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March 17, 2012
GREENVILLE, N.C. - East Carolina used a four-run ninth and one-run tenth inning to knock off Penn State baseball (3-13) by a score of 6-5 on Saturday afternoon.
Penn State took a 5-1 lead into the bottom of the ninth. With two runners on, ECU's Corey Thompson hit a three-run homer to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Lions. Then John Wooten hit a solo homer to tie the game up at five. In the bottom of the tenth, ECU won the game on errant throw, scoring the runner that was at second base.
Freshman catcher JC Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) was a single short of the cycle in a four RBI performance. Coban connected on an RBI double in the third, a two-run homer in the seventh, and an RBI triple in the ninth. The freshman also scored two runs on the day. The four runs he drove in were the most of any Penn State player this season.
Junior John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) had his best outing of the season, going 7.2 innings of five-hit ball and giving up just one run. Walter also punched out four batters and walked three on the day in a no-decision effort.
In the top of the third, Penn State got things going off starting pitcher Tyler Joyner, who came into the game with a 3-0 record in three starts with a 1.12 ERA. Sophomore Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) walked to get things started with one out. Coban hit his first career double, an RBI double, to give Penn State a 1-0 lead. With two outs, senior Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) doubled the other way to right field, scoring Coban and giving Penn State a 2-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, yesterday's hero Jay Cannon roped an RBI single to centerfield to cut the Nittany Lion lead in half.
Nevertheless, Coban's big fly came in the top of the seventh inning. Ell continued his patient game at the plate, as he forced a two-out walk. Coban followed with a two-run bomb over the left centerfield fence to give the Lions a 4-1 lead.
With two outs in the eighth inning and a runner on first, sophomore Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) came in to relieve Walter. Two batters got on via a base-hit and a walk and the bases were loaded. Cannon popped out to second to get Penn State out of the big jam.
Coban's two-out RBI triple came in the ninth inning, scoring freshman pinch-runner Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) to give the Nittany Lions a 5-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.
Penn State will be back in action tomorrow at 1 p.m. against the Pirate in the series finale.
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 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.
Follow Penn State baseball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/psubaseball.