Penn State Beats Youngstown State in a Crazy Tuesday Night Matchup
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State baseball walked-off the Youngstown State Penguins 16-15 Tuesday, in a game that Nittany Lions infielders Ryan Ford and Justin Williams both called the “craziest game” they’ve ever been apart of.
The Penguins broke through first, with three runs in the second inning. In the bottom half, however, the Nittany Lions exploded for 10 runs, in an inning where over half of their lineup batted twice. Penn State added another run in the third, and seemed to be cruising with an 11-3 lead.
Youngstown State slowly clawed their way back, tacking on two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, before a four-run sixth inning tied the game. In that sixth inning, a close tag play that was initially called an out was overturned, much to Penn State head coach Rob Cooper’s dismay. Cooper came out to argue with first base umpire Justin Murphy, and was ultimately ejected from the ballgame. Little did he know, despite his team already blowing a seven-run lead, the game’s action was very far from over.
With Penn State pitching coach Josh Newman now at the helm, the game’s massive offensive swing continued, as Youngstown State added two runs in the seventh to take a 13-11 lead, at that point there were 10 unanswered runs.
The teams scored in two run bursts from that point on, with Penn State tying the game at 13 in the bottom of the seventh, and Youngstown State taking a two-run lead once again in the eighth to go up 15-13 with just the bottom of the ninth standing between them and an improbable victory.
However, Penn State would not go down quietly. The Diamond Lions pulled within one run after a single, a walk and a double. Following a strikeout and another walk, the Lions tied the game on a wild pitch. With the bases loaded and the game tied at 15 apiece, designated hitter Ryan Ford drove a ball deep to left-center field, giving Jordan Bowersox ample time to trot home with the game’s winning run, giving Ford a walk-off sacrifice fly.
Coach Rob Cooper, who earned his 400th win as a head coach in the contest, said that “any win is a good win,” and attributed his successful coaching career to his players dedication and talent. However, he did admit that the Nittany Lions were sloppy at times in this game, and made multiple key mistakes. In the final box score, there were 31 runs scored, 30 hits (13 for Penn State) and four errors (all by Penn Statate)
The Nittany Lions play again on Wednesday at Medlar Field, taking on in-state opponent Pittsburgh starting at 6:30 p.m.
Jeremy Schooler is a sophomore studying broadcast journalism and business. Reach him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.