Baseball Falls 14-8 in Battle Against Houston
March 6, 2013
GameTracker - Wednesday
HOUSTON, Texas - Despite rallying back from an early 8-2 deficit to tie the game, the Penn State baseball team fell 14-8 to Houston on Tuesday evening. The Nittany Lions (3-7) scored six runs in the fifth and sixth innings to battle back against the Cougars (9-3), but were unable to overcome the Houston offense.
The Cougars pulled ahead for the second time in the contest in the bottom of the seventh, scoring four runs to break the 8-8 tie. A run from Chris Waylock broke the stalemate, advancing home from third after a sac bunt from Landon Appling. Kyle Survance followed up the scoring play with a sac bunt of his own, reaching on a fielder's choice and allowing Justin Montemayor to cross home plate. Houston would go on two score two more runs in the inning, giving the squad the edge needed to seal the win.
The Lions jumped out to an early lead, a season habit for the squad, posting two runs in the top of the first. With redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) resting on second after stealing the 25th base of his career, sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) doubled to left center to bring home the centerfielder. It was Coban's eighth RBI of the season and his eighth career double. Penn State extended its lead to 2-0 moments later, with sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) singling up the middle to bat in Coban.
The Cougars came roaring back in the bottom of the inning, getting on the board with Josh Vidales scoring as Jonathan Davis was walked. A double from Montemayor would earn the freshman two RBIs, with Kyle Kirk and Frankie Ratcliff scoring to give Houston a 3-2 lead. The runs would keep on coming, with Davis allowing Jacob Campbell to score on a sac fly, and Survance recording a bunt hit to drive in Montemayor. The first inning offensive surge would end after Survance scored, thanks to a single to right field from Ashford Fulmer, but the Cougars would go on to extend their lead to 8-2 after a throwing error in the bottom of the second.
Beginning a remarkable comeback in the top of the fifth, senior Matt Paradise (San Clemente, Calif.) kicked things off with a single through the left side, and advanced to third on a single to right center from freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio). Chipping away at the Cougars' lead, redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) singled to left field for an RBI, bringing home Paradise to score the Lions' third run of the contest. Posting his second bunt hit of the season, Snyder loaded the bases moments later, followed by Coates scoring on a passed ball.
Now down 8-4 with no outs, sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.), who leads Penn State with a .357 batting average, allowed Searer to score his 70th career run on a sac fly. The redshirt senior recorded his 140th career hit and 44th career RBI in the inning, as well. Continuing their streak into the top of the sixth, the Lions moved the score to 8-7 after a single from Paradise to center field. White and senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) crossed home plate to give Paradise his first two RBIs of the season. Penn State would finally tie the game on Snyder's 125th career hit, as he singled to right field to allow Paradise to score.
Despite Penn State's amazing efforts to tie the game at 8-8, Houston's performance in the bottom of the seventh would prove to be overpowering. Two more runs for the Cougars from Montemayor and Vidales in the eighth inning would set the score at 14-8. Montemayor led Houston with three runs, two hits and two RBIs, while Survance recorded three runs, one hit and two RBIs. Kirk additionally recorded two runs and two RBIs, with Ratcliff scoring twice, as well. Jake Lemoine earned the win for the Cougars, holding the Lions scoreless and hitless in the final three innings.
Paradise led Penn State with two runs, two hits and two RBIs, with Coban, White and Searer each notching one run and an RBI. Snyder led the squad with three hits, scoring a run and earning an RBI, as well. Redshirt sophomore T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) earned the loss, despite holding Houston hitless during his stretch.
The Lions return to action tomorrow, March 6 when they take on Houston for the second game of the series. The contest is set to begin at 5 p.m. ET and will be available via GameTracker.
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