Penn State Baseball Sweeps Northern Illinois, Defeats Monmouth In Impressive Weekend

Penn State baseball (4-2 overall) had a successful weekend in Cary, North Carolina. The Nittany Lions swept a doubleheader against Northern Illinois, before taking care of business against Monmouth on Sunday after Penn State’s game against Maine was canceled.

Backed by a high-scoring offense, strong starting pitching powered Penn State to a weekend sweep.

Game One (vs. Northern Illinois)

Penn State took its first game against Northern Illinois with little difficulty. The Nittany Lions opened scoring in the first inning with a sacrifice RBI from Billy Gerlott that scored Thomas Bramley to make it 1-0.

The Nittany Lions then scored three more runs in the second inning. This time, Bramley singled to center field, driving in Grant Norris and sending Jay Harry to second base. Gerlott had his second RBI of the game, hitting a double to right field that scored both Harry and Bramley to make it 4-0 Penn State.

In the fourth inning, the Huskies got on the board with an RBI single. The Nittany Lions immediately answered in the bottom of the frame, with Harry scoring an unearned run thanks to a Husky throwing error.

Meanwhile, Travis Luensmann was pitching efficiently for Penn State. Luensmann pitched five innings in his second start of the season, with three strikeouts and one earned run.

Luensmann was replaced by Jordan Morales in the sixth inning. Morales surrendered two runs in the eighth inning, but still pitched well enough to keep Penn State ahead.

Penn State’s offense remained at work, with Gerlott and Johnny Piacentino scoring runs in the seventh inning. The Nittany Lions ultimately won with Morales picking up the save in a 7-3 win.

Game Two (vs. Northern Illinois)

En route to a 5-1 victory and successful doubleheader sweep, the Nittany Lions were powered by starting pitcher Daniel Ouderkirk, who struck out 11 batters and allowed just one run through seven innings of work.

Northern Illinois got on the board for the first and only time in the third inning with an RBI single to take a 1-0 lead.

Thomas Bramley stayed hot, hitting an RBI single to right field to drive in Anthony Steele to tie the game 1-1. Penn State took its first lead of the game in the sixth inning, as Kyle Hannon’s single up the middle scored Johnny Piacentino. Later that inning, Hannon scored thanks to Grant Norris’ RBI single to take a 3-1 lead.

Norris’ impressive day continued, as he launched a two-run homer to left field which also scored Hannon, giving Penn State a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning. Steven Miller, who also replaced Ouderkirk in the eighth inning, pitched two shutout innings to earn the save.

Game Three (vs. Monmouth)

Due to rain, the Saturday game vs Maine was canceled but the Nittany Lions were back in action early Sunday morning against Monmouth. Tommy Molsky was on the mound aiming to build his impressive start last week versus Miami.

Unfortunately, it was a short day for Molsky, who would only go two innings after giving up two runs in the top of the second. A double for Austin Denlinger would drive in the first run and a Molsky wild pitch gave Monmouth an early 2-0 lead. Penn State would earn a run back in the bottom half, though, thanks to a Tayven Kelley single, scoring Kyle Hannon and cutting the lead to one.

In the bottom of the third, however, Penn State woke up and exploded for a seven-run inning.
Billy Gerlott got the scoring going with a single to the right side to tie the game, and then a Kelley bases-loaded walk would give Penn State the lead. Next up was Grant Norris who smacked a single to center field scoring two more runs, and Anthony Steele followed with his own two-run single to make the game 7-2.

Up for the second time in the inning was Jay Harry and he continued the hit parade hitting a triple to right field to score Steele, extending the lead to six. Monmouth didn’t go down without a fight as leadoff hitter Eric Sabato smacked a homer to left, cutting the lead to five.

Now 8-3, the Nittany Lions would get a run back in the bottom of the fifth thanks to another RBI single by Steele to get the lead back to six. Next inning Thomas Bramley joined the fun crushing his first home run as a Nittany Lions to make the game 10-3. Penn State would add one more on another Steele RBI hit, this time a double, scoring Norris to extend the lead to eight.

Pitching in the majority of the game was Jaden Henline, who hadn’t pitched since the season opener against Miami. Henline threw an impressive six innings striking out three and giving up only one run off a solo homer from Sabato. Connor Throneberry finished the game in the ninth, giving up two hits but holding on for the 11-3 victory.


  • Penn State’s starting pitching was solid this weekend, combining for 17 strikeouts and seven runs allowed.
  • Meanwhile, the offense did its part. Penn State scored 23 runs this weekend.
  • Although Penn State baseball hasn’t perhaps been as successful as many would’ve liked in recent years, this weekend is a good sign of what may be coming.

What’s Next

Penn State remains in Cary to face Wagner and Dartmouth on Saturday, March 4. Penn State will face Wagner at 11 a.m., while its matchup against Dartmouth is scheduled for 2 p.m.

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About the Author

Nolan Wick

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he's an avid fan of all D.C. sports teams. If Nolan isn't writing about or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all sorts of music or traveling. To keep up with Nolan, you can follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at [email protected].

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