Penn State Baseball Returns Home To Defeat Bucknell, 4-2
Penn State (9-18) was happy to be back at Medlar Field on Tuesday after being swept in its previous series in Columbus against Ohio State. This Nittany Lions are 7-2 at home, where they seem to be a completely different team, as seven of the team’s nine wins are in Happy Valley. A game against in-state foe Bucknell (15-15) on Tuesday was the first of a five-game home stand. Penn State got a quality start, good relief, and despite just four hits, it made the best of its opportunities to beat the Bison, 4-2.
How It Happened
Junior lefty Jordan Donmoyer (4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 K, 1 BB) had a nice night on the mound as he got the start for Penn State. Donmoyer was mostly dominant in his outing, besides a shaky second inning where he allowed his only run and two hits of the night. Donmoyer was the key factor in giving the Penn State offense time to get into a rhythm, but ultimately ended the game with a no-decision. Tom Mullin came in for three innings of relief and allowed only one run on three hits while walking two batters. Mullin ended up with the win, his second of the season (2-0). Penn State finished the game with the combined relief of Marko Boricich and Jack Anderson, with the latter receiving his first save of the year.
There wasn’t much offense in this game for the Lions as they only had four hits total, but they made the most of their opportunities as they scored four runs. Freshman catcher Nick Graham led the team with two RBIs, followed by Aaron Novak and Nick Riotto, who each had one. With Penn State down 1-0 in the second inning and Graham on second, Novak tied the game up with an RBI-double to right field. The team did not have another hit until the sixth, where two runs scored on an RBI-double from Riotto down the right field line and a Graham RBI-single to center, giving Penn State a 3-2 lead. Graham tacked on his second RBI in the eighth inning as he grounded out to the pitcher, allowing James Coates to score from third base and giving the Nittany Lions a 4-2 victory.
Though the offense continued to struggle, it’s nice to see that this team knows how to capitalize even if it can only muster four hits. Coach Rob Cooper made a change in the lineup, benching Alex Malinsky in favor of Nick Graham for his tenth start of the season. Graham made the most of his start as he gave Penn State the two RBIs it needed to take down the Bison at home. Cooper should be very pleased with how the freshman played on Tuesday night. He also has to like how his team is playing at home, but expect him to address the team about its road woes sometime before the next road trip.
Penn State stays home this week to face Lafayette on Thursday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. before hosting Michigan for a three-game series this weekend. The series against Michigan begins on Friday, April 10 at 5 p.m.
Photo: Mark Selders/GoPSUsports.com