Penn State (12-20) finally turned things around with runners in scoring position Wednesday night at Medlar Field. Conlin Hughes’ three-RBI triple sparked a four-run fifth inning that effectively sealed the 5-3 win over Bucknell.
How It Happened
In his first career start, former walk-on Jake Pilewicz (1-1) worked his way out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the first, emerging unscathed despite tossing 22 pitches. The junior out of Sewickley, Pa., would go on to complete five innings of work while giving up only two earned runs. Bucknell’s Chuckie Scales belted a standup triple just over the outstretched glove of right fielder Jordan Bowersox, but again, the Bison were kept off the scoreboard in the top of the second. They would use seven pitchers in total, but reliever Tommy Gambon (1-1) was slapped with the loss.
Penn State and Bucknell battled back and forth through the first four innings, with neither team surrendering a run. Luke Johnson doubled in a pair of Bison to give them a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth, but the Nittany Lions would strike right back with a four-run inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, sophomore Conlin Hughes delivered a triple before Christian Helsel tacked on an RBI single to make it 4-2 Penn State.
Freshman Cole Bartels walked the bases loaded two outs into relief appearance, prompting Rob Cooper to tab Taylor Lehman, who got the job done to keep it 4-2. Lehman would finish out the game for the Nittany Lions, giving up just two hits in 3 1/3 innings. Center fielder Austin Riggins knocked in Brett Davis on a two-out single to extend Penn State’s lead to 5-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Johnson’s second double of the evening plated Keifer Rawlings to draw the Bison within two runs, 5-3, but that’s as close as they would get.
Player Of The Game
Conlin Hughes | Sophomore | Shortstop
The Holly Springs, N.C., standout broke the game open for Penn State. He finished 2-of-4 from the plate with a run while adding a game-high five assists in the field.
The Nittany Lions will travel to College Park on Friday for a 6:30 p.m. start against Maryland (21-11).