Penn State Baseball Drops Two Of Three To Maryland
Penn State baseball (10-15, 2-4 Big Ten) lost two games in a three-game series to Maryland at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium this weekend.
Game one was a close game until the end, but a Maryland three-run homer sealed the deal for an 8-4 Terps victory.
On Saturday, both teams battled until Penn State’s momentum broke through for an extra-innings 6-4 victory.
Sunday’s game was unlike the previous games, as Maryland dominated Penn State in a 7-2 thumping.
How It Happened
Maryland defeated Penn State 8-4, but the game was closer than the score made it seem.
Penn State was in for a challenge against Maryland pitcher Nick Dean, a Pennsylvania native. Dean’s season stats are solid, with a 3.49 ERA and 32 strikeouts over 33.2 innings pitched in 2022.
The Nittany Lions got to Dean early, though. Outfielder Jay Harry reached both second and third bases on fielding errors, then took advantage to make it 1-0 in the top of the second inning.
It was only a short matter of time until Maryland responded. In the bottom of that inning, infielder Maxwell Costes reached first base on a walk, then reached third after outfielder Troy Shreffler Jr. hit a double into right field. With two runners in scoring position, outfielder Bobby Zmarzlak drove Costes home on a sacrifice ground ball to Penn State pitcher Jaden Henline to tie the game 1-1.
Maryland’s potent offense was awake and firing on all cylinders, as two more runs were scored in the third and fourth innings.
The Terrapins made baserunning look easy, with one stolen base after another Terrapin easily reached second base on a wild pitch. That sequence helped Maryland hit another RBI in the third inning.
Zmarzlak mashed a homer that landed well past the outfield wall in the fourth inning, which made it 3-1 in favor of Maryland.
Despite the adversity, Penn State battled back to score three more runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 4-3 lead. The Nittany Lions impressively stayed in the game and competed with Maryland, but then things took a turn for the worse for Penn State.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Penn State pitcher Mason Mellott came into the game with a runner on first base. Mellott walked his first batter, and then Maryland came back in shell-shocking fashion. Lorusso hit an RBI to tie the game, then Costes hit a single to left field that scored another runner, which gave Maryland a 5-4 lead.
Maryland wasn’t finished yet. In the bottom of the eighth inning, Maryland outfielder Chris Alleyne hit a three-run bomb to left field, which capped off an 8-4 Maryland victory in game one.
Game two was another very exciting game at Bob “Turtle” Smith Stadium. Despite Maryland’s strong start, Penn State beat Maryland 6-4 in extra innings for its first-ever win in College Park.
With Ryan Ramsey on the mound for the Terrapins, things looked good. Ramsey, a junior from Montvale, New Jersey, came into the game with a 2.11 ERA and 40 strikeouts over 38.1 innings pitched so far this season.
Ramsey was lights out throughout much of the game, with only three hits through five innings. He leads a Maryland pitching staff that posts a 3.83 ERA, which is fourth-best in the Big Ten.
The Terps scored three runs in the first six innings of the game. Much of the same players that contributed to Maryland’s game one victory contributed to the early scoring; Alleyne’s RBI scored catcher Luke Shliger, Lorusso had another RBI, and Shliger scored to make it 3-0.
Maryland was successful in limiting Penn State, but that quickly changed. Center fielder Johnny Piacentino launched a two-run homer off Ramsey, trimming the lead to 3-2 in the sixth inning.
Penn State had momentum and it kept going in the eight inning. Catcher Matt Wood hit an RBI single to right field that scored pinch runner Derek Cease to tie the game 3-3.
It was a tense game from there on out, and Penn State manager Rob Cooper even got ejected for arguing a call in the middle of the ninth inning.
In the tenth inning, Penn State brought hell to the shell. Two Nittany Lions reached base against Maryland pitcher Sean Heine. Then, left fielder Tayven Kelly silenced the Maryland crowd with a double to left field. Cole Bartels and C.J. Pittaro rounded the bases and scored, and Penn State led 5-3.
Infielder Jay Harry then hit a double down the right field line that was narrowly fair. Kelly rounded the bases and scored, and Penn State led 6-3. The huge inning did not end without a scare for Penn State, as Maryland, with the bases loaded, scored one more run. It would not be enough, as Penn State won 6-4.
Game three was a much different ordeal, as Maryland beat Penn State 7-2.
Maryland pitcher Jason Savacool dominated the Nittany Lions through seven innings with one earned run and 13 strikeouts. Meanwhile, Penn State used four pitchers in the loss.
Penn State’s only runs came at different times in the game. Bartels hit a solo homerun in the second inning, then Ben Kailher hit an RBI sacrifice groundball in the eighth inning.
The Maryland offense was in full effect. Shliger, Lorusso, and Zmarzlak all contributed to Maryland’s blowout win, with runs in first, second, and fourth innings to win 7-2, thus winning the three-game series.
- Management needs to do a better job when deciding which pitchers to use. In game one, for example, Penn State opted to start Jaden Henline, who leads the team in saves, instead of saving him for relief in case of a high leverage situation. In game two, Penn State opted for Travis Luensmann, who has no saves, in a high-leverage situation and did not have any pitcher warming, which is simply dangerous despite Luensmann’s talent.
- Cole Bartels had a very good series. Bartels had three runs, four hits, and one homerun.
- Penn State’s resiliency against pitchers such as Ryan Ramsey is impressive. The Nittany Lions roughed up Ramsey (2.33 ERA, 48 K’s) on Saturday, with three runs and seven hits.
Penn State faces Bucknell on Wednesday, April 6, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
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