Malinsky Leads Penn State To Sweep Purdue In Grand Style
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State swept Purdue after picking up two wins Saturday afternoon. The first game came easy, while the Nittany Lions turned to Alex Malinsky in extra innings to win the second game in walk-off fashion.
The Nittany Lions (15-12, 3-2 B1G) took an easy 7-2 win in the first game of the double header. Sal Biasi shut down the Boilermakers pitching a shutout through seven innings. After giving up two runs in the top of the eight, Biasi was taken out of the game after his longest outing as a Nittany Lion.
After helping the Nittany Lions to a win over the Boilermakers with a triple Friday night, Tyler Kendall went 3-4 with two RBIs in Saturday’s first game.
Jim Haley extended his hitting streak to eleven games after having a single to center field in the bottom of the third inning. However, Haley’s streak would come to an end in the second game of the doubleheader after going 0-4.
Although the first game came rather easily for the Nittany Lions, the second game was much more of a battle.
Jack Picchiotti got things started for the Boilermakers with a leadoff double in the top of the first inning. After advancing to third on a fly ball to right field, Picchiotti scored on a ground out to second base.
The Boilermakers (4-20, 0-5 B1G) came back in the second inning when Cody Strong singled in Brett Carlson to take a 2-0 lead on Penn State.
Penn State cut Purdue’s lead to one run with a sacrifice fly by Nick Riotto bringing home Christian Helsel. The Nittany Lions took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning by tacking on three runs from a James Coates’ ground out, a Helsel single and a single by Conlin Hughes.
The Nittany Lions’ lead was short-lived as the Boilermakers tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth inning to tie the game. Carlson singled to right field knocking in Nick Dalesandro. Strong then singled through the left side to score Carlson.
In the top of the eighth inning, Penn State head coach Rob Cooper called on closer Jack Anderson to finish out the game. This was Anderson’s 85th career appearance on the mound tying David Lutz for the school’s all-time record in appearances.
After five straight innings of scoreless baseball, the Boilermakers regained the lead in the top of the 12th inning when Carlson drove home two runs with a single up the middle.
Just when the Nittany Lions looked like they were out of contention, they pulled off the unthinkable.
“Our team’s resiliency is unbelievable. Especially after a long day, we are in the bottom of the [12th] inning after giving up two runs, we could have easily just shut down,” Guers said. “I can’t even describe how much resiliency we have based off of today. Hopefully we can keep building off of that.”
Greg Guers started off the inning with a double to right center. Jordan Bowersox singled up the middle bringing Guers home to cut the game within one.
“I just wanted to hit the ball hard and get on base somehow. It all starts with one run, one hit, as long as you have one out to play with good things can happen as you see,” Guers said. “I just tried to hit the ball hard and get on base any way I could and it ended up working out for the best.”
Coates singled Bowersox to third base, bringing Alex Malinsky to the plate. Malinsky came in to catch in the top of the 12th inning and in his first plate appearance of the night, had runners on first and third with one out and down by one run.
Malinsky drove the third pitch he saw into left-center field. With the ball getting through the outfielders, Coates scored the winning run of the game from first and the team celebrated with Malinsky out at second base.
“I just saw something I could drive. I’m not even sure what pitch it was to be honest,” Malinsky said. “I tried to make it feel like I was in the game the entire time. I just tried to prepare myself for that at-bat so I could come through.”
After showing up to the field at 8 a.m. Saturday morning, the Nittany Lions were able to walk away from the field almost 12 hours later with two wins under their belts.
“Unbelievable day. We played three games in 24 hours. I’m just super proud of our kids right now. The way that game ended, Alex Malinsky, couldn’t have happened to a better guy,” Cooper said. “If you want to be great, every game has got to mean something.”
The Nittany Lions will host Pittsburgh Tuesday 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.