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Feb. 25, 2013
LYNCHBURG, Va. - The Penn State baseball team took on Liberty in a doubleheader Sunday afternoon, falling 12-3 and 6-1. The Nittany Lions move to a 1-5 record, while the Flames sit at 4-2.
Game one began with an offensive campaign from the Flames, notching the first run of the contest in the bottom of the first. With a base hit to right field from Bryan Aanderud, Nick Paxton was able to advance home from third to put Liberty up 1-0. The Flames went on to score four more runs between the second and third innings, highlighted by a triple from Trey Wimmer to bat in Danny Grauer and Sammy Taormina.
Down 5-0 to begin the top of the fourth, the Lions responded with a two-run effort. After a single from sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.), senior Matt Paradise (San Clemente, Calif.) was walked to give sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) some momentum. The first baseman singled down the left field line to drive home Coban, putting Penn State on the board. Following a bunt hit from redshirt freshman Ryky Smith (York, Pa.), freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) reached on a fielder's choice to bat in Paradise. The score now sat at 5-2 in favor of the Flames.
The Penn State offense would bring the Lions within two runs in the top of the sixth, with Coban beginning the inning by advancing to second on an infield error. White stepped up to the plate, with Coban now on third after a wild pitch, and drove the ball towards the left field wall for his second RBI of the game. Coban crossed home plate set the score at 5-3, but it would prove to be the Lions' final run of the game.
Despite Penn State holding off Liberty for three straight innings, the Flames came alive in the bottom of the seventh, posting seven runs to secure the win. The inning began with a double from Grauer, batting in Aanderud and Close for two RBIs. Five more individual Flames would tally an RBI before the inning's end, giving Liberty a 12-3 lead. The Lions were unable to close the deficit in the eighth and ninth innings.
Starting pitcher Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) saw 5.1 innings of action, striking out two while allowing eight hits and five earned runs. Adam Parks earned the win for the Flames, pitching three innings with two strikeouts, one hit and zero earned runs. Leading Liberty with three RBIs and three runs, Wimmer posted an excellent performance that extended into the second game of the doubleheader.
Patton Taylor (Nichols, N.Y.) made the start in game two, pitching three innings with four strikeouts, five hits and four earned runs. The sophomore was relieved by sophomore Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas), who struck out two in three innings with six hits and two earned runs. Brooks Roy earned the win for the Flames, seeing five innings of action with four strikeouts, four hits and one earned run.
Liberty again was first to get on the board, with Dalton Sype and Paxton each earning an RBI in the bottom of the second. Sizemore kicked off the scoring streak by advancing home on a passed ball, followed by Wimmer scoring after a single to right field from Sype. A bunt hit from Paxton would extend the Flames' lead to 3-0, with Nick Lacik crossing home plate.
Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) would tally Penn State's only run in the top of the third, with Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) hitting a sac fly to center field to bring the redshirt senior home. Searer had previously hit a clutch triple to the left field wall to set up the score.
However, Liberty would go on to score again in the third, fourth and sixth innings. Wimmer came away with another RBI and run, while going three for three in the seven-inning contest. Aanderud and Close earned RBIs, as well.
The Nittany Lions return to action next weekend when Penn State travels to the UTSA Collegiate Baseball Classic on Friday, March 1st, first taking on Stephen F. Austin. The Lions will compete against UTSA and Nebraska-Omaha on March 2nd and 3rd, respectively.
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