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Penn State Baseball Falls To Bucknell 8-7

Penn State baseball (17-21 overall, 7-8 Big Ten) fell 8-7 to Bucknell (18-21 overall, 13-9 Patriot League) Tuesday night at Medlar Field.

Penn State’s pitching wasn’t at its best, which gave Bucknell plenty of opportunities to score runs. The same could also be said for Bucknell’s, but the Bison ultimately got the best of the Nittany Lions despite a ninth inning rally that barely fell short.

How It Happened

Bucknell started with a big first inning, scoring three runs against Penn State pitcher Tommy Molsky, with two RBI doubles. After Penn State took care of a deep fly ball to center, the Nittany Lions came up to face Bucknell pitcher Brady Swenson with a lineup that saw Kyle Hanon return but excluded Jay Harry for the first time in his Penn State career.

First baseman Josh Spiegel hit an RBI single that scored Cole Bartels to make it 3-1. Despite getting runners on first and third bases, center fielder Tayven Kelley grounded out to end the inning.

Third baseman Kyle Hanon got a base hit in his first at bat in his return to the lineup. He then scored off a short stop Derek Cease RBI single to make it 3-2 in the second inning. Bartels advanced to third after consecutive bad throws, then scored after Matt Wood hit a shallow fly ball that dropped in left field to tie it 3-3 in the second inning.

In the third inning, though, Bucknell responded. Designated hitter Kendall Pierson tripled to right center, sending two runs home. Then, catcher Logan Kellerman’s single scored Pierson to make it 6-3 in favor of Bucknell. Molsky had given up three runs, seven hits, and managed just two strikeouts through three innings.

In the fourth inning, Molsky was replaced by Ryan Partridge. Partridge did the job and got through the rest of the inning without giving up any runs.

In the fifth inning, Penn State got one run back after right fielder Billy Gerlott hit a sacrifice fly.

Penn State’s next big opportunity to score didn’t come until the bottom of the seventh inning when Ben Kailher was on third base after an overthrown ball. Bartels walked, putting runners on first and third bases with two outs, then stole second base to apply even more pressure. It was up to Tayven Kelley, who battled at the plate with a full count. Kelly hit a line drive into center field that fell short and then went behind center fielder Kyle Lyons. As Lyons scrambled to get the ball, two runs scored. Kelley fell just short of an inside-the-park home run, as he was tagged out at home plate for the third out. At the end of the seventh inning, the score was 6-6.

In the top of the eighth inning, Bucknell got back on top. A double from outfielder Chris Cannizzaro scored Lyons to make it 7-6. Bucknell wasn’t done yet, as third baseman Jacob Corson hit an RBI single to make it 8-6.

In the bottom of the ninth, Penn State got things going again. Spiegel tripled to left field, scoring Wood to make it 8-7 with just one out. The Nittany Lions almost completed the comeback, but a fly ball caught in the outfield sealed the deal on a Bison victory.

Takeaways

  • Kyle Hannon had himself a night upon his first start since March 30 after an injury. Hannon had one run and two hits in four at bats, so having him back will be a good catalyst for a struggling Nittany Lions offense.
  • Tommy Molsky got shelled tonight. In 4.1 innings, Molsky maintained an ERA of over 11, with seven hits, six runs, and just two strikeouts.
  • Jay Harry did not start for the first time in his Penn State career in the game. He did pinch hit for Derek Cease in the sixth inning and got walked.

What’s Next

Penn State will take the country roads to West Virginia for a matchup with the Mountaineers on Wednesday, April 26, with first pitch scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a sophomore 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 isn't fun these days. If you want to keep in touch with Nolan, follow him on Instagram @_nolanwick or on Twitter @nolan_wick.

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