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March 3, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Junior starting pitcher Cody Lewis (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) earned his first career win in a Nittany Lion uniform as Penn State Baseball (2-5) snapped its three-game skid with a 7-4 victory over Samford on Saturday. Penn State had 12 hits on the day, including a three-hit effort from sophomore Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.).
Senior third baseman Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) nailed his second home run of the season on a three-run shot to put the Lions ahead of the Bulldogs. Junior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) recorded two doubles and junior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) reached base four times on two hits and two walks.
Lewis hurled a nice quality start, as he went six innings, giving up seven hits and just one earned run. Notably, Lewis shut down 11 of the last 13 Bulldog hitters he faced to hold Penn State's lead in check.
Samford got on the board in the first inning with two runs to take an early lead. With runners on first and third with two outs, Zeth Stone scored on a passed ball to make the score 1-0. Then, Christian Durdaller's RBI double to right centerfield gave the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
Penn State would get the bats going in the top of the third inning. With one out, Snyder and Searer recorded back-to-back base hits to give the Nittany Lions runners on first and second. Then with two gone, DeBernardis drilled a three-run shot over the left centerfield fence to give Penn State a 3-2 lead.
In the bottom of the third, Lewis faced a jam with two runners on first and second with nobody out. Lewis forced a Brandon Miller fielder's choice ground out. Then, with runners on first and third, the junior forced a big double play groundout to end the scare.
Penn State would add more in the top of the fourth. Montesinos led off the inning with a double that went down the left field line. Sophomore Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) then delivered an RBI single to shallow right centerfield to give the Nittany Lions a 4-2 lead. A Snyder single and a Searer walk would load the bases. Senior Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) poked an infield hit to the right side, scoring Ell to give Penn State a 5-2 lead.
In the top of the seventh, Penn State added some more insurance. Deegan led off the inning with a walk and then stole second for his 42nd base swipe of his career, tying him for fourth in program history. DeBernardis then walked and senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) advanced the runners to second and third after his groundout to first. With one out, senior Sean Parvin (Irvine, Calif.) was called on to pinch-hit in the six-hole. In his first at-bat of the season, Parvin looped a single to right field to score Deegan. Penn State had a 6-2 lead.
Lewis was just dominant after the first inning. When he exited the game after the sixth, he left retiring 11 of his last 13 batters. Sophomore Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) would take over in the seventh. After loading the bases, Welsh escaped the jam, keeping the score 6-2.
Penn State did a great job putting together another run in the seventh. Montesinos doubled to get things started. Ell advanced him after flying out to deep center. Sophomore Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.) then scored Montesinos on a sacrifice fly to left centerfield, making the score 7-2 in favor of the Nittany Lions.
Samford provided a scare in the bottom of the ninth, scoring two runs. But sophomore Joe Kurrasch (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) shut the door to seal the victory.
Penn State returns to Joe Lee Griffin Field tomorrow to take on the Bulldogs in the second game of a three-game set. Junior John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) will make the start for the Nittany Lions at 3 p.m. ET.
Student season ticket sales for the 2012 season will begin on March 12 and continue through March 16 at the HUB, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. Season tickets are just $20 and each student that purchases them will get a Penn State Baseball three-quarters sleeve t-shirt, tickets to 19 home games, a free hot dog and soda at Friday home games and two batting practice sessions with the team.
Follow Penn State baseball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/psubaseball.
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