Baseball Falls To Kent State Despite Guers’ Power Show
Penn State has been very good on its home field this season, winning five out of its first six games at Medlar Field. The Nittany Lions were supposed to have two games this week, but that changed when Happy Valley saw a very unexpected snowfall come into the area on Tuesday, cancelling the scheduled game against Binghamton. So instead, Penn State had to settle for one more game at home before heading to Columbus this weekend.
We saw a couple of firsts in this game: Coach Rob Cooper’s first ejection of the season and Greg Guers’ first (and second) home run of the season. The sophomore Guers drove in five of Penn State’s seven runs, but it wasn’t enough, as it fell to Kent State, 9-7.
How It Happened
Junior lefty Jordan Donmoyer (1.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 BB) started the game for Penn State and did not pitch well. Donmoyer allowed the first four batters to get on base including allowing a lead-off triple and three runs — one unearned — in the first inning. Dakota Forsyth (3.1 IP, 1 H, 3 K’s) came in relief and supported Penn State with solid pitching. Jared Fagnano (0.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB) did not help the cause and ended up with the loss in this game. Tom Mullin (2.0 IP, 2 K’s, 2 BB) then came in to finish out the game and did not allow a hit.
The offense didn’t start the game off well either, as the Nittany Lions had one hit in the first four innings. The first run was scored in the third on a sac fly from second baseman Taylor Skerpon. In the fifth, sophomore right fielder Greg Guers (2-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBIs) provided Penn State with some support with a 3-RBI homer into right field. The Nittany Lions scored one run in the sixth inning thanks to an RBI single by Ryky Smith. Guers’ bat stayed red-hot when he hit a second dinger in the ninth inning that helped Penn State get within two runs. Unfortunately, the Lions hit into a game-ending double play.
Penn State’s biggest weakness in this game, like many of the games it loses, was its starting pitching. It did not get the start it needed out of Donmoyer in this game, and Fagnano’s pitching was what ultimately put the game away for Penn State. The Nittany Lions’ offense was decent in this game, but they were not able to get a hit when they needed to capitalize in the first two innings. Guers was the lone bright spot in this game as he smashed two homers and tallied 5 RBIs. Guers is the second Penn State player this season to hit two home runs in one game, as Aaron Novak hit two in the first win of the season against Charleston Southern.
We continued to see some nice relief pitching in this game from Forsyth and Mullin, which continues to be the biggest factor for Penn State this season. It was a frustrating game for the most part, as Coach Rob Cooper was ejected in the middle of the game and the team had to play without its manager in the dugout. Penn State will look to be more consistent with the bats and have a better outing from its starter in its upcoming three-game series against Ohio State.
Penn State heads to Columbus this weekend to play a three-game series against Ohio State with the first game set for Friday, April 3 at 6:35 p.m. before coming home to play Bucknell on April 7 and Lafayette on April 8. Both games will be at 6:30 p.m.