Penn State Baseball Falls To West Virginia 3-2 In Extra Innings
Penn State (7-19) met the West Virginia University Mountaineers (14-15) in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ PNC Park on Tuesday night, where the Nittany Lions tried to get any kind of momentum they could behind their season that’s been plagued with delays and losses.
The night ended in a narrowly decided defensive stalemate with its Big 12 opponent. Despite some free baseball, Penn State couldn’t come out victorious, falling 3-2.
How It Happened
The Mountaineers struck first, scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning after a walk enabled West Virginia’s Braden Zarbnisky to get on base and eventually round the bases. Penn State’s starting pitcher Eric Mock threw another walk later in the inning, but struck out WVU’s designated hitter Chase Illig to end the first.
The game remained 2-0 in WVU’s favor until Jordan Bowersox homered in the bottom of the third to make the game 2-1. Due to strikeouts by Parker Hendershot, Logan Goodnight, and a fly out by Ryan Sloniger, the Mountaineers got to the plate again to hit. WVU’s Darius Hill singled to center field. Afterwards, Eric Mock struck out WVU’s next batter and a groundball to shortstop Logan Goodnight turned the next hit into a double play, ending the third inning.
Penn State went three-up and three-down in the top of the fourth inning. Heading into the bottom of the inning, Marko Borocich replaced Eric Mock on the mound. Borocich entered the game and struck out two batters, walked one, and finished the inning by striking out another WVU batter and keeping the game at 2-1.
Neither team scored again until the ninth, when Connor Klemann walked to first and advanced to second on Curtis Robison’s at-bat. Austin Riggins took Klemann’s spot on second base and Sam Kessler came into the game to pitch for the Mountaineers. Braxton Giavedoni stood up to bat for the Lions and drove Riggins home to tie the game and keep his team’s hopes alive.
Beginning the bottom of the tenth, WVU’s Darius Hill singled up the middle and made it to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Doanes. Kyle Gray walked to first and got closer to loading the bases.
Misery befell the Lions in the bottom of the tenth inning, when WVU’s Chase Illig- the same Chase Illig starting pitcher Eric Mock struck out to end the first inning- hit to left center field and pushed Darius Hill home to end the game.
Player of the Game
Eric Mock | Redshirt freshman | Pitcher
Penn State pitcher Eric Mock pitched three innings and tallied five strikeouts. Despite giving up the two runs, Mock pitched well and may have been able to do more if he’d been left in.
The Nittany Lions face the Ohio State Buckeyes on Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. The matchup will be held at Medlar Field and is the first time the in-conference rivals have faced each other this season.
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