Deegan and Steranka Lead Penn State over Binghamton
Sean Deegan and Jordan Steranka each had three hits as the Penn State baseball team (10-18, 2-4 Big Ten) defeated the Binghamton Bearcats (8-12, 0-0 America East) in an 8-2 win at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park Wednesday evening.
While Deegan and Steranka led the way offensively, the Nittany Lions got a solid outing from starting pitcher Cody Lewis, who gave up one run in five innings. He had lost his starting job after struggling in the first month of the season. Lewis credited the team's recent success with helping him get on track.
"When the guys do well, it makes you want to do better as well," he said. "They start throwing better and you want to add to that."
His center fielder noticed a difference as well.
"Today was definitely a different feeling," Deegan said. "After Cody gave up that run, I didn't feel anything. I knew we were going to score runs, and I knew Cody was going to lock in and pitch well."
The team's confidence seemed higher than it had been in previous games at Medlar Field. It was the team's third straight win, and the Nittany Lion offense has scored 33 runs over the last three games.
"Sunday was just like a piano off our deck," Deegan said, referencing the team's 16-6 win over 19th-ranked Purdue. "You could feel that tension just kind of release. The last couple days have been stress free."
The offense has performed well in recent days. Deegan had three hits and scored three runs, while Steranka added three hits, including two doubles and two RBIs.
The offense found its stride in the third inning. Deegan stole second base after reaching with his first single of the day. Binghamton starter Jed Lemen then walked center fielder Steve Snyder on a wild pitch. The ball rolled up the third baseline, but Binghamton third baseman Joel Stubbs elected to hold the bag. As catcher Jake Thomas ran the ball down, Deegan was able to score from second on the wild pitch.
Third baseman Joey DeBernardis would single in Snyder, who advanced to second on the wild pitch that walked him. Steranka then doubled in DeBernardis, chasing Lemen from the game. Reliever Ty Lyons then walked right fielder Aaron Novak and catcher Alex Farkes, bringing up designated hitter JJ White. White would knock a fly ball into centerfield, earning the RBI as Steranka scored on the fly out.
Patience at the plate has been helping the Nittany Lions in recent days.
"They're not chasing balls out of the zone," said assistant coach Eric Folmar. "Guys are starting to swing the bat better. I think they're starting to get more comfortable."
The four run third inning would set the tone for the rest of the game. Snyder would get two RBIs on a fourth inning sacrifice fly and a sixth inning triple. Right fielder Aaron Novak tripled and scored in the fifth inning. DeBernardis reached base twice and added two RBIs, and said he felt better about the team's direction.
"It's just kind of more relaxed," he said. "I didn't change anything too much. It's just more relaxed and comfortable."
Binghamton's top performer was center fielder Bill Bereszniewicz, who had three hits. Thomas added two hits, including a double. The Bearcats scattered 12 hits as a team, but only managed two runs while leaving ten men on base.
Binghamton's pitchers struggled throughout the day. After using ten pitchers in their last two games, the staff was depleted coming into Wednesday's game. Relievers Ty Lyons and Joe Swindells made their first appearances of the season, and Lemen made his first start. The Bearcats allowed 12 hits and 7 walks while yielding 7 earned runs on the day.
For Penn State, it's now important to keep a loose feeling moving forward.
"Everything's just starting to click," said Deegan. "We haven't had a great record up to this point, but we know that we just have to do well in the Big Ten. We just have to keep things rolling."
Penn State returns to action with a three game series at Medlar Field against Canisius beginning Friday, April 6 at 6:05 p.m. Sunday's 1:05 p.m. start will be heard live on ComRadio.
Dan Smith is a junior majoring in Broadcast Journalism and is the Executive Editor of ComRadio. To contact him, email email@example.com.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Dan Smith is the Executive Editor of ComRadio. He is also a producer for the Centre County Report. Dan is from West Chester, PA. He has broadcasted and written about many Penn State sports for ComRadio, including football, basketball, baseball, volleyball and softball. He has interned at 97.5 FM The Fanatic in Philadelphia.