ACADEMIC ALL-BIG TEN (2009, 2010, 2011)
AS A SENIOR IN 2011: Appeared in eight games as a left-handed specialist during his final season in Happy Valley ... Did not allow an earned run in seven of his eight appearances during the year ... Struck out the only batter he faced during his first appearance of the season against Notre Dame on February 20 ... Set aside both batters he saw against NC State on March 5 to help seal a 9-4 victory against the perennial ACC power ... Established a season-high with 2.1 innings of relief against Le Moyne on March 27 before matching that performance in his very next appearance against Purdue on April 17 ... Struck out the final batter in his career after setting aside the only hitter he faced against Minnesota during the Big Ten Tournament on May 26 ... Named to the Academic All-Big Ten team and earned Penn State's Shorty Stoner Award for his performance in the classroom.
AS A JUNIOR IN 2010: Key lefty reliever out of the bullpen who enjoyed a breakout season ... Finished with a 1-1 record along with a career-best 6.11 ERA in career-high 17.2 innings pitched ... Appeared in 16 games, fifth on the team ... Also struck out a career-high 10 batters ... Had six consecutive scoreless appearances, the second longest streak of his career spanning Apr. 13 - May 8. Did not allow a run in five April outings ... Tossed a scoreless frame against Iowa (5/8) ... Threw a scoreless ninth inning in 18-7 win over Michigan State (4/30) ... Tied a season-high 2.2 innings, allowing only one hit and no runs against La Salle (4/27) ... Recorded the last out of a 14-6 win at Ohio State (4/25) ... Tossed 0.1 scoreless innings vs. Duquesne (4/20) ... Picked up first win of the season, tossing 0.2 scoreless frames against No. 24 Pittsburgh (4/13) ... Went a season-high 2.2 innings in minimizing the damage at Kent State (3/30). Also marked second longest outing of career ... Retired the only batter he faced against in the Coca-Cola Classic Championship Game against Kent State (3/21) ... Had a scoreless inning with a strikeout at Lamar (3/7) ... Tossed a scoreless inning against Notre Dame (2/28), coming into a jam while minimizing damage in allowing only one run.
AS A SOPHOMORE IN 2009: Had spurts of excellence as a sophomore, including no earned runs in five of 10 appearances, all out of the bullpen ... Also didn't allow a hit on four occasions ... Allowed one run or fewer seven times ... Finished season with an 0-1 record and 11.05 ERA in 7.1 innings ... Retired only two batters he faced against Illinois (4/26) ... Didn't allow an earned run in an inning vs. #16 Ohio State (3/28) ... Tossed a scoreless ninth in Game One of a doubleheader vs. Rutgers (3/14) ... Retired the only batter he faced in the series-opener against #4 Texas (2/27) and Northwestern (2/21).
AS A FRESHMAN IN 2008: Walk-on reliever turned in some strong performances ... Held opponents scoreless in eight of 12 appearances ... Began career with three straight scoreless outings, spanning 2.1 innings ... Did not allow an earned run in three appearances of Big Ten play (2.2 innings) ... Held opponent without a hit in five appearances and allowed more than one hit three times and more than two hits only once ... Finished the season with seven straight scoreless innings dating back to Apr. 11, only giving up two hits in that span ... Pitched a scoreless frame against Michigan State (5/4) ... Had long and impressive outing vs. Youngstown State (4/23), pitching four innings (10th-13th), allowing just one hit with a walk and two strikeouts for first-collegiate win ... Tossed 0.1 scoreless innings against La Salle (4/22) ... Posted 1.2 scoreless frames over a two-day span against Purdue (4/11-12) ... Gave up first collegiate hit, but still tossed 0.2 scoreless innings against Connecticut (3/11) ... Pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout against Monmouth (3/10) ... Retired only batter in first collegiate appearance against Wake Forest (3/2).
SUMMER LEAGUES: Played for the Lehigh Valley Catz of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League in the summer of 2009 ... A year prior, played for the Petersburg (Va.) Generals in the Coastal Plains League with Penn State teammates Louie Picconi, Ben Heath and Scott Kelley ... Also pitched for the Altoona Realty team in the Altoona City League, winning the first three games of the AAABA World Series to finish fifth out of 16 national entries ... Also pitched for the same Altoona squad in the summer of 2007 and was the winning pitcher in the first game of the World Series in front of 7,000 fans at Johnstown's Point Stadium.
HIGH SCHOOL: Earned two varsity letters at State College Area High School ... Went 8-0 as a senior with a 2.94 ERA and was named First Team All-MAC and a CPL All-Star in the Little Lions' 18-3 season ... Had a 0.00 ERA as a junior and led the CPL in saves as the squad went 20-4 ... Was a member of the high honor roll and a faculty scholar honoree for having a 3.5 GPA or higher ... Graduated with a 4.3 GPA.
PERSONAL: Full name is Michael Walker Pierce ... Born on June 27, 1988 in State College, Pa. ... Parents are Greg and Linda Pierce ... Sister, Katie (25) attended Penn State ... Father is a finance professor at Penn State and mother is a human resources director ... An industrial engineering major.
ON CHOOSING PENN STATE: "I chose Penn State because of the academic reputation and a chance to play in our unbelievable ballpark. I also don't mind one of my mom's home cooked meals once in a while."
GETTING TO KNOW MIKE