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Penn State Baseball Collapses In 7-1 Loss To Rutgers

Penn State baseball (22-22, 8-12 Big Ten) lost 7-1 against Rutgers (27-22, 5-15 Big Ten) on Saturday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.

A pitchers’ duel was ongoing for most of the game, as both starters had near-perfect outings. But Rutgers exploded for seven runs in the eighth inning, which was too much for Penn State to overcome.

How It Happened

Jaden Henline pitched an efficient top of the first inning, with two ground-outs and a strikeout. Penn State wasted no time in the bottom of the inning, with JT Marr and Adam Cecere getting on base. Grant Norris grounded out to shortstop, but the play scored Marr from third base to make it 1-0 Nittany Lions.

Two ground-outs to Joe Jaconski at first base highlighted another quick inning for the Nittany Lions. A promising inning looked to be on the way, but Tayven Kelley lined into a double play before any runs scored.

A pitchers’ duel ensued over the next several innings. By the end of the afternoon, Henline and Rutgers starter Donovan Zsak had combined for seven strikeouts and 48 batters faced.

The Scarlet Knights were retired in order in the fourth inning. Cecere was caught trying to steal second base, and Norris and Bobby Marsh grounded out to end the inning.

Neither team had more than five batters in one frame during the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. The closest either side came to scoring was in the seventh inning when Derek Cease advanced to second base on a single from Bryce Molinaro.

However, Rutgers broke through in the eighth inning. Volpe was driven home on Tony Santa Maria’s RBI double to tie it. Then Santa Maria and Ty Doucette scored off of Pete Durocher’s single to make it 3-1. Trevor Cohen hit a triple, scoring two more runners to take a commanding 5-1 lead. Jackson Natili bunted to score Cohen, and Natili crossed home plate three plays later to make it 7-1.

Marsh doubled in the ninth inning, but it was too little too late as Rutgers won 7-1.

Takeaways

  • The seven-run eighth inning highlights inexperience and more than anything. Frankie Sanchez is in his first Big Ten season, which he entered recovering from injury. Will Perkowski is a freshman, on the other hand. This was still ugly, and it’s yet another game being blown because of the bullpen’s woes.
  • Penn State’s offense was dormant from after the first inning. Four hits and two walks the whole game are unacceptable. So although the bullpen was bad, it’s hard to blame the loss solely on that.

What’s Next

Penn State and Rutgers finish up the series at 1 p.m. on Sunday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The game will be 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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