Big turnaround vaults Altoona over Trojans in baseball

SCOTLAND — With one swing of the bat, everything changed.

Through four innings of a Mid Penn Commonwealth baseball game at Greene Township Park on Friday afternoon, Chambersburg held a 2-0 lead over Altoona and pitcher Wyatt Kissel was cruising, allowing only two baserunners, on an error and a walk.

Wyatt Kissel

But the Mountain Lions turned it around very quickly with big innings in the fifth and sixth and handed the Trojans, coming off an exhilarating win over Cumberland Valley on Thursday, an 11-4 beating.

“All the good little things we did yesterday, we did not do today,” Chambersburg coach Scott Folmar said. “We could have piled on to our lead, but we didn’t. A 4-0 lead would have been much different than only 2-0.”

The Trojans (3-6, 1-5 MPC) manufactured a run in the first off Altoona pitcher Connor Blough on a hit by pitch, walk, fielder’s choice and wild pitch. In the third, three straight singles, by Tegan Kuhns, Carter Fogal and Kissel, made it 2-0.

But through five innings, Chambersburg left five runners on base in scoring position, and for the game had 11 runners left on base.

Blough was not throwing hard, but he could spot his curve and kept the Trojans guessing. Late in the game he threw a first-pitch curve to at least seven straight batters.

Folmar said, “He threw his breaking ball at any point in the count and threw it for strikes. Plus, we had some bad approaches against him.”

It looked as if it might not matter the way Kissel started. He didn’t have great control of his curve, but he lived on the edges with his fastball. That all changed when Blough led off the fifth with a looping hit to center on which he simply flung his bat out on a good-looking, two-strike curve for the Mountain Lions’ first hit.

But then came solid base hits by Eric Alwine, Sean Bettwy (2 RBIs) and Connor Weyant to end Kissel’s stint. Dru Bowling came in and Altoona got three more runs on a walk, sacrifice bunt and sac fly to take a 4-2 lead.

Folmar said, “They had that one hit to lead off and then they hit four or five hard. Wyatt looked pretty good up to that point, but hen they started barreling a few and we couldn’t stop the bleeding.”

The Mountain Lions made it a rout in the sixth by tacking on six more runs, with the big hit a bases-clearing double by Erik Rhodes, to lead 10-2.

The bottom of the order did a lot of damage for Altoona (2-4, 2-4 MPC). Alwine, Bettwy and Weyant were a combined 6-for-10 with seven runs scored and six runs batted in.

Chambersburg managed to get two runs back in the sixth. After two outs, Bowling singled and Tegan Kuhns walked to end Blough’s day on pitch count. Carter Fogal singled and then Kissel (3-for-4) brought in two runs with a grounder to left field. But for the second straight inning, the Trojans left the bases loaded.

The Trojans have four home games scheduled for next week: Monday vs. Waynesboro, Tuesday vs. Mifflin County, Thursday vs. Red Land and Saturday against Lampeter-Strasburg, and will need to get on a hot streak if the playoffs are to be a possibility.

Altoona 11, Chambersburg 4
Altoona                                          Chambersburg
                             ab  r  h  bi                                             ab  r  h  bi
Moyer 3b            3   1   0   1          Bowling ss                 4   1   1   0
Steinbugl ss      2   1   0   1           Kuhns cf                    2   3   1   0
Muffie rf             2   1   0   1          Fogal 2b                     3   0   2   0
Rhodes cf           4   0   1   3           Kissell p                     4   0   3   3
Hileman lf         4   0   1   0           Zeger lf                       3   0   1   0
Blough p            4   1   1   0           Folmar 3b                  3   0   1   0
Alwine 1b          4   2   2   0           Cunha c                      3   0   0   0
Bettwy c             3   3   2   2           Methner cr                0   0   0   0
Weyant 2b         3   2   2   2           Cabrera 1b                 0   0   0   0
Pattillo dh                  4   0   0   0
Nolan rf                      4   0   1   0
Totals              29  11  9   11        Totals                         30  4  10  4
Altoona                 000   046   1   —   11
Chambersburg    101   002   0   —    4
E — Alt 1; Chbg 3. LOB — Alt 5; Chbg 11. 2B — Rhodes, Weyant. SB — Bettwy. CS — Hileman. SAC — Steinbugl. SF — Muffie. DP — Alt 1.
Altoona Pitching
                                         ip    h    r   er   bb   so
Blough (W)                    5.2   8    2   2     3     4
Moyer                            1.1    2    2   2     1    0
Chambersburg Pitching
Kissel (L,0-2)                 4     4    4    4     1     2
Bowling                        1.2   4    6    1     3     2
Folmar                          1.1   1    1    1     1     1
HBP — Blough, Moyer; Bowling. WP — Blough.

Categories: Baseball, Chambersburg