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Tampa, Fla. USF Baseball Stadium Attendance: 1,210
TAMPA, Fla. - The Nittany Lions fell to 2-2 on the season on Friday evening, dropping a 19-1 decision to South Florida in Tampa, Fla. in the opening game of a three-game series at USF.
The Nittany Lions couldn't get anything going in the opener, as the team produced five hits to score one run and committed six errors which led to nine unearned runs for the Bulls.
Penn State had a scoring opportunity in the top of the first with James Coates (Girard, Ohio) ripping a one-out single up the middle and then moved into scoring position on a groundout from Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.). Coates' hit extended his on-base streak to 16 games, dating back to the 2013 campaign. Junior J.J. White then reached first after being hit by a pitch. USF got out of the jam by getting Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) to fly out to right.
Unlike Penn State, the Bulls capitalized on their first inning opportunities and scored four runs in the opening frame. The first three South Florida hitters reached base via two singles and a walk to put the Nittany Lions in an early hole. A sacrifice fly, error and a double led to the big first inning for the hosts.
The Bulls added one run in the second inning before taking control of the game in the bottom of the third by pushing five runners across the plate to open up a double-digit lead at 10-0. The Penn State defense aided USF in the big inning by committing two errors. The five-run spot was highlighted by Vincent Miniet's two-run homer, the first of his career.
After holding the Nittany Lion bats scoreless in the top of the fourth, the home side added one in the bottom half of the frame to increase its lead to 11-0.
Neither team scored in the fifth or sixth stanzas and then USF added six more runs in the bottom of the seventh to make the score 17-0.
Penn State got on the scoreboard in the top of the eighth inning. Freshman Nick Riotto (Washington, Pa.) led off with a single followed by the next two Nittany Lions reaching by way of a hit batter and a South Florida error. Colin Keefe (Woodbury, Minn.) then drove Riotto in with a sacrifice fly.
The Bulls tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the eighth and held PSU scoreless in the ninth to secure the victory and remain undefeated on the season.
The Blue and White is back in action tomorrow, as Penn State faces the Bulls in game two of the three game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. The third and final game is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m.
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