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Taylor Skerpon went 4-for-5 at the plate on Sunday
March 2, 2014
ASHEBORO, N.C. - The Penn State Nittany Lion baseball team snapped a five-game skid on Sunday, as the Blue and White erupted for a season-high 10 runs on 15 hits. The win marks Penn State's third of the season.
Every Nittany Lion position player reached base at least once in the victory, with eight players combining for the 15 base knocks. The offensive stars for the day were senior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) and junior Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.). Both players went 4-for-5 at the plate on the day. Snyder added two runs, an RBI and a stolen base to his performance, while Skerpon added an RBI and a steal.
Junior starting pitcher Patton Taylor (Nichols, N.Y.) recorded 6.1 innings of work, allowing four runs, on seven hits with no walks and four strikeouts en route to his first win of the season.
Penn State got off to a good start, scoring two runs on four hits in the bottom of the first. James Coates (Girard, Ohio) led off with a double to right field to extend his on-base streak to 21-straight games. Snyder moved Coates to third and reached first on a bunt single to set the table for the Lions. Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) grounded into a double play to score Coates and then J.J. White (Landsowne, Pa.) and Skerpon recorded back-to-back hits to score the second run.
With the two-run advantage, Taylor cruised through the first three innings, facing the minimum through three. After retiring the leadoff hitter in the fourth, Hofstra got its first base runner of the day with a single to left. The Pride went on to push a run across the plate in the frame to trim the Penn State lead to one at 2-1.
The Nittany Lions immediately responded with its biggest inning of the season, scoring five runs in the bottom of the fourth to open up a 7-1 lead, its largest of 2014. Penn State managed to send 10 batters to the dish in the inning and picked up five hits and was aided by a Hofstra error. The five PSU runs were scored by Ryan Richter (Wayne, Pa.), Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.), Coates, Snyder and Guers, who provided the key hit of the inning with a two-run triple, his first of the season.
After neither team scored in the fifth frame, Hofstra got two runs back in the top of the sixth off three hits to make the score 7-3. The Lions once again responded in the bottom of the stanza, pushing a run across the board when Snyder scored on the second wild pitch of the inning to make the score 8-3.
The Pride once again scored a run in the seventh with just one out and threatened to cut deeper into the Penn State lead, as Hofstra had runners on the corners with one out when Ryan Harper came on in relief. The junior retired the next two Pride hitters to escape the jam and keep the four-run lead intact.
The Nittany Lions added two more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth off a hit, two walks and a Hofstra error to increase its lead to 10-4.
Jack Anderson came on in relief in the top of the ninth to shut down the Pride hitters and secure the 10-4 victory, allowing no runs or hits.
Penn State returns to Happy Valley for less than a week traveling to California to play eight games in just nine days on the west coast swing, facing St. Mary's, Fresno State and Santa Clara. The Nittany Lions will play the Gaels for the first three games from March 7-9 and then travel to Fresno to take on the Bulldogs for two games on March 11 and 12 before ending the trip with three games in Santa Clara on March 13-15.
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