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March 15, 2014
Santa Clara, Calif. Stephen Schott Stadium Attendance: 237
SANTA CLARA, Calif.; March 15, 2014 - Penn State was unable to win its second series of the season on Saturday, as the Nittany Lions fell to Santa Clara by a final score of 6-3 to go 1-2 in the series after winning the series opener on Thursday by a score of 6-5.
The majority of the Blue and White’s offensive production came off the bat of James Coates (Girard, Ohio), who posted a two-out, two-run single in the second inning. The sophomore also recorded two walks and extended his on-base streak to a career-high 28 games.
Other Nittany Lions with solid performances at the plate were the freshmen duo of Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.) and Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.). Both had identical days in the batter’s box, going 2-for-4 with a run scored.
For the third-straight game, the Broncos were the first to get onto the scoreboard, plating a run in the bottom of the first frame. Santa Clara used a hit, a steal and a Penn State error to score the opening run.
The Nittany Lions fought back in the top of the second stanza, loading the bases with one out off a walk, and two singles. After the Broncos recorded the second out of the inning, Coates came to the plate and lined a pitch off the first baseman’s glove, which trickled into right field for a two-run single for a 2-1 lead.
Santa Clara responded by scoring a run in the second and two more in the third to grab a 4-2 lead.
In the top of the fourth, the Lions trimmed the Bronco lead to one at 4-3. Penn State used two singles and a walk to load the bases and Malinsky scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit in half.
The Broncos were threatening again in the bottom of the fourth, leading off with two-straight singles to put runners on first and second with no outs. The next batter lined out to Haley at shortstop on a hit-and-run play. Haley then flipped the ball to Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) at second, who threw it to J.J. White (Landsowne, Va.) at first for a rare triple play to end the inning.
Neither team’s offense was able to score a run in the fifth or sixth innings and then Santa Clara added two in the bottom of the seventh to extend its lead to 6-3. The Nittany Lions started the inning by getting two quick outs before running into trouble. A walk followed by a double and single led to the Broncos’ two two-out runs.
Penn State could not overcome the three-run deficit, as the Broncos shut out the Blue and White in the final two innings and won by a final of 6-3. With the loss, the Nittany Lions drop to 5-12 on the season and went 2-6 on the west coast road trip.
Penn State returns to Happy Valley and plays its first home series of the season with two games against NYIT on Tuesday and Wednesday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Both games are slated to start at 5 p.m. There will be a schedule poster giveaway for Tuesday’s home opener.