Penn State Drops First Game to Nebraska
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions were looking to get back into the win column Friday afternoon, when Big Ten opponent Nebraska came to Happy Valley for an afternoon ballgame. They were unsuccessful in their efforts, dropping the first game of the three-game series by a score of 3-2.
The Nittany Lions got things going early, when back-to-back leadoff singles by outfielders Mason Nadeau and Jordan Bowersox put two runners on base. Soon after, a pair of singles from Parker Hendershot and Gavin Homer each scored one run, giving Penn State the early 2-0 lead. Hendershot and Homer each finished the game with two hits each, a team high.
That was the end of Penn State’s offensive production, as they only managed three hits across the remaining eight innings of play. Nebraska pitcher Matt Waldron led the way for the Cornhuskers, finishing with seven innings, two strikeouts, and only one walk. The win was his fifth of the season, improving his record to 5-0.
“He is a Friday night ace at Nebraska. They guy can really pitch,” said Penn State coach Rob Cooper.
Nebraska got on the board in the top of the sixth when DH Keegan Watson launched a two-run home run over the left field wall. They went on to score another on a Colby Gomes fielder’s choice off of relief pitcher Mason Mellott.
Mellott took the loss in the contest, despite only giving up two hits. Three of Nebraska’s four hits came in the top of the sixth inning.
Penn State starter Dante Biasi put himself into tough positions early, with a season high six walks and only four strikeouts on five innings work. When asked about Biasi’s performance, Cooper had high regards for his ace.
“It was one of the toughest, most competitive battles that I have ever seen a kid do,” said Cooper.
He went on to explain that despite being unable to find consistency in his pitches, Biasi was able to hold Nebraska scoreless through the first five innings, and he was proud of him for it.
“One swing of the bat was the only difference. …it just reiterates how truly good (Biasi) is and how lucky we are to get to watch him every Friday night,” said Cooper.
Nebraska’s Colby Gomes picked up the save in the ninth, shutting down the three Penn State batters he faced.
The win improved Nebraska’s record to 18-10 (8-2), while Penn State dropped to 17-13 (1-8).
The series will continue on Saturday, with a double header scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. When asked what the mindset would be going into tomorrow’s games after the loss, Nadeau said that the mindset doesn’t change.
“It’s the same way we approach every day: ready to win, sticking together as a family, and just ready to dominate in all areas of the game,” Nadeau said.
Preston Shoemaker is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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