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Strong Pitching Performance Leads Penn State Baseball To Victory In Home Opener

Patrick Arnold

Penn State baseball (11-3) defeated the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell (2-14) by a score of 3-1 at Medlar field on Friday, March 15. Penn State’s starting pitcher Dante Biasi commanded the strike zone, allowing just three hits and finishing with 13 strikeouts en route to securing the win. The team is now 11-3 on the season, making this year the best start of the season since 1980.

How It Happened

Biasi came out dealing from the start, striking out the side in the top of the first inning, but UMass Lowell came back and put the first numbers up on the scoreboard.

In the top of the second, UMass Lowell led off the inning with a single, and then a fly ball over the head of right fielder Mac Hippenhammer put runners on second and third. Infielder Joey Castellanos came to the plate for the River Hawks and hit a sacrifice fly out to left field to get the job done and put UMass ahead 1-0.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, UMass Lowell starting pitcher Connor Metelski plunked the first two batters and Penn State found themselves in a position to tie things up with runners on first and second with no outs. After a textbook sacrifice bunt to move the runners to second and third, outfielder Kris Kramer hit a sacrifice fly to center field to get the run across and tie the game up at 1-1.

Penn State pulled ahead in the bottom of the seventh when catcher Ryan Sloniger led off with a solo shot over the right-center fence, making the score 2-1 in favor of the Nittany Lions. Another insurance run for the home side in the bottom of the eighth thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Kremer.

Takeaways

  • Dante Biasi can pitch — The starting pitcher came out pumping gas from the left side. His fastball sat at 89-93 MPH. With his off-speed combination of a change-up and curveball, when he hits his spots, he is clearly dominant.
  • Small ball can play big roles — Both teams utilized (or tried to utilize) the bunt more than once today, and both found success while doing it. Both teams seemed a little off with the bats today and Penn State head coach Rob Cooper isn’t shy from calling for a strategic bunt when needed.
  • Not sure how to feel about UMass’s dark grey pants — UMass wore some dark grey pants today, different from the traditional grey baseball pants. They looked cool because they were different, but they were still very dark and looked like sweatpants, too, so it’s hard to form a clear opinion on the pants. We’ll see what they come out sporting on Saturday.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will take on UMass Lowell again Saturday, March 16, for a doubleheader at Medlar Field as they head into the second day of a 4-game weekend series with the non-conference opponent.

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About the Author

Patrick Arnold

Patrick Arnold is a freshman studying broadcast journalism. He's oddly obsessed with comedy, music, and high school recruiting, among other things. He can usually be found watching sports or miscellaneous things on YouTube. Feel free to contact Patrick on Twitter: @parnold10, or via Email: [email protected]

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