BASE: Penn State Gets First Big Ten Win Against Ohio State
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s ace was on the hill in Sal Biasi, who over powered Ohio State batters through the first couple innings with a fastball in the low 90s. Biasi had a 5.01 ERA coming into the game and had three wins and three losses.
Penn State gave him some run support in the bottom of the second as the Buckeyes committed multiple errors in the inning. After singles from Christian Helsel and Braxton Giavedoni, Ryan Sloniger attempted a sacrifice bunt but it was thrown away down the first base line by starting pitcher Yianni Pavlopoulos. Helsel came all the way around to score while Giavedoni advanced to third and Sloniger went to second.
Penn State starting shortstop Joe Weisenseel kept the rally going after hitting a chopper that Ohio State’s shortstop Jalen Washington bobbled, allowing Giavadoni to score stretching Penn State’s lead to 2-0.
A walk to Keith Leavitt loaded the bases but Logan Goodnight lined out to third baseman Noah McGowan for the first out of the inning. Nick Riotto then struck out swinging before Jordan Bowersox chopped out to second to end the threat.
Penn State kept the momentum going in the third when Ryan Sloniger delivered a one-out triple to deep left center that scored Helsel and Giavedoni, adding two runs to Penn State’s total.
“I didn’t really feel like he had anything he was going to be able to put me away with,” Sloniger said. “He worked me away the whole at bat, and I finally got something I could handle and I got a good knock there and got us going offensively.”
Sal Biasi continued to mow down the Buckeye lineup until an error by Jordan Bowersox, dropping a deep fly ball on the warning track in center field. It allowed Noah McGowan to reach third with two outs in the top of the fourth inning. Biasi then walked Zach Ratcliff to put runners on first and third. A ground ball deep in the hole allowed a run to cross, putting Ohio State on the board even though Conlin Hughes retired the second out of the inning at first.
The sixth inning caused some trouble for Biasi as McGowan drove a ball off the top of the right center field wall for a double, but that was the only hit for the Buckeyes.
In the bottom of the inning, Ohio State’s starter Pavlopoulos worked through two batters but allowed Weisenseel to reach base and was pulled in favor of relief pitcher Curtiss Irving. Irving’s first batter faced singled putting runners at first and third. With two outs, Jordan Bowersox delivered a single to left center, adding another run to Penn State’s total. An errant pickoff attempt to first base plated another run for the Nittany Lions in the form of Logan Goodnight.
Biasi came out to start the seventh but after retiring two batters and allowing two to reach base, his day came to an end with Taylor Lehman entering the game out of the bullpen. After a wild pitch Lehman found his control and struck out Tre’ Gantt to end the threat.
“After last week I was behind a lot so my goal this week was to throw a lot of first pitch strikes” stated Biasi when asked about his great start.
Into the game in relief for the Lions in the eighth was Nick Distasio, who walked McGowan before getting Zach Ratcliff to fly out to the right center warning track.
In the top of the ninth, the Buckeyes made some noise with a home run off the bat of Dominic Canzone, making the score 6-2.
Freshman right fielder Braxton Giavadonni lead the team on the day with three hits and two runs scored, upping his average to .283 on the year really contributing with big hitter Willie Burger out of the lineup.
Penn State returns to action on Sunday with a double header against the Buckeyes looking to pick up its first series win in the Big Ten this season.
Brian McLaughlin is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.