Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics
Nittany Lions earn 8-6 win in game two; finish series on Saturday
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State baseball team split its doubleheader against Rutgers on Friday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. In the Big Ten opener for both teams, the Nittany Lions fell 6-4 in game one, but bounced back for an 8-6 win in game two.
The Nittany Lions are 8-12 overall, while Rutgers is 15-6.
In game one, Josh Spiegel hit his second homer of the year. In game two, Jay Harry launched two dingers, driving in three runs. Matt Wood had a double and a triple while collecting three RBI.
The Nittany Lions conclude the series against Rutgers on Saturday at 1 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on B1G+.
The 2022 Penn State baseball season is presented by The Family Clothesline.
Travis Luensmann made his sixth start of the season and went 3.1 innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out two. Tyler Shingledecker followed up with 1.1 innings, however three earned runs led to an early exit for the lefty in favor of Jaden Henline. The sophomore pitched four innings, allowing just one unearned run on two hits and striking out four, and was relieved by Ryan Partridge who recorded the last out for Penn State in the ninth inning.
Jared Kollar got the start for the Scarlet Knights, hurling 5.1 innings of four-run ball. Sam Bello, two innings, and Dale Stanavich, one inning, contributed scoreless relief outings.
Spiegel hit a two-run homer in the third inning, while Billy Gerlott had a triple and a run. Johnny Piacentino went two-for-three with an RBI and a run.
Tony Santa Maria drove in two runs, on a double, for Rutgers. Evan Sleight had a solo homer and scored two runs.
The Scarlet Knights pushed a run across in the top of the first. With two outs, Nick Cimillo hit a fly ball to center that carried to the warning track before being caught for a sacrifice fly. Ryan Lasko scored after leading off the inning with a single.
Penn State tied the game in the bottom half. Gerlott led off the inning with a high fly ball to left that hit off the top of the wall for a triple. Piacentino followed with a single up the middle to plate Gerlott and even the game at 1-1.
The Nittany Lions added three runs in the third. After a leadoff walk drawn by Derek Cease, a single by Piacentino pushed Cease to third. A fly ball by Wood to left field resulted in a sacrifice fly as Cease scored. On the second pitch of his at-bat, Spiegel launched a fly ball over the wall in left-center for a two-run homer. Penn State led 4-1 after three.
An infield single by Jordan Sweeney, in the fourth inning, allowed Chris Brito to score and cut Rutgers’ deficit to 4-2.
In the top of the fifth, the Scarlet Knights struck again, this time on a home run off the bat of Sleight. Santa Maria then gave Rutgers a 5-4 lead with a two-out. two-run double.
Rutgers plated one more in the top of the seventh, as Brito grounded into a double play that scored Sleight, to take a 6-4 lead in the game.
Cole Bartels led off the bottom of the ninth with a double and Harry singled to put two runners on. However, a pair of strikeouts and a foul out ended the inning.
Freshmen Tommy Molsky made his sixth start on the season, going 3.1 innings with three strikeouts. He gave up five runs off six hits and three walks. After a rough first inning where he gave up four runs, Molsky only gave up a lone run off three hits the rest of his outing. He was relieved by the quartet of Jordan Morales, Steven Miller, Mason Mellott and Kellan Tulio covering pitched the final 5.2 innings with five strikeouts to close out the game.
Morales went 1.2 scoreless innings with two strikeouts, he was followed up by Miller who also went 1.2 innings, allowing one run, with one strikeout to earn the win. Mellott pitched the next 1.1 innings, getting one strikeout. Tulio closed out the match by getting the final three outs of the game with a strikeout to earn his first save of the season.
Ben Gorski started for Rutgers, going 2.1 innings with two strikeouts. He gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. He was relieved by six Scarlett Knight pitchers who combined to close out the last 5.2 innings with three strikeouts, giving up five runs on eight hits.
Combining to score eight runs off eleven hits and four walks, the Nittany Lions’ offense was led by Harry. The shortstop finished the game with two homers, three RBIs and crossed home plate twice. Wood went two-for-three with a double and a triple and knocked in three RBI. Josh Spiegel hit an RBI triple. Gerlott hit a double and scored twice. CJ Pittaro went two-for-four with a run scored.
Led by the trio of Santa Maria, Lasko and Danny DiGeorgio, who each had two hits on the night, the Rutgers offense scored six runs on ten hits with six walks. Santa Maria and Cimillo each had a double.
Rutgers struck first in the top of the first inning when Sleight singled to left field to score Lasko. Cimillo followed up with a double that scored Sleight and DiGeorgio. Santa Maria capped off the four run inning by driving in Cimillo on a single. Rutgers led 4-0 after one.
With one out, Jay Harry cleared the right field fence with a one-run shot to cut the Rutgers’ lead to 4-1. Penn State followed up in the third when back-to-back triples by Wood and Spiegel closed the gap to 4-3.
Rutgers halted the comeback in the top of the fourth when a DiGeorgio single to left scored Garrett Callaghan with two outs, making it a 5-3 game.
Harry responded om the bottom of the fifth with his second home run of the game, this time a two-run bomb, again to right, which tied the game.
Rutgers scored on a wild pitch in the sixth, as Santa Maria crossed the plate, to re-take the lead, 6-5.
The bottom of the sixth saw the Nittany Lions score two to take the lead for the first time in the game. Pittaro led off the inning with a single to right. Gerlott followed with a double down the line in left to put runners on second and third. Back-to-back sac flies by Piacentino and Wood drove in Pittaro and Gerlott to give Penn State a 7-6 advantage.
Penn State added to its lead in the eighth. Pittaro again led off the inning with a single. A walk by Piacentino and a wild pitch moved Pittaro to third. Another sac fly by Wood again plated Pittaro to extend the lead to 8-6.