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Penn State Baseball Falls 11-9 To UMass Lowell

Penn State baseball (10-6) lost 11-9 to UMass Lowell (6-11) on Friday evening at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

The Nittany Lions erupted for six runs in the second inning, but the River Hawks’ seven-run fourth inning was too much to overcome en route to their first home loss of the season.

How It Happened

Penn State had two outs and two strikes against Carlos Martinez, but he singled down the third base line to keep the top of the first inning alive. However, Billy Gerlott snagged Ryan Proto’s fly ball in left field to send the Nittany Lions up to hit.

After the Nittany Lions went down in order, Conor Kelly hit a leadoff double. He tagged to third base when Fritz Genther hit a sacrifice fly, and then scored when River Hart grounded out to give the River Hawks a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Adam Cecere answered with a homer to right field to tie it 1-1 in the bottom of the inning. However, Penn State wasn’t done yet. Bobby Marsh got on base, and then Grant Norris hit a bomb to take a 3-1 lead.

Tayven Kelly and Gerlott got on base with no outs, which brought up Kyle Hannon. Hannon hit a moonshot that left the ballpark, flipping his bat as he watched the ball soar into the brisk spring air. He was ejected from the game as a result but not before severe damage was done. Penn State took a commanding 6-1 lead, and it was only the bottom of the second inning.

Things started to heat up again in the fourth inning. Mason Horwat loaded the bases with the first three batters. Martinez scored on an error, and Proto scored on a fielder’s choice the next play. Chic DeGaetano replaced Horwat, but it wasn’t any easier for him. River Hart doubled to right field, which scored two runners. He scored on the next at-bat when Roddy Hernandez singled up the middle to tie it 6-6.

Two outs and three batters later, Martinez’s single scored Hernandez to give the River Hawks a 7-6 lead. DeGaetano was pulled in favor of Matt Morash, who immediately allowed another run to score off a single. A pop fly to Kelly ended the inning the next play.

Gerlott and Kevin Michaels got on second and third base in the bottom of the inning. Bryce Molinaro’s sacrifice fly scored Gerlott to make it 8-7 in favor of UMass Lowell.

The Nittany Lions struggled to shut down the River Hawks two scoreless innings later. In the seventh inning, Kelly hit a single and Genther grabbed a double. Brandon Fish smacked a double of his own, which sent both runners home to give UMass Lowell a 10-7 lead.

J.T. Marr singled to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning. Then, Adam Cecere hit his second home run of the day to cut the lead to 10-9. It ended there, though, because Penn State left two runners on base.

Mason Butash walked two batters to begin the eighth inning. Alex Luccini singled off a bunt, but Hernandez scored off a throwing error committed by Butash to tack on another run.

Cecere nearly hit his third home run of the day to ignite a comeback bid in the bottom of the ninth, but it died in Martinez’s glove in deep right field. Marsh suffered the same fate in left field, and Norris’ pop fly was caught to hand Penn State an 11-9 loss.

Takeaways

  • Penn State shouldn’t bat-flip in the second inning. It’s a sure-fire way to rile up an opposing team, which it did. The River Hawks’ seven-run fourth inning is evidence of that. There’s a time and a place for bat-flips but not in that situation.
  • On a brighter note, Adam Cecere had two homers. He’s continuing to be a solid addition for Penn State, as he now has five this season.
  • There seemed to be an overall lack of focus in this game. There were several crucial errors that could’ve made this a more favorable outcome for Penn State, so this should serve as a learning experience.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions and the River Hawks finish the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 15, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. It’ll be streamed on BTN+.

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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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