FORT PIERCE, Fl. – The Penn State Behrend baseball team opened their spring training trip Sunday, falling to Elizabethtown 5-3.
The Lions (0-3) ninth inning rally wasn't enough to overcome the Blue Jays (1-1) eighth inning charge of their own.
After a scoreless five a half innings, Elizabethtown was able to get on the board first in the sixth. After reaching base on a walk and stealing second base to get into scoring position, senior shortstop Nick Lorenz was able to reach home from an error.
It wasn't until the bottom of the eighth where Elizabethtown broke things open. A couple Lion errors caused the Blue Jays to score four runs in the inning to go up 5-0 with only one inning remaining.
Behrend threatened in the top half of the ninth after Ryan Weaver (North Huntingdon, PA/ North Huntingdon) and Mason McGuire's (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair) back-to-back singles put runners on corners without an out. An infield groundout was able to advance McGuire to second base, and in scoring position.
Just as the Lions were looking to get on the scoreboard, a Blue Jay passed ball advanced both runners, sending Weaver home and McGuire to third.
With the score 5-1, bases loaded with two outs, pinch-hitter Joshua Wagner (South Park, PA/South Park) stepped up to the plate and connected on a single to score McGuire, recording his first career RBI. On the next at bat, Zach Murray (Pittsburgh, PA/Baldwin) walked up to the plate and roped a single to score Scott Sada (Saegertown, PA/Saegertown), who reached base from a walk, bringing the game to 5-3.
However, the Lions rally was cut short when Elizabethtown's shortstop caught a line-drive to end the game.
Jack Herzing (St. Mary's, PA/Elk County Catholic) got the start for the Lions, throwing five innings, while only giving up three hits and striking out five. Brandon Smail (Apollo, PA/Kiski Area) tossed one and one-third innings, and Ben Ramey (Export, PA/Franklin Regional) came in for one and two-thirds innings.
The Lions are back in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. against Lebanon Valley.