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Penn State Baseball Falls To Youngstown State 2-1

Penn State baseball (7-11) fell to Youngstown State (10-11) 2-1 on Tuesday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Ultimately, defense and pitching dominated this game. Both teams went scoreless across the first three innings before Youngstown State later won in the ninth following some costly Penn State blunders.

How It Happened

Penn State catcher Matt Wood got the day off in favor of redshirt junior Josh Spiegel. Left-hander Kellan Tulio was the starting pitcher. The junior had most recently appeared on March 5, when he gave up four runs in one inning against Virginia.

Tulio had no problem getting started with a one-two-three first inning. In an unusual turn of events, he was replaced by Jaden Henline, a sophomore right-hander in the second inning. Henline performed well in an appearance against Milwaukee last Friday with three strikes over two innings. Henline allowed two baserunners and struggled to get three outs, but he ultimately got the job done without giving up any runs.

The Nittany Lions threatened with runners in scoring position in both the first and second innings, but the Penguins took care of business. Coach Rob Cooper made another pitching change to start the third inning, this time opting for junior lefty Jordan Morales, who got three straight outs.

The biggest play of the game up until that point came in the fourth inning when sophomore outfielder Billy Gerlott smacked a line drive to left field for a double. Junior outfielder Tayven Kelley hit a line drive to center field that sent Gerlott scrambling around third base and toward home plate. The throw arrived late, and Gerlott successfully opened the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning to make it 1-0 Penn State.

Fast forward to the sixth inning, and Youngstown State threatened. Runners were on base and giving Penn State a headache by stealing. After Penguins’ outfielder Lucas Nasonti reached second base on a double and stole third, he was sent home to tie the game at one apiece thanks to a fielder’s error.

It took until the bottom of the seventh inning for Penn State to put runners in scoring position. With runners on first and second, Penn State had a major chance to take the lead. However, the Nittany Lions’ attempt stalled thanks to strong pitching from the Penguins.

Gerlott led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a line-drive single into left-center field. With one out down, Gerlott got caught stealing second base, complicating the game for the Nittany Lions.

In the top of the ninth, Youngstown State’s Braden O’Shaughnessy ran to second and then third on two passed balls. The next play was a wild pitch, and O’Shaughnessy scored to give Youngstown State a 2-1 lead.

Takeaways

  • Good pitching dominated the whole game. Both teams combined for just 12 hits versus 19 strikeouts.
  • Penn State’s offense clearly struggled without Matt Wood. The Nittany Lions managed just seven hits the entire game. Wood, meanwhile, is hitting .345 with four home runs and 14 RBIs.
  • Time and time again, mistakes cost Penn State. Back-to-back passed balls allowed Youngstown State to run all over the bases and then score on a wild pitch. The other run scored by Youngstown State was the result of a fielder’s error as well. These types of mistakes are costly in close games and high-leverage situations, and Penn State needs to address them to see some wins.

What’s Next?

Penn State begins its Big Ten schedule with a three-game home series against Rutgers this weekend. First pitch on Friday, March 25, is set for 6 p.m.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a freshman majoring in journalism. From the Maryland side of the D.C. suburbs, Nolan likes using Old Bay and is a diehard Washington sports fan, which can be both difficult and rewarding. If you want to debate anything about sports with him, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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