Hazleton Area’s perfect baseball season came to an abrupt ending in the first round of the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class 6A state tournament.
The Cougars managed 8 hits, but a team that came in averaging 10 runs per game, was held to a single run, none in the last four innings.
Mike Lennon worked through trouble throughout while pitching North Penn from Lansdale to a 3-1 victory at the Mountain Post American Legion Field.
Hazleton Area won the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 and District 2-4 Class 6A Subregional titles to come into the state tournament with a 22-0 record.
North Penn took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third, Hazleton Area answered with a run in the bottom of the inning and Lennon frustrated the Cougars the rest of the way.
The Knights restored their two-run lead in the top of the fourth and there was no further scoring.
Michael Kilker allowed just a fourth-inning unearned run in four innings of relief. He struck out six.
Starter Nick Biasi also struck out six, but North Penn got two runs off him in three innings.
Hazleton Area had runners in scoring position in each of the last three innings, including second and third with none out in the fifth, but could not capitalize.
Grant Russo had three hits and Bryce Molinaro two for Hazleton Area. They each had a double for the game’s only extra-base hits.
Jeff Antolick’s RBI single drove in the only run for the Cougars.
North Penn will play Neshaminy in an all-District 1 quarterfinal Thursday.