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Penn State Baseball Falls To West Virginia 8-4

Penn State baseball (12-18, 3-6 Big Ten) fell to West Virginia (21-10, 5-1 Big 12) 8-4 Tuesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The weather was beautiful from first pitch, and with the warm weather, the bats were alive for both teams. The two teams combined for 25 hits in the game, but West Virginia was able to take the lead early and keep it for the whole game.

How It Happened

After a three-game series at Northwestern, Penn State returned home to try to grab a big win over one of the best teams in the Big 12. Freshman right-hander Tommy Molsky got the start on the bump for the Nittany Lions Tuesday, while sophomore Tyler Strechay took the mound for the Mountaineers.

The top half of the first saw West Virginia take an early lead when centerfielder Victor Scott II hit a two-out triple, and McGwire Holbrook brought him home with a single to take an early 1-0 lead.

The bottom half of the inning featured two singles, one by Jay Harry and the other by Cole Bartels, but the Nittany Lions couldn’t capitalize thanks to a double play and a strikeout.

After a scoreless second from both teams, Molsky began to struggle in the top of the third. RBIs from JJ Wetherholt, Scott II, and Holbrook gave West Virginia a 4-0 and chased Molsky from the game after just 2.1 innings.

Left-handed pitcher Jordan Morales came in to help get out of the third, but back-to-back singles by Braden Barry and Dayne Leonard, and a throwing error by Tayven Kelly, brought in another two runs. Grant Hussey hit a double to right field to score Leonard and make it a 7-0 game.

Matt Wood got things rolling in the bottom of the third with a leadoff double down the right-field line. Cole Bartels then blasted a two-run homer to left field to put the Nittany Lions on the board.

Josh Spiegel followed the homer with a double, which would end up chasing Strechay from the game. Aidan Major replaced him, and he was able to escape the inning while allowing no further damage.

The hits kept on coming for West Virginia with back-to-back-to-back singles by Austin Davis, Wetherholt, and Scott, which scored another run. Morales was then pulled after only one inning of work, as he let up six hits and three earned runs. In relief came sophomore right hander Carson Kohls, who was able to induce a double play on the first pitch to keep the score 8-2.

After the two teams traded scoreless frames, West Virginia brought in freshman Trent Hodgdon to replace Major. That would prove to be a mistake, as after a Bartels walk, Spiegel launched a two-run opposite field home run to cut the deficit to four.

After getting a flyout to center, West Virginia pulled Hodgdon in favor of Zach Ottinger. Ottinger was able to get Steele out and end the fifth with the score 8-4.

Following a scoreless sixth inning, Kohls allowed a leadoff walk to begin the top half of the seventh, but a double play and a ground out would keep the score 8-4. That would be it for Kohls, who had an impressive day in 3.2 innings of work while allowing only two hits and striking out two.

Despite some stellar pitching from Penn State the rest of the way, the offense couldn’t muster any runs, which led to an 8-4 loss.

Takeaways

  • Penn State dug itself a hole in the first three innings, as a 7-0 deficit is a tough one to overcome. While it did have seven hits and two big two-run homers from Bartels and Spiegel, the deficit was too much for them to come back from.
  • The pitching struggles continued for the Nittany Lions, who allowed 14 hits in the game. Molsky continued to struggle and allowed five earned runs to bring his ERA to 6.75. Morales also struggled tonight, allowing three earned runs in only one inning of work. However, Kohls looked good in his 3.2 innings of action, as he allowed only two hits and struck out two.
  • The teams’ defense seemed a bit sloppy to start the game with an error from centerfielder Tayven Kelley allowing a run to score. It’s not a big concern, but it’s something that definitely has to be improved.
  • The warm weather did bring the bats out, as the team combined for 11 hits and blasted two homers. The Nittany Lions just weren’t able to capitalize on those hits and bring enough runs in.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will begin a three-game home series against Purdue beginning this Thursday. The first game is set to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 14.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him watching reruns of "The Office" or "Friends." To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected]

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