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Penn State Baseball Beats Rutgers 4-3 For Third Consecutive Win

Penn State baseball (15-20) beat Rutgers (17-19) 4-3 Saturday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The Nittany Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and held the lead all the way until the eighth inning when the Scarlet Knights tied it up 3-3. However, Rob Cooper’s squad showed some late-game resiliency by immediately retaking the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning that would hold for the rest of the game.

The win gives Penn State its third straight win as it inches closer to .500 with nine games left in the season.

How It Happened

Conor Larkin got the start for Penn State today and pitched a scoreless opening frame to bring the Nittany Lions’ offense to the plate. Rutgers starter Ben Wereski got himself into immediate trouble when he hit second baseman Gavin Homer to lead off the inning.

Later in the inning, Homer stole second base and then scored thanks to a Justin Williams RBI single.

After a Johnny Piacentino double, Josh Spiegel tripled home two runs to put the Nittany Lions ahead 3-0 early on in the game.

Following the three-spot put up Penn State in the first inning, the game turned into a good ol’ fashion pitchers duel, with the game remaining scoreless through the middle innings.

In what may have been one of the defining moments of the game, Larkin escaped a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth to keep Penn State up 3-0 heading to the bottom of the inning.

Larkin came back out for the seventh inning and was able to get two outs, but he was replaced by Ryan Partridge after getting into some trouble. Partridge allowed a single and was quickly pulled in favor of Logan Evans, who was able to limit the damage by letting just one run score and stranding the bases loaded.

The Nittany Lions threatened in the bottom of the seventh, but they would be kept off the board and the game would head to the top of the eighth.

It went downhill for Penn State in the eighth, as first baseman Mike Nyisztor smacked a two-run single to left field to tie the game up at three. Tyler Shingledecker came on in relief of Logan Evans, and he got out of the inning without further damage thanks to a caught stealing and a strikeout.

The Nittany Lions bounced right back in the bottom half of the inning, though. Cole Bartels and Matt Wood started the inning with singles, and Piacentino was later walked to load the bases. With two outs, Rutgers reliever Nate McLain walked Curtis Robison to force home a run and put Penn State ahead 4-3 going into the ninth inning.

Shingledecker shut the door in the ninth, and Penn State took game two of the series 4-3 for its third straight win.

Takeaways

  • Have a day, Conor Larkin. The right-hander pitched 6.2 strong innings and gave up just one run and struck out four. Larkin worked his way out of trouble at times and turned in a fine outing for the Nittany Lions.
  • These Nittany Lions are a resilient bunch, folks. After leading for almost the whole game, the team surrendered the lead in the eighth inning after a Rutgers rally. However, the team showed its resilience by immediately taking back the lead in the bottom half of the inning.
  • Penn State is inching closer toward .500 with its third consecutive win Saturday afternoon. With nine games remaining, the team has a chance to finish above .500 for the first time since 2016, not counting last year’s pandemic-shortened season when the squad finished 10-5.

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions are back in action at home tomorrow for the third game of the four-game set against the Scarlet Knights. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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About the Author

Gabe Angieri

Gabe is a sophomore majoring in journalism and is an associate editor for Onward State. 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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