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Penn State Baseball Beats Mount St. Mary’s 11-6 Behind Offensive Outburst

Penn State baseball (15-19, 5-7 Big Ten) used a big third inning to pick up an 11-6 win over Mount St. Mary’s (9-22, 4-8 Northeast) Wednesday night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

Outfielder Cole Bartels collected a career-high four RBIs in the win. Penn State’s top three hitters in the order, made up of Bartels, Jay Harry, and Matt Wood, combined to go 7-for-12 with six RBIs.

How It Happened

The Nittany Lions entered Wednesday night’s game trying to keep their momentum going after taking two of three from Purdue. Right-hander Carson Kohls was given the start for Penn State, and senior Bryant Shives got the start for Mount St. Mary’s.

After striking out the first two hitters, three straight hits by the Mountaineers plated the first run of the game. Kohls struck out his third batter of the inning with the bases loaded to limit the Mountaineers to just one run.

The Nittany Lions got a baserunner in their half of the first thanks to a single from shortstop Jay Harry. Besides just the one hit, Penn State went down quietly. After one, Mount St. Mary’s led 1-0.

A double, walk, and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the third. Center fielder Tyler Grodell ripped a two-run double down the third-base line to extend the Mountaineers’ lead to 3-0. Freshman Chase Renner entered the game in relief of Kohls, who struck out four and gave up three runs in 2.2 innings. Renner struck out the first batter he faced to end the inning to strand a runner in scoring position. Entering the bottom of the third, Mount St. Mary’s led 3-0.

Penn State’s lineup finally got going in the third, as back-to-back RBI doubles from Cole Bartels and Harry brought the Nittany Lions within one with just one out.

A single by Matt Wood to extend his hitting streak to 16 games prompted the Mountaineers to make their first pitching change of the game.

Left-hander Max Moore entered the game in relief of Shives. Harry stole home after catcher Thomas Bramley tried to get Wood stealing, which made it a tie game.

The Nittany Lions scored two more runs on a ball that never left the infield. CJ Pittaro beat the pitcher to the first-base bag to score Wood. Johnny Piacentino, who reached base on a throwing error, scored from second after Moore dropped the ball while attempting to cover first base. Tayven Kelley flew out to end the inning, and Penn State scored five in the third to take a 5-3 lead.

The Mountaineers were able to get a run back, as a bases-loaded walk made it a 5-4 game with two outs in the top of the fourth. Head coach Rob Cooper elected to make his second pitching change of the game, removing Renner in favor of lefty Ryan Partridge.

After walking to lead off the bottom of the fourth, Ben Kailher stole second and advanced to third thanks to a balk by Moore. A sacrifice fly to left by Cole Bartels scored Kailher to put the Nittany Lions back up two. Then, Wood ripped his second hit of the night off the right-field wall for an RBI double.

First baseman Josh Spiegel continued the big inning with a single through the hole on the left side that scored Wood to push Penn State’s lead to four.

Tyler Grodell opened up the top of the fifth with his second hit of the game, a double to left-center field. Grodell would later score on a passed ball to cut Penn State’s lead to three. The Mountaineers would get one more in the inning on an RBI double by shortstop Tyler Long. After five-and a-half, Penn State led 8-6.

Bartels continued his hot streak with a two-run double in the fifth to extend the Nittany Lions’ lead to 10-6.

The Nittany Lions added another insurance run in the bottom of the eighth to extend their lead to five. Tommy Molsky finished his solid outing and got the final three outs to cap off Penn State’s 11-6 win.

Takeaways

  • A big bottom of the third inning got the Nittany Lions offense going after a very quiet first two innings. Penn State scored five in the inning to completely flip the script of the game. The big play of the inning occurred when two runs scored on an infield single by CJ Pittaro. Both Jay Harry and Cole Bartels recorded an RBI each in the inning, too.
  • Defense played a big part in this one, as Mount St. Mary’s committed three errors, leading to two unearned runs for Penn State. The biggest error of the game and perhaps the biggest turning point occurred when Johnny Piacentino reached first on an error by third baseman Ryan Fisher. The error allowed the inning to continue, an inning in which the Nittany Lions would go on to score five runs.
  • The Nittany Lions were able to capitalize on defensive mistakes by the Mountaineers thanks to great baserunning. On multiple occurrences, Penn State took the extra base on hits to the outfield, putting more runners in scoring position. The Nittany Lions stole four bases in the win, including a double steal in the third that led to another run.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will continue their Big Ten schedule when they travel to Minnesota for a three-game series against the Golden Gophers. Game one is set for 7 p.m. on Friday, April 22. All three games will be available for streaming on BTN+.

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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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