Penn State Baseball Drops Two Of Three To Purdue
Penn State baseball (19-13, 2-7 Big Ten) dropped its three-game road series to Purdue (16-18, 7-5 Big Ten) this weekend, losing two of three games.
The Nittany Lions picked up a win during Friday night’s contest against the Boilermakers thanks to a huge showing by the offense and Jaden Henline, but they were defeated in both games during Saturday’s doubleheader.
Penn State opened its series in West Lafayette with a bang, taking down Purdue 15-3.
Jaden Henline allowed three runs over 6.1 innings of work, striking out four batters in the process. Henline earned the win, which improved his record to 4-1. Ryan Partridge later took over, striking out two batters and allowing zero runs.
While Penn State’s pitching held things down, the offense dominated the game. Bobby Marsh, Thomas Bramley, and Grant Norris each hit home runs.
The game started with Purdue hitting an RBI single, but the Boilermakers’ lead didn’t last much longer with Marsh’s homer the next inning. Tayven Kelley hit an RBI single in the fifth inning to make it 2-1, but things were just getting started.
In the sixth inning, the Nittany Lions exploded for 12 runs, starting with a sacrifice fly from Josh Spiegel, which scored Kyle Hannon. Billy Gerlott’s fielding error then led Bramley to score, and the pressure continued to mount on the Boilermakers.
Kelley hit his second RBI single of the game, which scored two runners to make it 6-1. Hannon walked, which scored Gerlott. Bramley then smacked a grand slam, sending Hannon, Kelley, and Derek Cease home to make it 11-1.
Norris then hit a two-run homer, which brought Jay Harry home in the process, and Marsh’s single scored Spiegel to make it 14-1.
Purdue scored two more runs — one in the sixth inning and another in the seventh inning, both being RBI singles from Jake Parr and Couper Cornblum to make it 14-3.
Harry scored one more Penn State run in the eighth inning to make it 15-3 after Spiegel reached on a fielder’s choice.
Things got off to a hot start once again for the offense in the first game of the doubleheader after a Jay Harry single and a Josh Spiegel triple gave Penn State an early 1-0 in the top of the first. Thomas Bramley continued the inning with a double to right field to score Spiegel. Bramley didn’t have to wait long to score, either, after Bobby Marsh smacked a single up the middle to make it 3-0.
Steven Miller got the start on the mound for the Nittany Lions, but the right-hander didn’t look like himself. A 3-0 Penn State lead was quickly turned into a 4-3 Purdue lead. After a single and a hit by pitch put two runners on for Purdue, Connor Caskenette came up and smoked a three-run home run to tie the game. Two batters later, CJ Valdez stepped up and smacked a home run of his own to make it 4-3.
Miller was pulled in the second inning, and Jordan Morales was called in relief. Morales let up a run in the third after a sacrifice bunt scored a runner from third. Purdue scored another three runs in the fourth inning on another three-run home run, this time by Jake Parr, making it 8-3 Boilermakers. Purdue tacked on another run in the sixth thanks to a single by Valdez, which increased its lead to six.
In the top of the seventh, Penn State’s offense finally got going. Three straight singles loaded the bases for Harry, who delivered in a big way. He smoked a double down the right-field line to clear the bases to make it a 9-6 game. After advancing to third on a balk, Harry scored thanks to a sacrifice fly by Grant Norris, cutting the deficit to two.
An inning later, Tayven Kelley came up with a runner on first and hit a double into the left-center-field gap, scoring another run and making it 9-8.
The Nittany Lions put pressure on in the ninth after Harry smacked his second double of the game and advanced to third on a stolen base. With two outs and a runner at third, Spiegel stepped in the box but popped out to left field to end the game, losing 9-8.
The second game of the doubleheader started the same as the first — with an early Penn State lead. Kyle Hannon led off the game with a single and made his way to third after a stolen base and a throwing error by the pitcher on a pickoff attempt. Thomas Bramley scored Hannon on a sacrifice fly to make it 1-0.
On the mound making his sixth start of the year was Travis Luensmann. Luensmann was off and gave up four runs off seven hits and only struck out three batters.
Purdue rallied back during its half of the first, tying the game with a Connor Caskenette single. In the second, with two runners in scoring position, Purdue took the lead after a groundout by Mike Bolton. The Boilermakers added two more runs in the third inning thanks to a CJ Valdez two-run single to make it 4-1.
Once again facing a deficit, the Nittany Lions needed a comeback. The bats were asleep for the majority of the game, but Penn State stayed in it thanks to Daniel Ouderkirk, who had an impressive day in relief. The right-hander threw 3.1 innings and allowed only two hits to keep the game 4-1.
In the top of the ninth, the offense finally woke up. Grant Norris led off the inning with a single and scored two pitches later thanks to a Bobby Marsh double. Josh Spiegel stepped in and singled to left to put runners on the corners with no outs, down two.
Marsh scored after a groundout by Tayven Kelley to make the game 4-3. Anthony Steele walked to put two runners on with Hannon up. Hannon went down swinging to end the game in a 4-3 loss.
- Despite scoring 26 runs in the series, the offense was very up and down. Friday night, the Nittany Lions looked great with a 15-run outburst, giving them all the momentum. During the doubleheader, they were all over the place. They scored early and then couldn’t put anything together until it was too late in the game.
- The pitching on Saturday put the team in holes it could not bury itself out of. Significant deficits in both contests on Saturday were too much for the Nittany Lions to come back from. Steven Miller and Jordan Morales were disappointing in game two, and Travis Luensmann didn’t have his best stuff in game three.
- While they could only grab one win, Jay Harry and Kyle Hannon had very good weekends. Harry totaled six hits during the weekend, while Hannon picked up a hit in all three games to extend his hitting streak to 16 games.
The Nittany Lions will return home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, to take on Youngstown State. The game can be streamed on BTN+.
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About the Author
When paired with the Thespian Society by Penn State THON, the world changed for Theresa Illicete.
Thompson was granted two extra years of eligibility by the NCAA.
Fashanu is the Nittany Lions’ most recent First-Team All-American since Micah Parsons in 2019.