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Penn State Baseball Falls 12-0 To Milwaukee In Series Finale

Penn State baseball (7-10) got blown out by Milwaukee (6-8) 12-0 on Sunday afternoon. The pitching staff struggled, forcing manager Rob Cooper to utilize a total of eight pitchers just to get through the series finale.

Milwaukee starting pitcher AJ Blubaugh was phenomenal and pitched seven innings of shutout baseball, including taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Aaron Chapman had a great day at the plate and drove in five runs on three hits.

How It Happened

Penn State entered Sunday afternoons game vying for a three-game sweep over Milwaukee . Big right-hander Mason Mellott got the start. The State College native entered the game with an ERA of 2.25 in four appearances. Sophomore AJ Blubaugh got the start for Milwaukee.

The top of the first was not kind to Mellott. After a leadoff single by Ty Ojelnik, the right-hander allowed three runs on three hits in just a third of an inning. Milwaukee’s big inning was headlined by a big two-run double from cleanup hitter Aaron Chapman. Junior lefty Ryan Partridge came on in relief, and despite allowing a run to score via a sacrifice fly from first baseman Quinton Morris, got the final two outs to stop the bleeding. Milwaukee led 4-0 before the Nittany Lions even got an opportunity to bat.

Penn State got its first baserunner of the game when shortstop Jay Harry reached first thanks to a throwing error by second baseman Mark Connelly. First base is as far as Harry would reach, as the next two Nittany Lion hitters were retired in order.

Partridge headed back out to the mound in the top of the second. He got the first out on a great diving catch by left fielder Cole Bartels. The junior southpaw would get the next two outs on groundballs to retire the side in order.

Both offenses went quiet until the top of the fourth when catcher Jack Thelen led off the inning with a long double to right-center field. After pitching a very solid two and two-thirds innings, Partridge was pulled in favor of freshman right-hander Seneca Gregory.

After getting the first out of the inning on a liner to right, Gregory allowed an RBI double down the left-field line to left fielder Luke Seidel. The Panthers now led 5-0 with just one out in the top of the fourth. Gregory would walk the next two batters, including pinch-hitter Justin Hausser to load the bases for second baseman Mark Connelly. Cooper once again went to the bullpen to try to escape the jam. Sophomore Chad Rogers entered the game with the bases loaded with just one out.

Connelly singled to right to drive home his fourth RBI of the season, extending Milwaukee’s lead to six. The Panthers weren’t done scoring in the fourth, though. Aaron Chapman hit a weak infield single that resulted in another run for Milwaukee. The next two batters flew out to left and right respectively to finally end the inning. Midway through the fourth, the Panthers held a big 7-0 lead over the Nittany Lions.

Still searching for their first hit, the Nittany Lions went down quietly in their half of the fourth. Rogers returned to the mound to open the fifth.

Penn State ran into more trouble in the top of the fifth when a leadoff single and a walk put two runners on for Luke Seidel, who ripped a two-run double in his last at-bat. Seidel was able to move the lead runner to third with a deep fly to right. Before getting pulled by Cooper, Rogers walked the next batter to load the bases.

Freshman lefthander Tanner Folds entered the game needed two outs to get out of the inning unscathed. Folds walked in a run and allowed an RBI fielder’s choice to the next two hitters, bringing in two runs, making it a 9-0 Milwaukee lead. Aaron Chapman roped another ball to add two more RBIs to an already outstanding game. Folds got the third out of the inning on a deep fly ball to right, ending the inning but not before the Panthers added to their lead. Blubaugh returned to the mound to continue his no-hit bid with a comfortable 11-0 lead.

Center fielder Billy Gerlott opened the fifth with a base hit to left-center. Kyle Hannon grounded into a double play on the very next pitch to erase the baserunner and give the Panthers two quick outs in the fifth. Josh Spiegel reached on an infield single for Penn State’s second hit of the inning. Blubaugh got the next hitter to hit a weak fly to right to end the inning.

Carson Kohls entered the game in relief for the Nittany Lions to begin the sixth. Kohls’ first pitch was sent to deep center field by Zach Nogalski for a leadoff triple. Nogalski would score on a grounder to the left side by Thelen to extend Milwaukee’s lead to 12. Kohls escaped the sixth without allowing any more runs to cross the plate.

Both teams began to empty their benches in the bottom half of the sixth with the game being out of reach for Penn State. The Nittany Lions got their third hit of the game when designated hitter Anthony Steele hit a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh. The following hitters went down quietly to end the seventh.

Neither team scored for the remainder of the game, finalizing a 12-0 win in favor of Milwaukee.

Takeaways

  • Starting pitcher Mason Mellott went just a third of an inning on Sunday afternoon, allowing four earned runs on three hits while walking two. Despite having a very solid career ERA of 3.03, Mellott struggled right out of the gates, allowing a leadoff single to open the game. Manager Rob Cooper didn’t waste in taking Mellott out of the game, electing to bring in lefthander Ryan Partridge to get the final two outs of the first to get out of the jam. Penn State used a total of eight pitchers while Milwaukee used just three.
  • The offense had one of its worst games against Milwaukee starter AJ Blubaugh. The Nittany Lions didn’t get their first hit until the top of the fifth. Blubaugh’s final line was very impressive. The right hander went seven strong innings, allowing just three hits.
  • Third baseman Aaron Chapman had a career day at the plate for the Panthers on Sunday. The junior went 3-for-4 at the plate with a game-high five runs batted in. Chapman also scored a run for Milwaukee in its blowout win.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will continue their homestand with a brief one-game showdown against Youngstown State on Tuesday, March 22. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Devon Craley

Devon is a junior studying sports journalism. He has the genuine misfortune of being a Philadelphia sports fan...IYKYK. Send your hot takes and preferably your freezing cold takes on Twitter to @devon3134. Devon is also your friendly, neighborhood State College movie nerd.

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