Baseball poised for 2017 season

By Jayson Moyer
March 2, 2017

The Lock Haven University baseball team hit nine home-runs this past weekend as they split their four game set with Chowan in N.C.

Nine long balls in a four game series is something that you rarely see, and is something the Bald Eagles will be looking to continue throughout the season.

“We were very happy, obviously, with our offense,” said Lock Haven head coach Jim Chester.  “We hit nine home-runs in four games.  That’s pretty uncharacteristic for a weekend series.”

Lock Haven took games one and three, winning 6-3 and 10-9, respectively.  Chowan took games two and four, winning 11-5 and 14-8.

Along with the nine bombs, Lock Haven also had 17 extra-base hits, which is a ton.

Redshirt-sophomore Nick Stotler and senior Matt Lahn each homered twice over the weekend, while Kolby Dehaas, Hunter Szaflarski, Max Joseph, Cayden Stover, and Evan McFarland each went deep once.

Stotler, Dehaas, and Lahn each went 5-11 over the weekend, and Stover doubled twice.

On the mound, senior ace Jacob Belinda (pictured right) hurled six solid innings in game one, allowing three runs and striking out six.

“Jake is definitely a tremendous talent and he threw outstanding on Friday,” said Chester of Belinda’s performance in Lock Haven’s 6-3 victory in game one.

Chester noted that he is not as concerned about the pitching following the weekend.  The Bald Eagles gave up at least nine runs in three of the four games this past weekend, but a lot of that could be contributed to some early-season defensive mishaps, according to Chester.

“As we play more games, we’ll get more cleaned up.”

Zach Manuppelli gave up three earned runs in five innings, picking up the win in his first start of the year in game three.  He struck out four and only walked one.

The Bald Eagles will travel to Beckley, W.V. for a three game set this weekend against Fairmont State, including a doubleheader on Sun., March 5.

PSAC play will not start for another few weeks, as they will host Mansfield on Fri., March 24, which will mark their home opener for the 2017 season at Foundation Field.

If the offensive continues to produce and the pitching meets expectations, it could lead to a solid season for the Bald Eagles.

“I think we are on pace to hit 250 or so home-runs,” Chester remarked with a laugh.

“You never know until you start playing.  I think we have some long ball capability this year.

“And I am excited to see that happen.”

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