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Penn State Baseball Swept By Michigan In Big Ten Opener

Penn State Baseball (12-8, 0-3 Big Ten) was swept by Michigan (12-11, 3-0 Big Ten) during its three-game series played over the weekend.

It was a rough trio of games in Ann Arbor as the Nittany Lions had no answers for a combined 28 runs from the Wolverines throughout the series.

Game One

Penn State began the opening game of the series with a strong start. Daniel Ouderkirk was on the mound and looked great in his first two innings of work. In the top of the first inning, Jay Harry continued his strong start to the season by smacking a solo home run to right field to give the Nittany Lions an early 1-0 lead.

Two innings later, Johnny Piacentino joined in on the fun and smacked an opposite-field solo home run to right to extend the lead to two.

After that inning, things would got ugly quickly. Michigan grabbed a run back in the bottom half of the inning thanks to a Ted Burton single. In the bottom of the fourth, Michigan sebt 11 batters to the plate and brought in eight runs. Joey Velazquez started the damage with a lead-off solo home run to tie the game.

Two singles and a hit by a pitch runner loaded the bases and a Jonathan Kim single gave Michigan a 3-2 lead. A walk by Ouderkirk on the next batter brought in another run and closed his day on the mound.

A sacrifice fly by Tito Flores brought the score to 5-2 and Burton added another run thanks to an RBI double to create a four-run lead. Joe Longo was next to home plate and left an exclamation point on the inning smacking a two-run home run to left to make it 9-2.

Michigan added two more runs in the fifth and seventh. In the fifth inning, it was a Kim single and a Flores sac fly that scored two runners. In the seventh inning, Burton scored another run on a sac fly and Longo brought in his third RBI of the day, this time on a single to left to make it 13-2.

Penn State attempted a comeback in the eighth inning after a Kyle Hannon lead-off double. Harry singled to right field to put two runners on base. Hannon scored on a wild pitch and Thomas Bramely scored Harry off of an RBI double to right-center. Penn State couldn’t answer again and lost 13-4.

Game Two

Game two of the series was a lot of the same for the Nittany Lions. Michigan got its bats rolling right away with a four-run bomb in the first inning. Michigan added two walks to start the game and Burton scored one with a single. Longo and Velazquez were up next and tacked on back-to-back doubles to make the game 4-0. Michigan grabbed another run in the third inning thanks to a sacrifice fly after a Gabe Sotres triple.

Penn State scored a run in the fourth inning after a Hannon double, and Piacentino’s single put runners on the corners. Grant Norris brought in Hannon with an infield single to cut the deficit to three. Burton got the run back for Michigan in the bottom half of the inning with another RBI single. Another Piacentino single in the fifth inning brought in Hannon for the second run for Penn State.

Michigan added five more runs in the sixth inning. After loading the bases with two outs, Jake Marti manufactured two runs from an RBI single. Two batters later, Kim hit a bases-clearing double to make it 11-2. Both teams scored another run, but the damage was done and the Nittany Lions fell 12-3.

Game Three

The finale of the series was a pitching dual between both staffs. Nittany Lion Jaden Henline was on the mound and made his first start of the year.

Michigan struck first in the third inning and scored two early runs. Jack Van Remortel earned a walk by way of getting hit by a pitch and Mitch Voit put runners on the corners with a double. Kim brought in the first run with a groundout to shortstop and Cody Jefferis brought in the other with an RBI single to make it 2-0.

Penn State broke up the shoutout after six innings via a Tayven Kelley lead-off single and a double by Bramley to cut the deficit to one.

Henline was sharp on the mound and allowed only two runs off of three hits and struck out three in six innings of work.

Penn State couldn’t answer for the rest of the game and gave up another run to Michigan in the eighth thanks to Kim once again. The Nittany Lions closed down the third game with a final score of 3-1 and Michigan secured the series sweep.

Takeaways:

  • Pitching proved to be a problem for Penn State against Michigan. Ouderkirk and Travis Luensmann allowed 11 earned runs combined.
  • Jaden Henline was a bright spot for the pitching staff this weekend and threw six strong innings in his first start of the year on Sunday.
  • Jay Harry tacked on three hits this weekend. A solo home run in the Nittany Lions’ Big Ten opener is one to be proud of and he continues to lead the team with 24 hits thus far.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions will return home at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, to challenge Pitt at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Folks can stream the matchup on BTN+.

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About the Author

Matt Brown

Matt is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism and minoring in sports studies from Bensalem, Pa. Matt is a huge Philadelphia sports fan and an overall sports fan in general. When not watching sports, you'll find him watching reruns of Community or The Office. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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