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Penn State Baseball Drops Game Three Of Series To Rutgers 5-0

Penn State baseball (15-21) dropped its Senior Day matchup to Rutgers (18-19) 5-0 Sunday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Despite Kyle Virbitsky turning in a gutsy outing for Penn State, Rutgers starter Justin Sinibaldi shut down the Nittany Lions’ offense all game long, which led to Virbitsky taking a loss in this one.

With the loss, Penn State’s three-game winning streak is no more, and the team falls to six games under .500 with eight games left in the season.

How It Happened

Kyle Virbitsky got the start for Penn State and got off to a rough start in the first inning. He gave up three hits, one walk, and two runs in the innings, albeit one of the runs was unearned due to an error. Then, in the second inning, the Scarlet Knights tacked on another run thanks to a Richie Schiekofer RBI single to make it 3-0.

Justin Williams singled for the Nittany Lions in the second inning, but Justin Sinibaldi pitched around the hit for a scoreless frame.

Like yesterday’s game, the game would remain scoreless through the middle innings, and Rutgers carried a three-run lead into the seventh inning.

Virbitsky got into some trouble in the seventh inning after two runners reached due to a single and error, respectively. An unearned run would come home to score on a Chris Brito sacrifice fly that ended Virbitsky’s outing. Left-hander Hutch Gagnon came in and retired the next two batters to limit the damage to just one run.

The Nittany Lions squandered their best opportunity of the game in the bottom half of the inning. After a Johnny Piacentino one-out single, Sinibaldi was pulled in favor of left-hander Brian Fitzpatrick. Josh Spiegel greeted him with a single, which put runners on first and second with just one out.

However, Fitzpatrick got Curtis Robison to fly out and struck out Parker Hendershot to end the inning without any runs coming across to score.

The Scarlet Knights tacked on one more in the ninth to win the game 5-0 and win their first game of the series.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s offense has certainly had better days, folks. The team totaled just six hits, all of which were singles. Justin Sinibaldi was in control throughout his 6.1 innings, as he allowed just three hits and no runs while striking out three batters. Once Sinibaldi departed, the Nittany Lions still weren’t able to get much going, which led to their fourth shutout loss of the season.
  • Despite the ultimate result, Kyle Virbitsky battled his way through his 6.1 innings. He gave up a staggering 11 hits, however, induced four double plays and allowed just two earned runs (four total). On a day where the bases were crowded early and often, Virbitsky limited the damage and kept his team in the game.
  • Four errors by Penn State led to three of Rutgers’ five runs being unearned. Rob Cooper’s squad will have to clean up the defense during the final eight games if it wants to finish the season strong.
  • Sunday’s loss brings Penn State’s home record to 7-8 on the season. A win tomorrow could give the squad a .500 or better record at home for the first time since 2016.

What’s Next

Penn State will wrap up its final home series of the season tomorrow against Rutgers. First pitch is set for 2 p.m. and it will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.

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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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