Baseball Drops Doubleheader to Temple
March 17, 2013
AMBLER, Pa. - Facing Temple, as well as an unseasonable cold front, at Skip Wilson Field on Sunday afternoon, the Penn State baseball team dropped a doubleheader to the Owls, falling 4-2 in the first contest and 3-2 in the 10th inning of game two. The Nittany Lions, who host their first home contest of 2013 on Wednesday, March 20 against Akron, fall to a 5-11 overall record while the Owls improve to 6-9.
The Lions turned out a gutsy performance in the second contest of the day, forcing an extra inning despite being outhit 7-0 in the opening five innings. The Owls would jump out to a 2-0 lead in the fourth, with Henry Knabe kicking his squad into gear with a single through the left side, followed by a stolen base to rest on second. As Allen Stiles singled through to right center and advanced on the throw, Knabe was able to advance home to give Temple a 1-0 lead. A strong hit to left field from David Hall would allow Stiles to tally a run, resting the score at 2-0 in favor of the Owls.
Responding in the top of the sixth, redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) posted his 12th hit of the season to improve to a .500 slugging percentage and a .375 batting average. Sitting on third after a sac bunt from sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) and advancing on a passed ball, Searer charged home following a ground-out RBI from senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.). Redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) would tie the game at 2-2 on his 11th run of the season, advancing home from third thanks to a single to right center from sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.). It was White's 17th career RBI, while Montesinos is just one away from his 50th.
The Lions prevented the Owls from taking the win in the ninth, escaping a game-threatening situation with the bases loaded on one out. Derek Peterson stepped up to the plate for Temple, grounding to Skerpon to set up a double play. The sophomore made a tough throw to Montesinos to shut down Knabe at second, with Montesinos whipping around to White to get the final out of the inning and shut down Temple's offense.
Despite the late game surge from the Lions, Temple buckled down in the bottom of the 10th inning, with Stiles doubling to right field on one out to give the Owls momentum. Resting on third following a Penn State fielding error, the leftfielder would cross home plate on a sac fly from Bobby Heitzman, giving his squad a 3-2 walk-off victory.
Sophomore Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas), junior Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) and redshirt senior Cody Lewis (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) all saw the mound for the Lions, with Welsh firing 4.1 scoreless innings with two strikeouts. Lewis suffered the loss for Penn State, pitching 1.2 innings with one unearned run.
Penn State would take an early lead in the first contest, with Searer scoring his 75th career run on a failed pick-off attempt throwing error. The senior, who went three-for-four, had previously singled through the left side, advancing to second on the throw, and stole third to give the Lions the scoring opportunity. Answering two Temple runs in the bottom of the third to tie the contest, freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) singled up the middle in the top of the fourth on two outs for his 14th hit of the season. With sophomore Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) waiting on third, Searer beat the Owls' shortstop with a hard hit up the middle, batting in the rightfielder for a 2-2 ball game.
Persistence would pay off for Temple, however, as they tallied two more runs between the fourth and seventh innings to clinch the win. Patrick Peterson earned the win for the Owls, allowing two earned runs and three hits in 5.0 innings. Relieving the sophomore, Preston Hill fired 4.0 innings with just one hit allowed and three strikeouts.
Redshirt sophomore T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) moves to a 1-2 record with the loss, allowing three earned runs and four hits in 5.0 innings. Combing for three innings of relief, redshirt sophomore Geoff Boylston (West Chester, Pa.) and freshman Jack Anderson (Evanston, Ill.) allowed one hit a piece and each retired two batters. Searer led the Lions on the day, going four-for-seven with two runs and two RBIs, while Montesinos and White each earned an RBI.
The Lions return to action on Tuesday, March 19 against Pittsburgh, before returning to Happy Valley to open the home season against Akron on Wednesday, March 20th. Penn State will also begin Big Ten play this upcoming week, traveling to Indiana on Friday, March 22 for the first conference series of the season.
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