Penn State Baseball Drops All Three In Home Series Against Ohio State
by James Turchick, Anthony Fiset, and Hayden Christ
Penn State (7-22) played host to its Big Ten rival Ohio State (24-10) over the weekend in a three game series that showcased potential, but highlighted where the Nittany Lions still have room to grow. The Buckeyes left State College with all three wins in a weekend marked with fireworks and the best weather Medlar Field’s seen all season.
How it Happened
Justin Hagenman took the mound for the Nittany Lions in game one of the series, facing off against Ohio State junior southpaw Connor Curlis. In a game lacking offense from both teams, Hagenman was dominant. The junior struck out four Buckeyes in his first four innings of work, only allowing four runners on two hits, a walk, and an error. An errant throw on a pick off to first base in the fifth inning allowed a runner to score from second for Ohio State, costing Hagenman his shutout.
Hagenman finished his 6.1 innings of work with seven strikeouts, allowing four hits. Marko Boricich and Mason Mellott combined for three shutout innings for the Nittany Lions out of the bullpen. Unfortunately, Penn State’s offense couldn’t capitalize on the strong pitching performance. Despite tallying six hits in the game, the Nittany Lions failed to get a run on the board. Penn State fell to Ohio State 1-0 in Friday’s low-scoring affair.
The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader went scoreless until the third inning when Ohio State’s Jacob Barnwall crossed home plate after a Penn State error.
The fourth inning proved to hurt the Nittany Lions beyond repair. Penn State’s Taylor Lehman struck out the Buckeye’s Tyler Cowles, but designated hitter Brady Cherry homered to left field at the next at bat. After Cherry, centerfielder Dillon Dingler homered to the same spot, giving Ohio State a 3-0 lead. Barnwall got up to hit for the Buckeyes again, this time singling to first. Ohio State shortstop Noah West knocked Barnwall in on an RBI-double. West then scored on another Penn State error.
Neither side scored between the fourth and eighth inning until Penn State’s Ryan Sloniger led off with a triple to center field. Braxton Giavedoni batted Sloniger in, giving Penn State its first score of the game. The game remained 5-1 heading into the third matchup of the weekend between the Big Ten rivals.
The Nittany Lions did not fare well against the Buckeyes in the last game of the weekend series. Both offenses boomed, but Ohio State managed to gain the lead and extend it.
The Buckeyes started off strong in the top of the first, putting up four runs on four hits. Penn State answered back with three runs of its own in the bottom of the second, with a Parker Hendershot single followed by a single from Logan Goodnight. Shea Sbranti knocked them both in with a homer for the Nittany Lions.
Ohio State’s offense wasn’t done yet, as the Buckeyes added four more runs to take a commanding lead at 8-3. Penn State got two runs back in the bottom of the third, with Connor Klemann and Curtis Robison scoring. The Buckeye’s offense kept rolling, scoring three runs on two hits to start the fourth inning. The bottom of the fourth didn’t go the same way for the Nittany Lions, as they scored no runs.
Other than Ohio State adding another run to its lead in the fifth, the next two innings were scoreless for both squads. The Buckeyes gave themselves an even larger cushion with Jacob Barnwell and Noah West scoring, making it 14-5 in favor of Ohio State with Derek Orndorff leading off for Penn State. After Orndorff struck out, Klemann and Giavedoni did the same.
Over the last two innings of the game, Ohio State added five more runs to the board. Penn State tried to get some back, with Hendershot scoring on another sluggish inning from the offense. The two runs the Nittany Lions got back in the bottom of the ninth came from an Orndorff walk followed by a Kremer triple, bringing Orndorff home. Kremer later scored on a groundout RBI by Nadeau.
Player of the Series
Parker Hendershot | Freshman | Designated Hitter
Hendershot played well in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He went 3-for-4, with two RBIs and two runs scored. Those three hits are a career high and the freshman made a good case to be in the regular lineup.
The Nittany Lions host Mount St. Mary’s at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Medlar Field.