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Penn State Baseball Wins Just One Game During Three-Game Weekend In Maryland

Penn State baseball (10-4) was unable to keep its hot streak going during its weekend down in Maryland. The Nittany Lions lost the first two games of the weekend to Navy and UMBC, but they salvaged the weekend with a win against Fairleigh Dickinson Sunday afternoon.

Despite throwing an extra inning no-hitter in game one of the series, the Nittany Lions somehow found a way to lose the game it what was a real heartbreaker.

Game One vs. Navy

Penn State lost this one 2-1 in heartbreaking fashion, as the Nittany Lions didn’t allow a single hit in 11 innings. That’s right, the Nittany Lions combined to throw an extra inning no-hitter, but gave up two runs due to errors, walks, and sacrifice fly’s. Navy scored the winning run on a Kris Kremer error in the bottom of the 11th inning.

The Penn State offense was unable to support the dominant pitching performance on Friday. While they were able to muster eight hits, only one run was scored thanks to a Gavin Homer RBI triple. Missed opportunities was the story line for the Nittany Lion offense is this one, as they left 10 runners on base throughout the entirety of the game.

The pitching performance was outstanding, with Bailey Dees starting the game with six no-hit innings while giving up just one run. Despite that, Dees gave up four walks that led to Navy scoring a run on a sacrifice fly. Tyler Shingledecker took over and continued his dominant season with 2.2 shutout innings and five strikeouts. Mason Mellott took the loss, but to no fault of his own. He pitched 1.2 innings and gave up no hits or walks, but errors behind him in the field led to the winning run scoring.

Game Two vs. UMBC

The Nittany Lions followed up Friday’s gut-wrenching loss with another loss Saturday afternoon. It was the complete opposite of Friday’s game as poor pitching led to a 10-5 loss against the UMBC Retrievers.

The Penn State offense was led by third baseman Justin Williams in this one. Williams drove in four runs, which included a three-run home run in the top of the third inning. The last run was driven in by Gavin Homer on a an RBI double. Despite the five runs scored, the Nittany Lions were able to total just six hits on this one.

The pitching staff had their worst performance of the season in this game. Kyle Virbitsky got the start and did not have the success he would of hoped to have. He lasted just 1.2 innings while giving up three hits, two runs, and three walks. Rob Cooper was forced to go to his bullpen early on, and it did not work out. Hutch Gagnon, Logan Evans, and Ralph Gambino combined to pitch the next 5.1 innings and gave up 11 hits and eight runs in what was a nightmare pitching performance. Ryan Partridge was the only pitcher to pitch a scoreless inning, as he pitched the final frame and gave up just one hit.

Game Three vs Fairleigh Dickinson

Penn State salvaged this three-game weekend set with a win in the final game Sunday afternoon. The pitching staff bounced back and the offense did its job en route to a 8-4 win.

Curtis Robison led the way for the Nittany Lions in this one with a RBI and two extra-base hits, a triple and a double. His RBI double in the first inning put Penn State ahead 1-0. Robison and Co. would lead for much of the game until Fairleigh Dickinson tied it up in the top of the eighth inning. Then, in the bottom of the eighth, Penn State showed its resiliency. Justin Williams came off the bench as a pinch hitter and drove an RBI double to right center field to put Penn State ahead 4-3. The Nittany Lions tacked on a few more insurance runs in that bottom of the eighth inning, which included a Gavin Homer two-run double, to bring their run total to eight.

Conor Larkin turned in a great start in the weekend finale. He pitched 6.2 strong innings, while giving up just one earned run and striking out 10 batters. Jared Freilich finished off the game by giving up one earned run in 2.1 innings.

Takeaways

  • ERRORS! The Nittany Lions committed seven errors in the field this weekend, which is far too many for a team that wants to be competitive once conference play starts. Their struggles in the field is one of the main reasons why they lost Friday’s game.
  • Inconsistency has been a huge problem for this Penn State team early on. After last week’s 39-run outburst in their four-game series, Penn State followed it up with a one-run performance in Friday’s game and a six hit performance on Saturday. Sunday was the only game where the Nittany Lions had a strong offensive performance.
  • Bailey Dees has established himself as the undoubted ace of Rob Cooper’s pitching staff. Dees has a 1.14 ERA and 0.78 WHIP, to go along with 22 strikeouts in four starts on the season. Opponents are hitting just .117 against him thus far on the season.

What’s Next

Penn State opens up a three-game series against Miami (OH) at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 12 in Oxford, Ohio.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a senior majoring in journalism and is suddenly Onward State's managing editor. He grew up in Lindenhurst, New York, and has had the absolute misfortune of rooting for the Jets, Mets, and Knicks. If you want to see his bad sports takes, follow him on Twitter @gabeangieri and direct all hate mail and death threats to [email protected]

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