Baseball Takes One Of Three In Weekend Series With Michigan State
Riding an eight-game winning streak, Penn State baseball played host to Big Ten-leader Michigan State for a three-game series at Medlar Field. The Nittany Lions’ winning streak was snapped when Michigan State took the first two games, but Penn State ended the weekend with a walk-off win over the Spartans to put its season record at 18-14.
How It Happened
Taylor Lehman saw the mound in game one and had his typical start, as his day ended early with three innings pitched while allowing four runs on 10 hits and no strikeouts. Michigan State took the lead early, so Lehman didn’t have much run support to work with, but the Spartans were able to score seven runs against Lehman and the Nittany Lions’ staff.
The offense wasn’t there for Penn State on Friday night as Penn State could only muster six hits to Michigan State’s 15 and didn’t score any runs. Nick Riotto had the best day at the plate going 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to seven games. Penn State went down in shutout fashion 7-0 in game one.
Game two saw a bit more offense from Penn State, but still ended with the same result as Penn State fell 5-2. Sal Biasi got the start and had a relatively nice day on the mound pitching five innings and only allowed one hit with three runs, and struck out six.
In this game, Penn State actually ended with more hits — nine to Michigan State’s six, however, the Spartans capitalized on their opportunities. The two runs came courtesy of Jim Haley and Connor Klemann, but no one else could get anything going. Nick Riotto added another hit and extended his hitting streak to eight games on the loss.
The final game of the series was an entertaining one which played out in back-and-forth fashion, but Penn State had the edge and defeated Michigan State 7-6. Justin Hagenman was the starter on the hill and pitched very well up until the sixth inning. Hagenman allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits and struck out four in six innings of work.
In the sixth, Hagenman gave up three runs and allowed Michigan State to tie the game up at 4-4. An opening walk followed by a two-RBI double gave Michigan State two of the three runs in the inning, and a wild pitch by Hagenman scored the last run of the sixth to tie the game. Hagenman was done after that and Jack Anderson came in for relief, giving three innings of work and allowed two runs (one earned) and earned his third win of the season.
The Nittany Lions’ offense battled in the second game of the Sunday double-header by getting seven runs on 11 hits. After falling 6-5 after the eighth inning, Penn State needed a walk-off to take the victory over Michigan State. The Nittany Lions had a man on first with two outs and still down by one. Penn State immediately tied the game with an RBI single into right field by Tyler Kendall.
The winning run came when Jordan Bowersox reached first on base thanks to a throwing error from second and that scored Haley from third and Penn State took the third game in walk-off fashion. Nick Riotto extended his hitting streak to nine games after going 3-for-4 with three runs and two RBIs.
Player Of The Series
Nick Riotto | Senior | Outfielder
Nick Riotto had a great weekend at Medlar Field despite only winning one of the three games against Michigan State. Riotto got a hit in every game of the series to keep his hitting streak alive and was a large factor in the win in the third game with his three runs scored and two RBIs.
Penn State is home for one game on Wednesday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. for a meeting against Bucknell before heading on the road to Evanston to play Northwestern in a three-game series this weekend.