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March 18, 2014
University Park, Pa.. Medlar Field Attendance: 902
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 18, 2014 - Penn State won its 2014 home opener on Tuesday evening with a 7-3 win over NYIT. The Nittany Lions scored two runs in the second and one in the third to open up a 3-0 lead, which they never relinquished. The Lions' win gives the team six on the season.
The Blue and White received big nights at the plate from the heart of the order, as Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.), Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) and Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) each picked up two hits in the game. Ell drove in a season-high two runs on Tuesday and matched his Penn State best in runs with two. Skerpon performed at the plate and on the bases, racking up two steals, the most in a game for his junior season.
Another Penn State player who produced at the dish was senior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.). The center fielder posted a team-high three RBIs on the evening off a single and a walk. Snyder's three runs batted in give him 10 on the season, tying him for the team lead in the category.
On the mound Penn State used three pitchers to complete the nine inning game, with each tossing three innings. Senior Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) received the start and went three scoreless innings, recording a season-high six strikeouts. Ian Parvin (Irvine, Calif.) recorded his first win of the season, holding the lead from the fourth through sixth innings before Jack Anderson (Evanston, Ill.) came in to close the door in the final three innings for his first save of the year.
The Nittany Lions were the first team to score at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in the 2014 season, plating two runs in the bottom of the second to take an early 2-0 lead. The Blue and White loaded the bases with two outs and scored on back-to-back walks from Ryan Richter (Wayne, Pa.) and Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) to score Ell and Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.).
Penn State added a run in the third off an RBI single up the middle from Ell to give the Lions a 3-0 advantage. Guers recorded a one-out single and then Skerpon got hit by a pitch to set the table for Ell, who hit a hard ground ball up the middle that ricocheted off the second base bag to score Guers.
Ell struck again in the fifth frame for his second RBI of the evening off a single to right field, scoring Guers to increase the Nittany Lion lead to 4-0. Guers once again played an integral part in the Blue and White's score, leading off with a double down the right field for his sixth extra-base hit of the season.
The Bears clawed back into the game in the top of the sixth, scoring two runs to cut the Blue and White lead in half at 4-2. NYIT scored its two runs off three hits in the inning, including a key double off the bat of Joshua Canabal.
NYIT trimmed the Penn State lead to one run in the top of the seventh. A leadoff walk followed by a steal from Thomas Joannou gave the visitors a runner in scoring position with no outs. The runner moved to third off a groundout for the second out and then scored on Joe Daru's single up the middle, his third hit of the game.
The Nittany Lions got three much needed insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.) came up with a one-out double to right field to score Skerpon for his first base knock of the season. Two batters later Snyder came up with a clutch two-out single up the middle to give Penn State a comfortable four-run lead at 7-3.
Anderson tossed a scoreless eighth and ninth innings to lock down the Lions' sixth victory of the season and give the team a win in the home opener.
Penn State is back in action tomorrow evening at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for the second game of the two-game series against the Bears. Wednesday's game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.