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Lions Lose No. 25 ECU on Walk-Off Homer

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Freshman Aaron Novak drove in three more runs on Friday for the Nittany Lions.

March 16, 2012

Box Score

GREENVILLE, N.C. - After trailing 4-0 early, Penn State baseball (3-12) rallied but lost on a walk-off homer as East Carolina's Jay Cannon homered over the right field in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Pirates a 5-4 win over the Lions.

After giving up runs in the second and third, sophomore Joe Kurrasch (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) pitched a strong, complete game. He didn't allow a base runner from the fourth to the beginning of the eighth inning. Kurrasch fanned seven batters and gave up four earned runs in his first-career start in a Nittany Lion uniform. He threw 109 pitches and only walked one batter.

Freshman Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) continued his hot-hitting with a three RBI performance and two doubles. Senior Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) reached base four times in the game and had two hits. The Lions had nine hits and three runs off East Carolina starter Kevin Brandt, who came into the game with a 1.21 ERA and a 3-1 record.

In the bottom of the second, the leadoff batter John Wooten got on base with a single to start things in the inning. Then with one out, the Pirates' Zach Wright hit an RBI single up the middle to give the Pirates a 1-0 lead. The Pirates would score another run on an errant throw, giving them a 2-0 advantage.

In the top of the third, junior Matt Paradise (San Clemente, Calif.) forced a one-out walk and freshman JC Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) extended his hitting-streak to five games. However, the Nittany Lions were unable to capitalize with runners on first and second with one out. In the bottom half, the Pirates strung together three-straight singles, scoring four runs and taking a 4-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Penn State put together a nice two run-inning, but could have scored more as it had runners on first and third with nobody out after scoring the two. DeBernardis singled and senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) doubled to put runners on second and third for Novak. The freshman hit a double to deep centerfield to score both runners and cut the deficit to 4-2.



Novak did more damage in the sixth. DeBernardis got on base for the third time with a walk. With one out, Novak doubled to the right centerfield gap to cut the score to 4-3.

In the bottom of the ninth, junior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) led off with a single through the left side. Junior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) bunted Montesinos to second. Then with two outs, Montesinos at third and Coban up, a wild pitch scored the junior to tie the game for Penn State.

Season tickets for Adult General Admission start at just $63. For fans interested in the "In The Box" seats, those will start at $99. Youth General Admission tickets are the same cost as student season tickets, $20. Individual game tickets for Adult General Admission start at just $4 and just $2 for youth.

Penn State will be back in action tomorrow at 2 p.m. against the Pirates. Penn State opens its 2012 home slate on Wed. March 21, as it hosts Pittsburgh. That game will be one of the seven "Dollar Dog Nights" of the season. Another feature for the season will be "Winning Weeknight Scratchoffs." The first 200 fans that show up to a weeknight game will receive a scratchoff ticket. Each ticket is a guaranteed winner of a Penn State Baseball prize.

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