Guers Leads Penn State Over Youngstown State 6-1
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Greg Guers carried the Penn State Nittany Lions to an easy victory over the Youngstown State Penguins, 6-1.
The game was not easy for the Nittany Lions for all nine innings, as it started with a tough pitching duel between two freshmen. Eli Nabholz took the mound for the Nittany Lions (11-12), while Collin Floyd started for the Penguins (5-16).
In the first two innings, Floyd struck out six Nittany Lions allowing only one hit.
“The guy got into a little bit of a rhythm and punched six of our guys out and I obviously feel like we are better hitters than that,” Penn State head coach Rob Cooper said. “Our guys made some adjustments, laid off some tough pitches and kind of got in there.”
In the third inning, Penn State right fielder Nick Riotto saved Nabholz’s one-hitter with a web gem of a diving catch. Riotto got a good jump on a ball hit by Shane Willoughby. The left-handed fielder dove forward and reached across his body securing the ball in his glove inches from the grass.
The Nittany Lions snapped Floyd’s shutout in the bottom of the third inning with a Jim Haley two RBI double. Haley took a 2-0 pitch to the warning track in the 410-foot corner in left-center field. After a Greg Guers bunt single, Tyler Kendall had a bloop single in shallow centerfield allowing Haley to tack on the third run of the inning.
In the Penguins’ only attempt of a comeback, Billy Salem singled in Lorenzo Arcuri with a rocket down the leftfield line.
Guers single-handedly ran away from the Penguins by sending a bullet over the right-centerfield fence in the bottom of the fifth inning.
“He’s a guy that I can guarantee the scouting report says, ‘Don’t let this guy beat you,’ and so guys like that aren’t going to see fastballs,” Cooper said. “Regardless of what the outcome is, he’s putting good swings on it. Greg’s biggest thing is he’s too hard on himself if he makes an out. He’s starting to get back to how he was the second half of last year saying, ‘I’m just going to have a quality at bat and go from there.'”
Then, in the bottom of the seventh, Guers sent a long fly ball off of the base of the right-centerfield wall that knocked in the sixth and final run of the game.
“It kind of got up in the air a little bit and I was thinking maybe the wind would take it a little bit but I got it off of the end of the bat,” Guers said. “I saw it bounce off of the wall pretty hard back toward the field, so I thought there could be a chance of an inside-the-park home run, but I got held up at third so it didn’t happen.”
From the sixth inning until the final pitch, Dakota Forsyth took the reigns on the mound for the Nittany Lions and pitched a scoreless four innings and only allowed four hits.
Nabholz picked up his first collegiate win of his career pitching five innings and only allowing two hits and one run.
“It feels awesome,” Nabholz said. “It’s easy when you have a bunch of guys out there. You can just attack hitters and let the defense do the work. Hopefully as a team we can build off of this and start a little hot streak.”
Penn State will host Binghamton tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Mandy Bell is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact her, email firstname.lastname@example.org. .