Penn State Baseball Outlasts Pitt In Extra Innings, 6-1
After smacking Charleston Southern 18-6 last Saturday, Penn State went into a bit of a slump. After facing No. 6 South Carolina, Western Carolina, and Liberty, the Nittany Lions were heading into their game against Pittsburgh with a record of 1-13. Penn State (2-13) was looking to get back on track before its home opener against Canisius on Wednesday with a win, and the Nittany Lions did just that, using extra innings to get the job done as they beat Pittsburgh 6-1.
How It Happened
This game was very slow throughout, thanks to great starting pitching from both sides. LHP Jordan Donmoyer (5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB) got the start for the Nittany Lions and put up a great performance. While Donmoyer did not strike anyone out, he placed his pitches well enough for the defense to make the easy outs. The only run that was scored against him was thanks to an error in the second inning by SS Jim Haley. There was also a great relief effort by Penn State in this game as relievers Dakota Forsyth, Jack Anderson, and Jared Fagnano combined for 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 Ks, and 2 BB.
Penn State really dominated Pitt in the hitting game as the Nittany Lions had 13 hits against the Panthers’s six. First baseman J.J. White (3-5, 2 H, 1 R, 2 RBIs) and centerfielder Ryan Richter (3-6, 1 RBI) led the Nittany Lions offense with three hits each. Left fielder Greg Guers provided two RBIs and right fielder Aaron Novak knocked in an another run. Second baseman Taylor Skerpon scored two of Penn State’s six in this game as the lead-off hitter.
Penn State and Pitt were neck-and-neck going into extras and the Panthers were able to give Penn State a scare in the 11th. With two outs in the, Pitt had the bases loaded with DH Alex Kowalczyk at the plate. It looked as if Kowalcyzk was going to provide Pitt with their second walk-off win of the season, but Anderson struck him out to strand the runners. In the next half-inning, with one out, catcher Nick Graham was able to reach base on a wild pitch after striking out and started a rally for Penn State. The team was able to score five runs in the 12th inning and finished the frame with a 1-2-3 inning as Anderson earned his first win of the season and the second for Penn State on the year.
Penn State was not able to do much offensively at the beginning of the game, but it sure knew how to stick around, especially against a Pitt team that had just walked off against No. 11 North Carolina in its previous game. The Nittany Lions pitching staff was on point, only allowing six hits in 12 innings. Even though they were not stellar with strikeouts, the pitchers still did a good job of keeping Pitt off of the base paths. On offense, the first four players in the lineup — Skerpon, Guers, Novak, White — were very successful in this game as they combined to go 8-for-20 with five runs and five RBIs in this game. Coach Rob Cooper may look into keeping the same lineup for the home opener tomorrow night.
The Nittany Lions will be coming home to play against Canisus on Wednesday night at 6 p.m. before facing Indiana for a three-game series this weekend. Penn State will stay in State College for a 10-game home-stand, ending the stretch on April 1.