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March 8, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - The Penn State baseball team competed against Houston Baptist on Friday afternoon, recording a 9-3 victory in the first of three games. The Nittany Lions (4-8) will compete in a doubleheader against the Huskies (5-7-1) tomorrow, March 9 beginning at 12 p.m. ET. Sunday's contest has been cancelled due to impending weather conditions. Both contests will be available via Live Stats and radio broadcast.
Redshirt sophomore T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) led the Lions, earning his first career win after 4.1 innings of action. Jann allowed just two hits and one earned run, while striking out one batter and walking three. The sophomore relieved redshirt senior Dave Walkling (Nanaimo, B.C.), who allowed only two hits and two earned runs in 4.2 innings. Walkling struck out four batters while walking four. Tyler Hoelscher suffered the loss for the Huskies, moving to a 2-2 record on the season.
Penn State scored the first run of the contest in the top of the third, with senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) stepping up to the plate with sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) on first and redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) on third. Montesinos singled through the left side, allowing Snyder to advance home to take an early 1-0 lead.
The Lions would take over in the fourth inning, gaining a commanding lead with five runs scored. With sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) resting on third and sophomore Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) on first, redshirt freshman Ryky Smith (York, Pa.) singled through the left side to earn his first career RBI as White scored. The scoring streak would continue, following freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) loading the bases with a single up the middle. Redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) then posted the 26th double of his career, sending the ball to the center field wall as Novak and Smith crossed home plate. Searer earned his fourth and fifth RBIs of the season and Penn State took a 4-0 lead. Following Houston Baptist's second error of the contest, Snyder was able to reach first and advance to second, with Searer and Coates both scoring to extend the lead to 6-0.
The Huskies would respond in the bottom of the fifth, following a run from sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) in the top of the inning. Down 7-0, sophomore Curtis Jones singled to right field, allowing junior Michael Chamberlain to score Houston Baptist's first run of the game. Thanks to a sac fly from junior C.J. Jarvis moments later, junior Garrett Tully was able to score, as well, cutting Penn State's lead to 7-2.
The Lions continued to increase the Huskies' deficit, however, with Skerpon recording the first home run of his collegiate career in the top of the sixth. The sophomore tallied two more runs for Penn State, hurling the ball over the left field wall with Snyder on first to earn two RBIs. They were his ninth and 10th RBIs of the season.
Despite Houston Baptist scoring one final run in the bottom of the ninth, Penn State held the Huskies off for the remainder of the game to earn the 9-3 victory. The Lions outhit their opponent 19-4, with Coban going five-for-five to lead the pack. Searer and Skerpon each posted two RBIs on one hit with one run, while Snyder led with two runs. Smith and Coates recorded an RBI and a run a piece, and Montesinos earned an RBI and went two-for-five.
Penn State's doubleheader tomorrow, March 9 will begin at noon (ET), with each contest set for nine innings.
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