By Dylan Kleintop and Tyler Coleman
Knightly News Reporters
The Central Penn College Knights baseball team split a doubleheader with Penn State Schuylkill at In the Net Sports Complex in Palmyra Thursday, winning in exciting fashion 5-4 in game one, while dropping game two 13-10. The Knights move to 5-10 on the season.
The Knights got off to a hot start, scoring in the first inning on a Gabe Arellano single. As Christian Fulp pitched a solid game, the Knights kept scoring runs. In the third, Chris Rosario and Jared Rivera hit back-to-back home runs. Rivera’s home run easily cleared the monster wall in left field as the Knights took a commanding 3-0 lead through the fourth inning.
Penn State Schuylkill didn’t go away quietly, adding two runs in the top of the fifth inning with a bases-clearing double. The Knights answered in the bottom of the inning on a Connor Graham sacrifice fly that scored Arellano, making it 4-2.
Following a cold start to the game, Penn State got their bats going, scoring in three consecutive innings. Penn State scored again in the sixth inning, before adding another in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at four.
Going into the bottom of the seventh, the game was still tied. However, the Knights were in a good situation, with the top of the order due up to bat. Heckard got on base first, followed by an Arellano double, setting the Knights up with the perfect scoring chance with no outs and Graham due up to bat. Graham was unable to capitalize and found himself walking back to the dugout following a strikeout.
Chris Rosario also found himself in a similar situation as Graham with two runners on, one out. Rosario softly bounced a ball back to the mound, and reached base on a fielder’s choice, as Heckard was thrown out at home.
With two outs, up stepped Rivera. Rivera is one of Central Penn’s most dangerous hitters, tied for the team lead in home runs. Penn State was aware of Rivera’s power and decided to intentionally walk him, bringing up Woodward. Woodward drew the count to 3-1 before lining a single into center field. Arellano easily scored, and the Knights were able to beat Penn State 5-4 in walk-off fashion.
Fulp easily had his best start of the season in the complete-game victory, registering eight strikeouts and only allowing two earned runs.
Woodward was named the Knightly News Player of the Game going 1-3 with the game-winning RBI.
Christian Fulp (above) was brilliant in the first game of the doubleheader, picking up the victory along with eight strikeouts. Photo by Andrew Day.
The second game of a doubleheader did not go as planned for the Knights, as Penn State Schuylkill overcame a five-run deficit to win game two 13-10.
After the joy of the walk-off in game one, Woodward got the start in game two. He pitched strongly through the first two innings, striking out two batters and breezing through Penn State Schuylkill’s lineup with ease.
Central Penn got the scoring started in the bottom of the second inning. With the bases loaded, Fulp reached base on an error by Jacob Leininger, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead. The following batter, Max Thorpe, reached base on a fielder’s choice to give the Knights a 2-0 lead. Mikeal Pecot scored when the Penn State Schuylkill catcher made an errant throw to second base trying to throw out Thorpe. The scoring continued when Peyton Poletti had a base hit to left field, making it a 4-0 Knights lead.
In the top of the third inning, starting center fielder De’Zhane Amey started the scoring for Penn State Schuylkill by reaching base with a walk, taking second an error by Woodward, and stealing third base. Leininger drove Amey home with a single to right making the score 4-1.
In the bottom of the third, Graham doubled off the left field wall and scored on a Rivera single, making the score 4-2.
In the top of the fourth inning, Penn State Schuylkill was assisted with a hit-by-pitch and a bunt single which helped get them another run due to a Knights throwing error, making the score 5-2. Amey then reached base again, this time with a two-run triple making the score 5-4. Steele Fekette hit a sac fly to score Amey and tie the game at 5-5.
The Knights’ bats went back to work in the bottom of the fourth inning, with a leadoff single and a stolen base by Fulp. Thorpe was able to move Fulp to third on the groundout and the following batter Quinton Heckard drove Fulp home with a single, making the score 6-5. Gabe Arellano reached base on a strikeout when the ball got passed the catcher, and then the following batter Graham hammered a three-run home run over the left field wall to make the score 9-5. An RBI single by Rivera stretched the Knights lead to 10-5.
In the top of the sixth inning, things started going downhill for Central Penn. The bases quickly became loaded due to two hit-by-pitches and a walk, allowing Dalton Hughes to step up and hit a two-run single to make the score 10-7. The following batter Garrett Lehman hit a three-run home run to left center field which tied the game at 10-10. Penn State Schuylkill was able to bring 10 batters to the plate in this inning, allowing all five runs to be scored with two outs.
In the top of the seventh inning, Penn State Schuylkill was able to pick up right where they left off with another hit by a pitch and walk, which gave Lehman the opportunity to hit a two-run single and give Penn State Schuylkill the 12-10 lead. They tacked on another run before the side was retired, making the score 13-10.
The Knights couldn’t break through in the bottom of the seventh, with Amey picking up the victory in relief with five strikeouts and no earned runs as the Knights fell 13-10.
The Knightly News Player of the Game was Connor Graham, going 2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI.
Connor Graham (above) bats just before his 3-run home run over the left field wall. Photo by Andrew Day.
The Knightly News livestreamed the game, with Paul Miller, Tyler Coleman, and Brian Christiana on the call. Miller and Coleman called Game 1, while Christiana and Coleman were the first all-student broadcast team in the history of the Knightly News Broadcasts in Game 2. View the video of the games above.
The next game for the Knights will take place in Virginia this weekend with a three-game set against Stratford University. They have nine more games on the road to finish out the season.
Even though the home season for the Knights is now complete, the Knightly News is looking forward to calling all of their home games again next season and beyond.