Penn State Downs West Virginia In 5-4 Showdown, Earns Third Consecutive Win
Penn State opened the season above .500 at home and wanted to stay that way after a one-game matchup against the West Virginia Mountaineers. The Nittany Lions kept the game close, but they held off a very solid Mountaineers squad for a Tuesday night win 5-4. Penn State is now 8-10 while West Virginia falls to 10-8 on the season.
How It Happened
Penn State appeared to be in an offensive battle all night with West Virginia as every run scored was answered by the Mountaineers. Penn State struck first and scored two runs thanks to a 2-RBI infield single by Conlin Hughes after an awry throw to the first baseman. The Mountaineers then took the lead after a 3-run third inning featured a 2-run home run by West Virginia’s Jackson Cramer.
The Nittany Lions answered back in the fourth with an RBI-double by Nick Graham down the left-field line. Then, Graham scored on a wild pitch later in the inning. West Virginia scored a run of its own to tie it up once again at four. However, Penn State got the last laugh when Greg Guers came in to pinch hit and had a sacrifice fly all the way down the right-field line to score Jim Haley.
Penn State used three pitchers to take the win over West Virginia, with Nick Hedge getting the start. Hedge lasted 4.2 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits while striking out two. Dakota Forsyth finished the final 4.1 innings only allowing a hit each and earning the win, while Anderson got his fifth save of the season.
Players Of The Game
Jim Haley | Junior | Third Baseman
The veteran infielder is continuing to have a stellar junior season. Coming into the game with one of the highest averages on the team batting .333, Haley continued his hot hitting as he went 2-for-4 and the game-winning run in the eighth. That run was set up by his triple to get him into scoring position, and ultimately helped the Lions take the battle over a good team.
Nick Graham | Sophomore | Catcher
I had to pick two players because the win wouldn’t have been possible without Haley or Nick Graham. Graham was instrumental in helping Penn State regain the lead after falling 3-2 with his RBI double and run in the fourth. Graham also went 2-for-4 in the game and gave head coach Rob Cooper a strong case to get him some more at-bats.
Penn State is home for one game against Rhode Island on Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. before heading to Champaign to take on Illinois for the first Big Ten series of the season this weekend.