023 campaign, while Penn State-Fayette fell to 3-10.
The Knights go into a road contest with Albright College on Tuesday before returning to FNB Field for a doubleheader with the College of Southern Maryland Wednesday at 1 and 3 p.m.
The Knightly News Media Club broadcast the games from FNB Field on Saturday. The on-demand links are below. Paul Miller and Thomas Davis were on the call for the game.
Comment or story idea? Contact KnightlyEditors@CentralPenn.Edu.
Edited by Knight News club co-advisers Professor Paul Miller and Professor Michael Lear-Olimpi.