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Penn State Baseball Sweeps Michigan State In Sunday Doubleheader

Penn State baseball (22-21, 9-8 Big Ten) used a big day at the plate to take both games of a doubleheader over Michigan State (21-22, 6-10 Big Ten) to go above .500 for the first time this season.

Jaden Henline’s complete game in game one backed with a strong day at the plate by Matt Wood and Johnny Piacentino led the Nittany Lions to a Mother’s Day sweep of the Spartans on Sunday afternoon.

The Nittany Lions exploded offensively in game one to win 15-3. Game two was more of a game early but Penn State pulled away late to come away with a 10-4 win.

How It Happened

Game One

Sophomore Jaden Henline got the start for the Nittany Lions against junior Connor Tomasic for Michigan State.

The Spartans got on the board first on a single to center off the bat of catcher Bryan Broecker, scoring Brock Vradenburg.

Penn State got a run back in the second to tie the game at one. Second baseman Derek Cease reached on an infield single to third, as Tayven Kelley scored to put Penn State on the board.

Michigan State retook the lead in the top of the fourth as junior Casey Mayes crossed home on an RBI groundout from Vradenburg.

Three home runs in the bottom of the fifth from Kyle Hannon, Jay Harry, and Matt Wood fueled a big inning for the Nittany Lions. Penn State scored five runs in the inning to chase Tomasic from the game after just 4.2 innings. Harry’s home run was the biggest, scoring three runs, to break the 2-2 tie. With his seventh home run of the season, Wood extended his hitting streak to 24 games, the second-longest in program history.

The Nittany Lions carried over their hot bats into the seventh, scoring six runs, to push their lead to double digits. Cole Bartels and Josh Spiegel both hit two RBI singles to go along with a two-run double from outfielder Johnny Piacentino. At the end of the sixth, Penn State led by a commanding ten runs.

Michigan State cut the Penn State lead to nine in the seventh on an RBI single from sophomore Mitch Jebb.

Spiegel and Piacentino added to their already productive days with RBI doubles in the bottom of the eighth. Piacentino’s double scored Wood and Spiegel for his third and fourth RBIs of the game. His four RBIs and two doubles were both a game-high and his three hits tied Kelley for a game-high.

Henline finished off the Spartans in the ninth to cap off the complete game. The left-hander finished with an impressive line of two earned runs with six strikeouts across a full nine innings of work. Penn State dominated offensively in game one, winning 15-3.

Game Two

Senior Tyler Shingledecker started game two for Penn State while Wyatt Rush got the start for Michigan State.

After scoring 15 runs in game one, Penn State’s offense got right back to work in the bottom of the first in game two, scoring three runs on three hits. Wood hit his eighth homer of the season and his second of the day to drive in Harry and Bartels to give the Nittany Lions an early lead.

An RBI triple from Mayes headlined a productive top half of the second for Michigan State. The Spartans scored two runs on Shingledecker to trim Penn State’s lead to one. A couple of wild pitches after a single to lead off the inning allowed the tying run to score. Shingledecker got the final hitter to ground out to end the top of the third.

The Nittany Lions were able to load the bases in the third but a double play off the bat of Billy Gerlott ended the inning.

After a couple of scoreless innings for both sides, Penn State took the lead as Spiegel drove home Wood from third after he reached on a double and then an error. Heading into the sixth, Penn State led 4-3.

Harry reached on an error by the second baseman with the bases loaded to extend Penn State’s lead to two. The next batter, Wood, continued his dominant day at the plate with two more RBIs after singling to right center. At the end of seven, Penn State led 7-3.

Michigan State got a run back in the eighth on a single by pinch hitter Christian Williams. It was the Spartans’ only run of the inning.

A home run by Spiegel to lead off the eighth gave the Nittany Lions their four-run lead back. It was his seventh of the year. They added two more in the inning as Tayven Kelley doubled to right, scoring Hannon from first. Cease continued the big inning with a single through the hole on the left side, scoring Kelley to make it a 10-4 game.

Morales finished off the Spartans in the ninth to complete the sweep of the doubleheader. Penn State took game two 10-4.

Takeaways

  • Jaden Henline was dominant on the mound in game one, leading Penn State to a big 15-3 victory. The sophomore went the distance, fanning six Spartans while allowing just two earned runs. Henline earned his first win of the year in his thirteenth appearance.
  • The top of the order was big for the Nittany Lions in their game one outburst. Homers from Harry and Wood to go along with four RBIs by Piacentino fueled a big day at the plate for Penn State. Cleanup hitter Josh Spiegel added three RBIs to his season total. Penn State’s top five hitters in the order combined for nine hits and 13 RBIs.
  • Game two was very different than game one in that runs were more difficult to come by, especially for the Nittany Lions prior to the bottom of the eighth. After adding to his historic hitting streak in game one, Wood followed that up with another big performance in game two, driving home five runs including a big three-run home run in the first inning.

What’s Next?

Penn State will continue its series with Michigan State at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 9. The game 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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