Baseball Sweeps Purdue In Weekend Series, Wins Sixth Consecutive Game
After taking one of three games against Illinois in the Big Ten opener last weekend, Penn State came home to win its next two at home before taking on Purdue in its Big Ten home opener. Purdue made it tough in two of the three, but the Nittany Lions prevailed in all three series games this weekend.
How It Happened
On the mound was sophomore Taylor Lehman, who’s had his share of troubles in a disappointing start to his season. However, Lehman was lights out on Friday night as he pitched 6.1 innings and gave up one run on seven hits with four strikeouts. The stagnant offense knotted it up at 1-1 after the fourth, and the hits began to dissipate from then on.
The tie was broken in the eighth inning when Tyler Kendall brought two runners home thanks to a deep triple into left center. Penn State took the lead 3-1 and never looked back, taking the series opener against the Boilermakers. Jack Anderson received his first win of the season after making his 84th career appearance for the program.
Game two of the series was a much different story in terms of offensive impact as Penn State scored seven runs on 12 hits en route to a 7-2 victory. Sal Biasi saw the mound to start and made the most of his fifth start of the season, pitching 7.2 innings with two runs earned on six hits seven strikeouts. Biasi earned his third win as the Penn State offense got going early.
The Nittany Lions took a 5-0 lead after the third inning thanks to a run in the first and four runs in the third. A no-out RBI single by Greg Guers, a 2-RBI double by James Coates, and an RBI single to the left by Christian Helsel all produced a monster third inning. Two more runs were scored by Penn State as insurance, and the second game was shortly in the books.
The final game of the series at Medlar Field took 12 innings to decide a winner. Freshman phenom Justin Hagenman got the start on the mound and struggled by his standards, going 5.2 innings while allowing 4 runs on eight hits with no strikeouts. Jack Anderson came in during the eighth inning to tie the program record with 85 career appearances, and he helped keep it close by pitching 4.2 innings and earning his second consecutive victory.
Penn State was productive on Saturday as game two of the Saturday double-header saw plenty of offense by the Blue and White. It was back and forth all game as Purdue took the early 2-0 lead, followed by four unanswered runs by Penn State to make it 4-2 in the bottom of the fourth. Purdue was able to tie it up at 4-4 in the eighth which sent the game into extras.
It took until the 12th inning for the teams to get a run across, but Purdue stuck first in extras with two runs in the top of the inning to go up 6-4. Penn State didn’t back down, however, as the bottom of the 12th saw three runs by Penn State. Jordan Bowersox drove the first run home with an RBI single up the middle. Two batters later, catcher Alex Malinksy had the walk-off 2-RBI double into left center field in his first at-bat of the day to win 7-6 and help Penn State sweep Purdue in the weekend series. Penn State has now won six straight games and eight straight home games, and sits at 15-12 on the season.
Player Of The Series
Jack Anderson | Senior | Pitcher
Penn State’s submarine closer had a great weekend in Happy Valley against Purdue. Anderson saw two appearances with six combined innings of work and struck out four batters while only giving up two unearned runs in the final game of the series.
Along with Anderson’s first two wins of the season, the two appearances put Anderson tied for the most career appearances in program history with 85.
Penn State is home on Tuesday against Pitt at 6:30 p.m. before heading on the road to Easton, PA for one game to take on Lafayette at 3 p.m. on Wednesday.