Penn State Baseball Falls to Pitt
Penn State baseball (5-15) lost its home opener to No. 30 Pittsburgh (16-6) today 10-8 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, despite a five-run outburst in the first inning.
The Nittany Lions pounced on the Panthers early, batting around their lineup to start the game. Penn State forced the Panthers to pull senior starter Alex Caravella after 1/3 of an inning and finished the inning with five runs off of two hits.
Pittsburgh responded with a run in the second and the third innings, cutting Penn State's five-run lead to three. After two innings, manager Robbie Wine pulled sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Harper, who allowed a run on two hits and two walks.
In total, Penn State used eight pitchers including Harper, freshman Nick Hedge, freshman Jack Anderson, redshirt sophomore Geoff Boylston, junior Ian Parvin, redshirt senior Cody Lewis, redshirt senior David Walkling and sophomore Casey Kulina. Wine said he had to get creative with his pitchers out of necessity.
"Well, we needed to," Wine told reporters after the game. "We've been on the field, this is the fourth day in like 17 days that we've been on the field. We needed to run guys out there.”
"It was planned out like that," Wine said. "We wanted Anderson to go two, we wanted Hedge to get two or three, and then the rest of them were going to go out there and see some hitters."
Penn State responded by scoring a run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth by redshirt senior third baseman Elliot Searer that drove in redshirt junior Steve Snyder. Searer, along with left fielder James Coates, led the way for the Nittany Lions with two RBIs.
Pittsburgh battled back, eventually tying the game at 6-6 behind a five-run sixth inning, but Penn State responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. Sophomore Taylor Skerpon drove in Aaron Novak, and Searer drove in James Coates with a bunt the following at-bat.
Pittsburgh tied the game in the top of the seventh inning at 8-8, and took the lead permanently with two runs in the top of the ninth off of redshirt senior Walkling. Walkling was the seventh pitcher used by the Lions, and was pulled for Kilina after an inning of work with two runs, two walks and two strikeouts to his name.
In the bottom of the ninth, the tying run reached base for Penn State with two outs. Redshirt freshman Ryky Smith walked, but Novak struck out against Pittsburgh's J.R. Leonardi to end the game.
After the game, Coach Wine said he is optimistic despite losing seven straight games.
"I like our offense, I like our pitching, too," said Wine. "I like our defense. We're just not clicking on all cylinders."
Penn State returns to action on Friday, March 29 against Purdue at 4:05 p.m. at Medlar Field. The game can be heard live on ComRadio.
Bill DiFilippo is a junior majoring in journalism and minoring in English. To contact him, email email@example.com
About the Contributors
Junior / Journalism
Bill is a junior from Danville, Pennsylvania by way of Parsippany, New Jersey majoring in Print Journalism. Bill’s love of basketball fuels almost everything he does, and after giving up his pursuit of playing professional ball due to several skill-related issues, he decided he pursue a career covering the NBA and college basketball. His dream is to cover the Orlando Magic for two reasons: because they are his favorite basketball team and because it would require him to live in Orlando. Bill also loves baseball, football and soccer, and would not mind if he covered a team in the English Premier League or the Spanish Primera División later in his life. Despite his disdain for the site, Bill writes for Bleacher Report, where he usually writes about Penn State football and basketball on the rare occasion that he decides to write about something.
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