Penn State Baseball Takes One of Three In Weekend Series With Rutgers
Penn State baseball has been on fire lately, but it’s been a different story on the road. After losing to Kent State away from home on Wednesday, the Nittany Lions traveled to New Brunswick to take on Big Ten rival Rutgers for a three-game weekend series.
Penn State lost the first two, but picked up the final game to put the Nittany Lions up to 24-17 on the season.
How It Happened
The offense was dormant in game one as it only could muster five hits in the contest. The limited amount of hits represented how dominant Rutgers pitcher Howie Brey was on Friday as he went for the complete game shutout, keeping the Lions in check from the plate.
Penn State pitcher Taylor Lehman didn’t have as great of an outing, going six innings allowing three runs on nine hits. It wasn’t a bad start, but it hurt not having any run support back Lehman up. Rutgers scored five unanswered runs and took the first game of the series with ease at 5-0.
Game two featured an improvement offensively for Penn State, but the end result remained the same. Sal Biasi had a tough first inning on the mound, giving up three runs to put Rutgers up 3-0 early. Biasi settled down, however, and didn’t allow another run for the remaining 3.2 innings he pitched.
Dakota Forsyth came in for relief and gave up two runs, ultimately resulting in a loss for him. After Forsyth, Jack Anderson came out to close out the game without allowing another run.
The Lions had an offensive surge in the seventh inning with four runs scored. A hit by pitch and a throwing error accompanied by some nice hits by Jordan Bowersox and Tyler Kendall knocked in four runs to tie the game after its half of the inning 4-4.
Rutgers immediately answered back with two runs in the bottom of the seventh and Penn State couldn’t answer back as the Scarlet Knights clinched the series after game two’s 6-4 victory.
The Nittany Lions always seem to find a way to win when Justin Hagenman is on the mound. Even though the Silent Assassin went 6 innings allowing five runs (four earned) on seven hits, Penn State was able to keep the freshman in the win column with seven runs to take the final game 7-5.
Hagenman had a tough start to the game, much like Biasi in game two, giving up four runs in the opening inning. Luckily for him, the offense answered back quickly. Penn State scored all seven runs in the second, third, and fourth innings without an answer from the Scarlet Knights. Jim Haley and Ryan Sloniger had big days at the plate being the only two hitters to have a multi-hit game on Sunday.
Rutgers scored one more in the fifth, but got stuffed by Hagenman and the relief of Nick Distasio and Jack Anderson. Anderson walked the first two batters of the ninth inning to make the game interesting, but ended up getting all three outs in the ninth by way of a strikeout. Anderson tied the Penn State record in career saves with his tenth coming on Sunday. Hagenman is now 6-1 on the season.
Player Of The Series
Jack Anderson | Senior | Pitcher
Anderson was efficient in the innings he saw over the weekend in New Brunswick. Even if he made things scary for Penn State in the ninth on Sunday, Anderson still did his part by coming into the first and third games of the series and putting on a stellar show. Anderson’s five strikeouts on Sunday really show how effective he is as the Nittany Lions’ closer and how crucial he is for his team’s success.
Penn State is coming home on Wednesday, April 27 for a rematch with Kent State at 6:30 p.m. before facing Maryland this weekend.