MARCH 6, 2018
MONARCH BASEBALL FALL TO PENN STATE ABINGTON
AUBURNDALE, FL --- The King's College baseball team fell to Penn State Abington 15-12 at the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale, Florida on Tuesday morning in a high-scoring affair. The teams combined for 27 runs and 36 hits.
The Monarchs drop to 0-4 on the season while the Lions improve to 3-5.
In the first inning, Dan Hartson induced three groundouts to the left side to begin the game on the mound and then hit a leadoff triple down the left field line in the bottom of the inning. After Chris Rebar worked an eight-pitch walk to put runners on the corner Shawn Stone knocked in the game's first run with a single to right center. The Lions would get a double-play to get out of the inning with no more damage.
The Lions loaded the bases to begin the second with back-to-back singles and then a hit-by-pitch. King's was able to get two out on the next play with a 6-4-3 double-play but the runner from third was able to score to tie the game. Harston got another grounder to get out of the inning. Matt Mellinger led off the bottom of the second with a double to right center. Sean McKee gave King's back the lead with a two-out single to left.
Penn State Abington responded in the third with three runs on three hits. After back-to-back singles to start the inning, Hartson forced two ground balls to third. The Monarchs were able to get an out and hold the runner from scoring on the first grounder but on the second ball, Padden threw home in front of the Lion runner who stopped and started to run back towards third. Unfortunately, the relay throw to third sailed into left field and the Lions tied the game and put runners on second and third. The next batter hit a single to right scoring both runs and giving Penn State Abington a 4-2 lead.
King's responded right away in the bottom of the inning when Rebar crushed the first pitch he saw over the right field fence for his first home run of the year and 17th of his career. Stone drew a four-pitch walk followed by Bruce Breithaupt legging out an infield single on a short bouncer down the third base line. Mellinger continued his hot start to his collegiate career with a double down the left field line that scored both runners. Mellinger was awarded third on the play when the Lion shortstop ran into him as he rounded second. Alex Bruneio gave King's a 6-4 lead when he knocked in Mellinger with a groundout to first. Sean Padden continued the rally with an infield single to the pitcher down the third base line and then scored when McKee hit a triple to deep center. Two batters later Christian Pack knocked him in with a single to right to give King's an 8-4 lead after three.
Penn State Abington came right back in the fourth with three unearned runs as they had two hits in the inning and took advantage of two Monarch errors in the field. In the bottom of the inning Alex Bruneio took advantage of a Lion error that put runners on second and third with an RBI single to right. King's scored another run when Mellinger scored on a ball off the bat by Padden was unable to be fielded cleanly by the shortstop. Two batters later Hartson gave the Monarchs an 11-7 lead with a single through the left side to score Bruneio.
After a scoreless fifth the Lions batted around in the sixth and scored six runs on eight hits while forcing two pitching changes to take a 13-11 lead. They would add another run in the seventh on a one-out double, a wild pitch, and a groundout to second. King's cut the deficit back to two in the bottom of the seventh when Pack crushed the first home run of his career to left field with two outs.
In the eighth the Monarchs loaded the bases with two outs when Mellinger reached on a fielding error by the third baseman, Kyle Lupas had a pinch-hit single through the left side on the first pitch he saw, and the Kyle Friebolin recorded a pinch-hit walk. However, the Lions were able to get the last out of the inning on the next batter.
Penn State Abington added another run in the ninth to set the final score.
Dan Hartson and Chris Rebar led the way offensively for King's with three hits, an RBI, and a run scored each. Rebar hit a home run while Hartson had a triple. Christian Pack, Matt Mellinger, and Sean McKee had two hits and two runs batted in each. One of Pack's hits was a homer and Mellinger scored three times. Alex Bruneio knocked in two runs while Bruce Breithaupt scored twice.
Hartson allowed seven runs, of which only three were earned, on seven hits with one strikeout in four innings. Brandon Moffitt pitched an inning and a third and allowed four runs on four hits. Landon La Bar received the loss on the mound allowing two runs on three hits and not recording an out. Matt Hassick and Chris Lupole combined to close out the game with each allowing a run on a combined five hits. Lupole had two strikeouts and walked one in the final two innings.
The Monarchs will have a couple days off to enjoy the Florida sunshine before getting back in action on Friday afternoon with two games against Trine University starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Chain O'Lakes Stadium in Winter Haven.