Hedge Guides Penn State To Win vs. Pitt
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State would start the game off strong loading the bases with three singles to start the bottom of the first. Cleanup hitter Greg Guers would do his job and hit a double into right field plating two, before senior Tyler Kendall would hit a sacrifice fly scoring Jim Haley. Penn State would strand a runner on third however, finishing the first inning at 3-0 in favor of the Nittany Lions.
Starting Pitcher Nick Hedge was appreciative of the early run support when speaking to the media postgame.
“It’s Huge,” Hedge remarked. “It’s a lot of momentum and creates some energy on the bench.”
Conlin Hughes would lead off the fifth with a triple to centerfield and come home on a wild pitch during the next at bat, forcing the Panthers to make a pitching change. Pitt’s starting pitcher Sam Mersing would leave after five innings, leaving runners on first and second making way for freshman reliever Tyler Garbee. It would only get worse from there.
Guers would lay down a sacrifice bunt moving the runners over to second and third when Tyler Kendall would hit a double that scored them both, pushing Mersing’s final stat line to six runs on seven hits over three innings of work. The Nittany Lions weren’t finished there though, Kendall would advance to third on a wild pitch and score when the throw would sail into centerfield.
Kendall has come up big recently, with timely extra base hits against Purdue and now Pitt, he said that he has been working on his hitting.
“I’ve been working on little things with (Coach) Ross in the cage,” said Kendall. “Getting my foot down earlier is allowing me to see the ball a little bit bigger, but I’m always the guy that wants to come up big for my team, but if it’s not me it’s going to be somebody else.”
Penn State starting pitcher Nick Hedge would give way following six shutout innings, only allowing two hits. This was one of the best outings for any Penn State starter this year.
Both bullpens would be solid from that point on allowing just three more hits between both teams, with the final score coming at 7-0. It was a masterful pitching performance by the Nittany Lions who are now four games above 500.
Penn State head coach Rob Cooper was proud of the team’s effort following the victory.
“We played about as complete as we’ve played as far as competing. Obviously we got a great effort from Nick Hedge, which really set the tone, and then that first inning, being able to get a couple runs always helps.
Of note, Penn State closer Jack Anderson did not make an appearance tonight. He is still currently tied for the program record for appearances.
Penn State next takes the field in Easton against Lafayette, Wednesday at 3:30.
Zach Green is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. He can be found on twitter @zgreen05 or reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.