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Nittany Lions return to Big Ten play
Nittany Lions looking for fourth straight win over in-state foe
Anderson sets career saves record and ties single-season record
First game Saturday to be televised on BTN
All three games to be streamed on BTN Plus
- NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List
- Golden Spikes Award Watch List
- Preseason first team All-Big Ten (Rivals.com)
- Louisville Slugger preseason third team All-American (Collegiate Baseball)
- Preseason second team All-Ping (Ping!Baseball)
Drew will enter the 2008 season as an All-American candidate and with an opportunity to be taken very high in the 2008 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft as well as break some more school records if he has another season like he did last year. Drew had the finest season ever for a Penn State relief pitcher and one of the best seasons ever for a Nittany Lion hurler, period. A relatively unknown and quiet junior college transfer from Young Harris College entering last year, he burst onto the Big Ten and national scene last year by putting up some staggering and unprecedented numbers for a Penn State pitcher while emerging as the top closer in the Big Ten. At the conclusion of his record-setting season, he was drafted in the eighth round of last year's MLB Amateur Draft by the Cincinnati Reds, one of a record-tying five Nittany Lions to be drafted off of last year's team. He turned down a chance to play professional ball and to join former teammate Scott Gaffney with the Reds and elected to return to Penn State for his junior season, which will be his fourth year in college since he redshirted as a freshman at Wake Forest. In addition to almost certainly boosting his draft stock this year, Drew will also be very close to earning his degree at the conclusion of this season.
Summer 2007: Appeared in 11 games for the Battle Creek Bombers of the Northwoods League....Compiled a 3.38 ERA and a 1-2 record in just 10.2 innings....Allowed eight hits, four earned runs and struck out 14 while limiting opposing hitters to a .190 average.
"Drew had a great season last year as our team's closer. He pitched extremely well in a lot of clutch situations and helped our team win ballgames throughout the year. However his drive, determination, and attitude are his strongest attributes. It's a good feeling to know we have him down there if we need him late in games. He has continued to work hard this off-season and is one of our guys who leads by example. We are certainly happy to have Drew back from another year."
From the Coaches' Suite
2007 (Sophomore): Set a new school record for saves in a season with 11, easily shattering the old record of seven....Moved all the way up to a tie for second on the Penn State career saves list in just one season, and is just five shy of breaking the record of 15....Went 11-for-12 in save opportunities and has not allowed only two of 11 inherited runners to score....Held the opponent without any runs in 18 of his 23 appearances and without any earned runs in 20 of 23....Had a string of 26.2 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run, which spanned over his 17 appearances from March 24 through May 26....In that same span, had a streak of 20.1 straight scoreless innings over 13 straight appearances from April 4 through May 24....Did not allow a walk in nine straight appearances, which spanned from April 4 through May 19 and a total of 15.2 innings....Retired 23 straight hitters over six appearances from April 15 - May 12, earning three saves and a win in that time frame....Penn State picked up a win in 19 of his 23 appearances....Had a 0.00 ERA and did not allow an earned or unearned run in 16.1 innings to go along with a 2-0 record and eight saves in Big Ten play....Also allowed just six hits and limited hitters to a .113 average in the Big Ten....Overall, allowed just one earned run all year in 22.1 innings to a Big Ten team, and that run came in the Big Ten Tournament in his sixth inning of work in three days....Overall, had a microscopic ERA of 1.34 in 33.2 innings of work and allowed just five earned runs (nine overall) and 22 hits to go along with a 4-2 record while limiting opponents to a .188 batting average....Named first team All-Big Ten.
Game-by-Game Highlights: Notched his first save of the season in his first Penn State appearance by throwing two innings and allowing two hits while striking out one and stranding the tying and winning runs at third and second, respectively in the Penn State's first win of the year at Centenary (2-18)....Picked up his first Penn State win by throwing two innings in the win over No. 1 North Carolina (3-3), allowing just one walk while striking out one and stranding the tying run at third in the bottom of the tenth....Threw a scoreless inning of relief at Wichita State (3-10)....Escaped a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning to keep the score tied but gave up the winning run on a pair of singles sandwiched around a sacrifice in two-thirds of an inning in the series finale at Wichita State (3-11), one of only two games on the year that he gave up an earned run in....Tossed a scoreless inning in a win over Central Connecticut (3-24)....Pitched a scoreless seventh inning to pick up his second save of the year vs. Minnesota (3-31), which was also the first Penn State save recorded at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park....Earned his third save of the year vs. Bucknell (4-3), despite allowing an unearned run in his one inning of work....Followed that up with a scoreless inning vs. Kent State (4-4) the next night....Struck out two in a perfect inning to close out the win over Temple (4-11)....Stranded the tying runs on base and got the hitter that represented the potential winning run to bounce into a game-ending double play to pick up the save in the series opener vs. Michigan State (4-14)....For the second time on the season, stranded the tying and go-ahead runs on third and second base, respectively, and escaped with his fifth save of the year and second of the series in the third game of the Michigan State series (4-15). The final two batters that he retired were the first two of his 23 straight set down over the next near month....Struck out one in a scoreless inning vs. Northwestern (4-21)....Mowed down six straight hitters in two perfect innings to pick up the win in the series finale vs. Northwestern (4-22) after Penn State broke a tie in the eighth inning....Got four outs on four straight hitters to earn his sixth save of the season in the series opener vs. Indiana (4-27)....Picked up his record-tying seventh save of the year with 1.2 inning of scoreless relief, facing just five hitters while striking out two vs. Purdue (5-6)....Improved to 3-1 on the season with an impressive season-long three-inning stint at Michigan (5-12) in which he allowed just one hit and three baserunners, two on hit by pitches, against one of the top five teams in the country in batting average entering that weekend as Penn State won in extra innings....Came right back the next day and threw two innings, allowing only one baserunner, which came on an error and who was erased anyway by a double play, to pick up his record-breaking eighth save vs. Michigan (5-13)....Was named Big Ten Pitcher of the Week on 5-14 for his efforts in the Michigan series....Earned saves in both ends of the doubleheader vs. Ohio State (5-19), pitching one inning in the first game and striking out two and then going 1.1 innings in the second game and getting a game-ending double play with the go-ahead run at first in the second game....Tossed two perfect innings, striking out two in the Big Ten Tournament win over Iowa (5-24)....Pitched 2.1 innings, working around two errors and three unearned runs to earn the win as Penn State won an exciting game in extra innings to eliminate Michigan on its home field in the Big Ten Tournament (5-25).
Young Harris College (Freshman): Played for the Mountain Lions for one season under head coach Rick Robinson....Helped lead the team to a 48-16 record as a sophomore....Was a member of a GJCAA championship team in his only year at Young Harris.
Wake Forest (Redshirt): Took a medical redshirted in his only year at Wake Forest after having Tommy John surgery.
Blessed Trinity HS: Earned four varsity letters at Blessed Trinity High School in Roswell, Ga....Was an All-County honorable mention selection as a sophomore....Went 6-0 with a 1.57 ERA and was a first team All-County pick and was also named to the Dugout Club All-Tournament team as a junior....Team went a combined 28-2 in the region over his final two years and won back-to-back regional championships....Also participated in football.
Background: Andrew Michael O'Neil was born on November 8, 1985 in Atlanta, Ga....The son of David and Kathy O'Neil, he has an older brother, Richard (25) and an older sister, Kristen (23)....Drew is majoring in economics.