Penn State Beats Lafayette at Home
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State baseball beat Lafayette on Wednesday, holding on for a 3-2 win after building a 3-0 lead through the first six innings.
Freshman third baseman Justin Williams opened the scoring with a second inning home run, estimated at nearly 450 feet.
Both teams were quiet on offense for the next two-plus innings, until Nittany Lions right fielder Mac Hippenhammer tripled, later scoring on a fielder’s choice. Penn State extended their lead to three just an inning later when first baseman Parker Hendershot’s single drove in left fielder Gavin Homer.
Lafayette clawed back, putting two runs on the board in the seventh inning, led by first baseman Richard Villa and left fielder Trey Durrah. The two Leopards upperclassman outhit Penn State on their own, each going 3-for-5. The Nittany Lions offense was only able to muster five total hits in the win, to go along with two errors committed on defense.
Sophomore right-hander Conor Larkin earned the win for the Nittany Lions, achieving a quality start after pitching six scoreless innings. Larkin struck out seven, walked none, and was able to strand each of the seven runners (six hits, one hit batter) that reached base.
Lafayette’s Ethan O’Connor was less effective, but was still able to give the Leopards five innings, while allowing three hits, two runs and two strikeouts.
The crowd of 616 at Medlar Field was treated to a ninth inning that came down to the wire, as Lafayette put two runners on and, with two outs, Trey Durrah singled to load the bases. Unfortunately for the Leopards, the game would end on that play, as shortstop Justin Johnson was thrown out trying to score. Penn State second baseman Kris Kremer, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement, was able to make an on target throw from shallow right field to catcher Ryan Sloniger, and Sloniger tagged out Johnson to end the game.
Penn State will take on Maryland this weekend in a three-game Big Ten home series at Medlar Field. Friday's game starts at 6:30 p.m., Saturday will be at 2 p.m., and Sunday will be at 1 p.m.
Jeremy Schooler is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and business. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.