Penn State Baseball Uses Early Scoring To Defeat West Virginia, 5-3
Penn State (11-20) has not been a good road team this season, sitting at 3-16 away from Medlar Field. After dropping two of its final three games at home against Michigan this weekend, maybe Rob Cooper and his squad were looking forward to going away for a little while. The Nittany Lions traveled to Morgantown Tuesday to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers (21-13) for one game. Penn State seemed to forget about its road record, beating West Virginia, 5-3.
How It Happened
Sophomore righty Dakota Forsyth (4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 2 BB) started for the Nittany Lions and pitched a good four innings. Forsyth would not receive the win in this game, however, as the next pitcher in the game — Marko Boricich — allowed the game-tying run in the sixth, pitching 1.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits. Jack Anderson came into the game to finish it up as he pitched a solid 3.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two batters and walking one. Anderson notched his second save of the year.
The Lions did something they usually don’t do — score early. Penn State scored two runs in the first, one in the second, and two in the fifth to take the 5-3 victory. The offense was led by left fielder James Coates (3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI) and DH Greg Guers (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI). Jim Haley also got an RBI, as Penn State ended the game with three RBIs with two runs scored off errors.
The first inning was a good way to give the pitcher run support early, as the Nittany Lions scored two runs in the first off of a Jim Haley bunt that brought in Coates, and another run off an error by West Virginia. Penn State scored another run in the second thanks to a Coates RBI single to right field to bring home Tyler Kendall. In the fifth, Penn State scored its last two runs from a Guers RBI single to center and an error. A run scored as Guers was caught in a rundown which allowed Coates — who was at third — to score. Aaron Novak did not have a hit in this game, snapping his 11-game hitting streak.
Penn State finally scored early in the game, which was a big reason for its taking a win on the road against a good baseball team. Coach Cooper must have been happy to see that, as it provided his pitcher with run support, and it gave his team momentum to score more later on. Besides the errors, there were no negatives from this game to take away, and the team looked good on the road. Penn State will look to keep its winning ways as it returns home Wednesday.
Penn State will return home today to face Bucknell at 6:30 p.m. before going to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers for a three-game series this weekend. The first game against Minnesota will be Friday, April 17, at 7 p.m..