Penn State Baseball Wins Shootout Against Lafayette
After winning against Pitt for its seventh straight game victory Tuesday night, Penn State baseball returned Wednesday to take on the 9-16 Lafayette Leopards. The 16-12 Nittany Lions followed a wave of momentum into the game that they never lost, ultimately dominating the Leopards in a 20-12 victory.
How It Happened
Eli Nabholz took the mound for Penn State, pitching in front of a season-high six freshmen line up for the Nittany Lions. Penn State secured a lead over the Leopards early as Nick Riotto doubled in the top of the first to bring Jim Haley home for a 1-0 lead. The top of the second brought three runs for Penn State as the Nittany Lions jumped to a dominant 4-0 lead. In the nine-run top of the third, Ryan Sloniger hit a bases-clearing, three-run double to extend the Nittany Lion lead to 8-0. By the middle of the third, Penn State was up 13-0.
Lafayette gained two runs back in the bottom of the third to narrow the gap to 13-2, but the Nittany Lions answered with a three-run shot from Nick Riotto. Nabholz stepped down from the mound in the bottom of the fourth after giving up five runs, including a grand slam. At the end of the fourth, Penn State led 16-8.
The top of the fifth spelled the first scoreless half inning for the Nittany Lions, while the Leopards capitalized with a three-run shot of their own to cut Penn State’s lead to 16-11. The score remained surprisingly steady until the Penn State scored in the top of the eighth. The top of the ninth inning brought another three runs for the Nittany Lions. The Leopards persevered, scoring one run in the bottom of the ninth. Penn State held on to win 20-12, marking the Nittany Lions’ eight straight victory.
Player Of The Game
Nick Riotto | Junior | Right Field
Nick Riotto stayed hot this chilly Pennsylvania afternoon as he doubled in the game’s first run and added a three-run home run later on. Riotto has been a key player throughout the Nittany Lions’ winning streak and provided continual support in this shootout game.
Penn State will return to Medlar Field for a weekend series against Michigan State. The 19-5 Spartans have dominated games all season, but the Nittany Lions hope to carry their momentum through the series to take down the Spartans.