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Penn State Baseball Loses Two Of Three Against Indiana

Penn State baseball (18-14, 5-7 Big Ten) took two of three games out in Bloomington during its three-game matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers (20-16, 5-4 Big Ten). The Nittany Lions won the first game of the series in a blowout, but blew a lead in game two and were unable to repeat their offense success in the finale of the series.

Adam Cecere homered in all three games and the Nittany Lions hit 11 home runs during the weekend. Their downfall was that they only scored four runs during the final 16 innings of the weekend.

How It Happened

Game One

The Nittany Lions offense was in full effect in game one of the series as right away Penn State came out swinging. Just six pitches into the game, Joe Jaconski smoked a leadoff home run to right field to make it 1-0 Penn State.

Three consecutive singles by Bobby Marsh, J.T. Marr, and Adam Cecere brought in another run. Grant Norris was up next and despite hitting into a double play, Marr was still able to score on the groundout for the third run of the inning.

Travis Luensmann was on the mound making the start in the opener of the series. The right-hander sent the Hoosiers down in order in the bottom half of the first but ran into some trouble in the second. A leadoff walk from Tyler Cerny put a runner on and a bunt moved him into scoring position. Jake Stadler then smacked an RBI single to center allowing Cerny to score to make it 3-1.

In the top of the third, Penn State answered back picking up two more runs. Jaconski reached on an error and after a groundout by Marsh, Marr was up next and drilled a two-run home run to right-center field.

Indiana got a run back in the bottom of the third after a couple of singles and a bad throw error by Kyle Hannon. After no runs by either team in the fourth, the Nittany Lions offense stepped up big time over the next two innings.

In the top of the fifth, Marsh led off the inning with a solo shot to right to make it 6-2. Marr lined out to center next but Cecere answered Marsh with a solo home run of his own. The home run parade didn’t stop at two as Norris walked to put a runner on for Bryce Molinaro and he smacked an opposite-field two-run home run the third dinger of the inning for Penn State.

After scoring four runs in the fifth, Penn State did the same just an inning later. With two runners on, Marr scored the first run of that inning on a sacrifice fly, and Cecere scored another run with a single to center field. Norris was up next and he joined in on the home run fun, crushing a two-run shot to left for the sixth home run by Penn State on the day.

Indiana went scoreless in both the fifth and sixth. However, in the seventh, the Hoosiers finally got some offense going. Luensmann stretched his start into the seventh inning for the first time all season, but three consecutive walks forced him to end his days at 6.1 innings.

With the bases loaded, Jasen Oliver smacked a single to right for one run, and a fielder’s choice by Devin Taylor scored another run to make 13-4 Penn State. Cecere picked up another RBI in the eighth on a sacrifice fly and in the ninth, Molinaro drilled his second home run of the game, this time a solo shot to left. David Lee made quick work of Indiana in the ninth, as the Nittany Lions won 15-4.

Game Two

The second game of the series started with a bang from both teams. After no runs from anyone in the first, both squads combined for 13 runs in the second inning.

Penn State started the scoring attack with walks by Cecere and Molinaro. Maloney stepped up next and smoked a double to left, scoring two runs. A walk by Hannon put two runners on for Jaconski, who scored another run with a single to center to make it 3-0.

Marsh kept the line moving with another RBI single and then up came Marr. Marr crushed a three-run shot to right-center field for his second home run of the weekend. Cecere was up next and he also crushed a home run of his own, going back-to-back with Marr to make it 8-0 Nittany Lions.

However, after scoring eight runs in the top half of the second, the Hoosiers answered in their half of the inning. A single, hit by a pitch, and a walk loaded the bases for Stadler. He walked to bring the first run of the day for Indiana, but a double by Josh Pyne scored two more runs. A groundout by Andrew Wiggins and a sacrifice fly from Carter Mathison scored two more runs to make it 8-5 Penn State.

After that inning, the pitching finally stepped up for both teams as they went four straight innings with no runs from either team. Penn State brought in Mason Horwat in relief and he shined for the Nittany Lions allowing just two hits in the first four innings of relief.

However, in the seventh, he reached his limit. He allowed a leadoff single to Pyne and Wiggins got him home on a two-run bomb to right center to make it a one-run game. Penn State brought in Anthony Steele to get out of the inning and he did just that grabbing three quick outs.

In the top of the eighth, the Nittany Lions got a huge insurance run. A walk by Tayven Kelley and a single by Jaconski put runners on the corners for Marsh. The left-fielder smacked a single through the right side allowing Kelley to score to make it 9-7.

After another great inning from Steele in the eighth, Penn State did not add on in its half of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, the Hoosiers were down to two outs early. Steele was in for his third straight inning of relief. He allowed a hit by a pitch and a walk to put two runners on for Devin Taylor who smoked a single up the middle for a run to make it once again a one-run game.

Steele was then pulled and Will Perkowski came on in to try and get the last out of the inning. Cerny was up and he drilled a single to left to tie the game at nine all. With Nick Mitchell up, Perkowski threw a wild pitch that allowed Taylor to score from third as Indiana completed the comeback, winning 10-9.

Game Three

The finale of the series started with a bang for Penn State. Jaconski smacked his second leadoff home run of the weekend, to make it 1-0 Penn State.

Frankie Sanchez was on the mound for Penn State and he struggled right away, hitting a batter and walking two in a row to load the bases in the second. Joey Brenczewski stepped up and he smacked a grand slam to center field to make it 4-1 Indiana. Two batters later, Carter Mathison drilled a second home run of the inning, this time only a solo shot.

After no runs by either team in the third, Cecere launched his third home run of the weekend to left field to make it 5-2. Indiana answered in its half of the fourth with a home run, another one by Brenczewski to make it a four-run game again.

Penn State threatened in the top of the fifth, getting the bases loaded but failed to score any runs. Meanwhile, the Hoosiers kept their foot on the gas. A single and a stolen base by Nick Mitchell put a runner in scoring position for Brenczewski, who smacked a single to right for his sixth RBI of the game. He then stole second and scored after a single by Stadler to make it 8-2.

Indiana added two more runs in the thanks to back-to-back singles by Mitchell and Wiggins. Both teams went scoreless in the seventh and in the top of the eighth, Penn State finally scored a run. A single by Norris scored Marr from second base.

Indiana added two runs in the bottom half of the eighth, thanks to singles by Brenczewski and Stalder. In the top of the ninth, Penn State failed to score any runs and fell to the Hoosiers 12-3.

Takeaways

  • What started a great weekend for the Nittany Lions quickly crumpled into one that they wish they could forget. Penn State dropped back-to-back games in this series after blowing out Indiana in the opener of the series.
  • The pitching on Saturday and Sunday was just not there as starters Henline and Sanchez let up a combined 11 earned runs in just six innings.
  • Luensmann was the highlight of the weekend for the pitching staff. The right-hander went 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs, and striking out eight. He made it to the seventh inning for the first time all season, however, after three walks in a row he was pulled. His 115 pitches in the win Friday night were also the most he’s thrown all season.
  • The offense continues to hit well but after the second inning of game two, the runs just weren’t consistently coming for the Nittany Lions. They scored just four runs in the final 16 innings of play compared to 23 runs in the first 11 innings of the weekend. They combined for 11 home runs all weekend long, with Cecere, Jaconski, Marr, and Molinaro all hitting multiple shots during the series. However, the

What’s Next

The Nittany Lions will return home for their final dollar dog of the season. They take on the Kent State Golden Flashes at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The game can also be streamed 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 taking down any Dollar Dog challenge or rewatching the Big Ten Maps Commercial. To reach him, follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @matt_brown63, or email him at [email protected].

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