Penn State Baseball Takes One Of Three Against Maryland In Weekend Series
Penn State baseball is beginning to cool down after its hot start to 2016. After beginning the season 23-15, the Nittany Lions lost four of their last five games heading into the weekend. Penn State needed a rebound performance at home as it played host to Big Ten rival Maryland for a three-game series this weekend, but it didn’t go as planned.
How It Happened
The Terps took the series opener 7-1 after a very cold offensive performance by Penn State. The Nittany Lions only produced one run on four hits thanks to an RBI groundout by Tyler Kendall in the sixth inning. After Kendall’s RBI, Penn State went cold again and could only muster one more hit in the remaining three innings.
Taylor Lehman started on the mound and once again struggled for being the team’s No. 1 starter. Lehman fell into a hole early as he gave up five runs (three earned) in the first four innings. Lehman would be taken out after the fourth, but it didn’t do Penn State any good as Maryland still ended up scoring two more before the final out.
Maryland’s starting pitcher, Mike Shawaryn, pitched a complete game en route to the win and Lehman received his eighth loss of the season.
Penn State’s ice cold hitting was left behind in game one as the Nittany Lions got on the board first with a one-run lead-off home run by Nick Riotto in the first inning. Willie Burger was next in the eighth when he brought home a run on an RBI double into right field to make it 2-0. That lead would last for the rest of the game. The Nittany Lions did much better in game two as they had nine hits compared to their four on Friday.
Sal Biasi started and did well pitching 5.2 innings and only allowed five runs during that span. Biasi’s control was off as only 59 of his 104 pitches were strikes. After Forsyth came in for relief, Jack Anderson was called in to finish the game at the end of the eighth. Anderson’s first two outs came by way of a strikeout and he shut the door on the Terps in the ninth to earn his 11th save of the season.
The Nittany Lions held Maryland and were dominant defensively to lead to the 1-0 win. It was Penn State’s first Big Ten shutout victory since May 17, 2013 at home against Michigan State.
Maryland went into the second game of the Saturday double-header not happy about getting shut out in the previous game. The Terps ended up scoring eight runs to easily take game three and the series on Saturday with an 8-3 win over Penn State.
Justin Hagenman got the start and let up two runs early and wasn’t provided any run support by his team. The Nittany Lions finally scored their first run in the sixth inning, but at that point they were already trailing 4-0. Penn State didn’t have any momentum to stage a comeback and eventually fell in the final game 8-3.
Players Of The Series
Sal Biasi | Sophomore | Pitcher
Dakota Forsyth | Junior | Pitcher
Jack Anderson | Senior | Pitcher
The pitchers of game two deserve the nod for their exceptional performance against Maryland. The three pitchers combined to allow seven hits, five walks, and five strikeouts without allowing a run. It led to Penn State’s first shutout win since 2013 and Jack Anderson set the career saves record and tied the single-season record in the process.
Penn State has its toughest test of the season this weekend as it’ll stay home to play TCU in “The Series” starting on Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.