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Penn State Baseball Begins Season on Friday

The Nittany Lion baseball team will begin its season this Friday in St. Petersburg, Florida in the Big Ten/Big East Challenge. Penn State is set to take on Seton Hall at 4 p.m.

Head Coach Robbie Wine and his 2012 Nittany Lion team includes several experienced players who are returning from the 2011 squad, which produced a 32-22 record and a birth in the Big Ten tournament. The Nittany Lion’s offense is led by a trio of seniors including outfielder Sean Deegan, first baseman Joey DeBernardis and third baseman Jordan Steranka.

Deegan finished the 2011 season with an impressive .622 slugging percentage, .333 batting average and 12 home runs. DeBernardis hit .329, had 25 doubles and led the team’s on base percentage with .411. Steranka, who was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 30th round of the 2011 MLB Draft, declined the offer to play professionally in order to stay for his senior season at Penn State. Steranka hit .323 last season with 8 home runs and a team high 57 RBIs.

Junior pitcher Steven Hill was named to the College Sports Madness Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Second Team in January. Hill led the Nittany Lion pitching staff last season with a 6-5 record including four complete games, on top of a conference best 2.57 ERA.

Dave Walkling is expecting to return for his junior season this year after undergoing Tommy John surgery from an elbow injury he sustained last March. Walkling had a tremendous start last season earning a 5-0 record with a 1.71 ERA in his first 6 games.

Spring means baseball, and I can’t wait for either to begin. Penn State will welcome the Pittsburgh Panthers for the home opener at Medlar Field March 21st at 3:35 p.m.

The Nittany Lion’s scheduled can be found here.

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