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March 1, 2014
Asheboro, N.C. McCrary Park Attendance: 52
ASHEBORO, N.C.; March 1, 2014 - Penn State (2-6) lost both games in Saturday’s doubleheader to Hofstra (3-3), while only pushing two runs across the plate in the two games combined. The Nittany Lions fell to the Pride in game one by a score of 5-0 and in game two by a final of 5-2.
Despite sputtering at the plate as a team, senior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) had an impressive performance with the bat, going a combined 5-for-7, including a 4-for-5 effort in game one. The senior added an RBI and a walk to his performance and is now batting .407 on the season to lead the team. Snyder also went a perfect 2-for-2 on the base paths, recording a steal in each game.
On the mound junior T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) turned in a solid day in game two in spite of receiving the loss. Jann tossed six innings, while scattering six hits and striking out five Hofstra batters. The junior gave up no earned runs but had four cross the plate, all unearned. Jann lowered his season ERA to 2.70 with his outing.
The third and final game of the series will be played tomorrow at McCrary field. The time has been moved up to an 11 a.m. start to allow both teams extra travel time due to the expected travel weather conditions.
GAME ONE: Neither team’s offense had much to show for through the first three innings, as each team scattered a few hits over the three frames.
With the game scoreless in the top of the fourth, Hofstra’s Kenny Jackson broke the deadlock with a two-run home run with one out in the frame to put the Pride on top 2-0.
Penn State managed to put runners on in the bottom of the fourth and fifth frames but was unable to string enough base knocks together to put a run on the scoreboard. Hofstra’s offense was held in check in the fifth but doubled its lead in the sixth with another two-run shot over the right center fence from Jackson, his second of the game.
With a four-run advantage, the Pride pitchers attacked the Penn State hitters and allowed just two hits over the next three innings. Hofstra added a run in the ninth and escaped a one-out bases loaded jam that the Nittany Lions were unable to capitalize on and won by a final of 5-0.
The game marked the first time all season that Penn State failed to score a run, despite having 10 hits and four walks. The key to the defeat for the Blue and White was the lack of timely hitting, as Penn State stranded 12 runners over the course of the game.
GAME TWO: Coming off the defeat in game one, the Nittany Lions got off to a sluggish start in the second contest of the doubleheader and found themselves in a hole early. Penn State gave up three runs in the first frame off three hits and an error. One of the hits was unfortunate for the Blue and White as the centerfielder lost the ball in the sun that resulted in a double.
After the rocky start, Jann dug in and found a groove, shutting down the Hofstra attack over the next three innings. In the bottom of the third, Penn State cut the deficit to just two runs, scoring its first run of the afternoon. Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) led off with a single and James Coates (Girard, Ohio) moved him to third two batters later with a single, extending his on-base streak to 20 games. Snyder then scored Ell with a sacrifice fly.
Unfortunately for the Blue and White, the team gave the run right back to Hofstra in the next half inning, as the Pride tacked on a run to make the score 4-1 in the top of the fifth off a hit and another error. Hofstra added a fifth run in the eighth off its third home run of the day, this time off the bat of John Taurinsky to make the score 5-1.
Just as in game one, the Nittany Lions managed to make the game interesting in the ninth. Penn State loaded the bases with one out with pinch hitter Colin Keefe (Woodbury, Minn.) coming to the plate. Keefe chopped a ball to third to score Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) from third and advanced the other two runners up 90 feet but was thrown out on the play. The next Penn State hitter then grounded out to short stop to end the threat and end the game at 5-2.
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