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Penn State Baseball Sweeps Michigan State In 10-9 Walk-Off Thriller

Penn State baseball (23-21 overall, 10-8 Big Ten) defeated Michigan State (21-24 overall, 6-12 Big Ten) 10-9 in a walk-off victory at Medlar Field on Monday.

Both teams scored plenty of runs, though it ultimately ended up in a series sweep for Penn State.

How It Happened

Travis Luensmann began the game as Penn State’s starting pitcher. Cole Bartels started at first base, while Matt Wood took his usual spot at catcher and Josh Spiegel was the cleanup hitter and designated hitter.

Despite Luensmann having a relatively good season, it didn’t take long for him to give up a run. With two runners already on base in the first inning, outfielder Casey Mayes singled to center field that scored one run to make the score 1-0 Michigan State. Fortunately for Penn State, though, the damage ceased there.

The Nittany Lions answered in the bottom of the first inning. The bases were loaded, giving outfielder Billy Gerlott a big opportunity to score some runs. Gerlott delivered, with two RBI thanks to a single to center field, making it 2-1 Penn State.

However, Michigan State’s offense proved to be too much over the next few innings. Luensmann allowed more baserunners, and shortstop Mitch Jebb capitalized with another two-RBI single, putting the Spartans back in front with a 3-2 lead in the second inning.

After a scoreless third inning, the Spartans scored more runs in the fourth inning. Jebb doubled to left field which scored another run to make it 4-2, and that was enough for manager Rob Cooper, who replaced the South Carolina transfer with Kellan Tulio. Tulio gave up two runs in a double from outfielder Jack Frank that scored two baserunners to push the Spartans even further away with a 6-2 lead.

Then, Penn State’s dominant trio of Bartels, Wood, and Spiegel came through for the Nittany Lions in the fourth inning. All three hit RBI’s, each scoring one run to make it 6-5 Spartans.

Michigan State then hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to make it 8-5, but the game was far from over. Penn State then scored three more runs to tie the game throughout the next two innings, including a bases-loaded walk for Penn State to make it 8-8.

With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Penn State did not capitalize on the walk-off opportunity. Instead, the game went to extra innings.

Michigan State capitalized in the tenth inning off of an error, making it 9-8. However, Penn State got one back to once again tie the game 9-9 in the bottom of the tenth inning. With a runner on third and one out, this was Penn State’s big chance, but the Nittany Lions did not capitalize, sending the game to the eleventh inning.

The eleventh inning finally marked the end of the game. Johnny Piacentino walked with the bases loaded, scoring Jay Harry and ending the game in a 10-9 victory for Penn State.

Takeaways

  • Travis Luensmann had a below-average start compared to how he normally pitches. Over 3.2 innings, Luensmann only struck out three while allowing five runs, seven hits, and a 12.27 ERA. His season ERA is 4.26, so today’s outing was definitely not what you would typically expect.
  • Today’s matchup was very high-scoring. Both teams combined for 19 runs.
  • Bring out the broomsticks! Penn State swept Michigan State, giving it a much-needed win in terms of the Big Ten tournament.

What’s Next

Penn State travels to Georgetown for a one-game series at Bowie Baysox Stadium in Bowie, Maryland on Tuesday, May 10. First pitch is scheduled for 6 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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