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Grant Youngblood hit his first career homerun for the Nittany Lions.
March 8, 2009
LANTANA, Fla. - After being held to four runs in as many games by No. 2 Texas' pitching staff last week, the Penn State baseball team ignited for seven runs in the first two innings of Saturday's 10-4 victory over Akron in Lantana, Fla.
Grant Youngblood hit the Nittany Lions' first round tripper of the season to break open an early lead, and Joey DeBernardis belted a home run for his first collegiate hit. Penn State (3-5) pounded 13 hits to end a four-game skid.
T.J. Macy (1-1) notched his first victory of the season and struck out nine batters in a five-inning outing. Macy allowed no earned runs, and the Zips managed to scatter a sparse three hits against the senior right-hander.
Penn State erupted for four runs, as many as it had in its past four games combined, in its first set of at-bats against Akron's Andrew Brown. Brown allowed the first two batters to reach base, giving Lynd and Youngblood a free pass. Deese, hitless in his past 15 at-bats, provided a single to the right side to score Lynd. After knocking a bases-clearing triple, Steranka scored the Nittany Lions' fourth run of the inning when first baseman Brian Kordal misplayed Rick Marlin's pop-up.
During the following inning, Youngblood cranked the first Penn State homerun of the season on a three-run shot to deep right centerfield.
Meanwhile, Macy whiffed out five batters in the first two innings and struck out the side in the second. Macy got out of a jam in the fifth after walking the first two batters. The Boise, Idaho native forced a pop fly, a strikeout swinging and a groundout to the catcher to leave two Zips stranded.
Ben Heath led off the fourth inning with a single up the middle beyond the reach of shortstop Kevin Haas. Deese brought Heath home, after Lynd moved the sophomore catcher to scoring position with a single to shortstop, with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
Akron capitalized when Macy was relieved by Calvin Grumley in the sixth inning. Grumley hit the first batter and walked the subsequent hitter before giving up three singles as the Zips tallied three in the frame.
The Zips added one more an inning later. John Turk took Mike Pierce yard to bring Akron within four runs at 8-4.
DeBernardis supplied the Nittany Lions with well-needed run support in the eighth inning with a solo shot to left centerfield. Centerfielder Matt Roberts came crashing into the fence but the slight wind carried the ball beyond his scope. Ryan Boonie added another insurance run with a single in the ninth inning.
David Lutz pitched two innings of one-hit ball in relief, including a five-pitch inning in the eighth.
Game notes: Macy dropped his ERA to 0.90 and has 25 strikeouts in 20 innings...Penn State left five runners on base...Youngblood hit his first career home run in the second inning.
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