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Lock Haven baseball battles but falls to Kutztown

LOCK HAVEN, Pa. – On a day filled with offense for both teams, the Lock Haven baseball team fell twice at home to Kutztown University, 9-7 and 12-7, in a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division doubleheader on Saturday afternoon (April 6) at Watkins Field.

The Bald Eagles fall to 6-22 overall and 3-13 PSAC East. Kutztown improves to 11-19, 5-9 and in the PSAC East.

The Bald Eagles were strong at the plate all afternoon and outhit Kutztown, 25-22, but the Golden Bears used multiple big innings to steal both games on the road.

Game 1 Recap: Kutztown 9, Lock Haven 7

In game one, the Bald Eagles outhit the Golden Bears, 13-12, and made a late push at a comeback, but Kutztown held on for a 9-7 victory.

After KU started the scoring with a run in the first, the Bald Eagles rallied for three runs in their half to take a 3-1 lead.

Stephen McMillan (Warrington, Pa./Central Bucks) and Zachary McEllroy (Emmaus, Pa./Emmaus) picked up RBIs during the inning.

Kutztown flipped the script in the top of the second by plating four runs, before Lock Haven responded with two runs of its own to knot the score at 5-5.

Francisco Taveras (Muhlenberg, Pa./Muhlenberg) belted an RBI triple and Lance Baldensperger (Warren, Pa./Warren) recorded a sacrifice fly for the Bald Eagles during the rally.

However, Kutztown stayed hot at the plate with three more runs in the top of the third to pull out in front, 8-5.

KU knocked in an insurance run in the top of the sixth, before Lock Haven trimmed its deficit to 9-7 with two runs in the sixth, but Kutztown shut the door in the seventh to seal the victory.

Four different Bald Eagles recorded multiple hits, led by a team-high three from Greg Cristino (Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial), who doubled and scored twice. Joseph DeSiena (Jacksonville, Fla./Atlantic Coast) also doubled twice and picked up two RBIs, while White doubled and scored a run. Taveras added a single to pair with his RBI triple.

Dylan McKenna (Islip, N.Y./Islip) was effective out of the bullpen for Lock Haven, tossing four innings and limiting KU to one run.

Game 2 Recap: Kutztown 12, Lock Haven 7

Lock Haven carried its hot sticks into the nightcap and scored four runs over the opening two innings to take an early 4-0 lead.

Jaxson Pupo (Lewistown, Pa./Mifflin County) highlighted the rally with a three-run big fly in the first inning, his second of the year.

After going scoreless through the first two innings, Kutztown rallied for five runs over its next two at-bats to jump out in front, 6-4.

Lock Haven evened the score at 6-6 in the bottom of the fourth thanks to RBIs by Cristino and McEllroy.

However, Kutztown continued its tear offensively and piled on six runs on four hits and one Lock Haven error in the top of the fifth to pull away with a 12-6 lead.

Lock Haven scored its final run in the bottom of the fifth when Traveras singled to right field to plate Dante Bruno (Telford, Pa/Souderton Area).

The Bald Eagle offense was powered by Pupo (3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) and Taveras (3-for-4, 2 runs, RBI) who combined for six hits and four RBIs. Baldensperger, McEllroy and Bruno all added a pair of hits. Bruno scored twice and Baldensperger and McEllroy each drove in a run.

Up Next for Lock Haven:

The Bald Eagles travel to Kutztown on Sunday (April 7) for a 1 p.m. PSAC East doubleheader to conclude the four-game series.

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