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March 19, 2014
University Park, Pa.. Medlar Field Attendance: 750
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 18, 2014 - UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; March 19, 2014 - The Penn State pitching staff combined to record its first shutout of the 2014 season in an 8-0 win over NYIT on Wednesday afternoon. The shutout is the first for the Lions since the team’s 9-0 victory over Michigan State on May 17, 2013.
Five Penn State pitchers combined to hold the Bears’ bats scoreless. Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) tossed the first three innings, scattering three hits en route to the first win of the sophomore’s career. Dakota Forsyth (Bethel Park, Pa.) then threw the fourth, fifth and sixth frames, allowing just two hits and striking out two hitters. To close out the game Tim Dunn (Coto de Caza, Calif.) Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas) and Tom Mullin (Springfield, Pa.) each went one inning to give PSU its seventh win of the season.
Offensively the Penn State bats posted nine hits on the day, with Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) and Colin Keefe (Woodbury, Minn.) each recording two. Keefe’s multi-hit performance is the first of the senior’s career, as he went 2-for-4 with two RBIs, two steals and one run scored. The two runs driven in and two stolen bases are also personal bests for Keefe.
Another key to Penn State’s eight runs was the team’s aggressiveness on the base paths. The squad stole a season-high eight bases on Wednesday, with Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.), Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.) and the aforementioned Keefe each swiping two. Other Nittany Lions to steal a base were Snyder and Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.).
For the second-straight game, Penn State scored two runs in the second stanza for the games first runs to open up a 2-0 lead. Skerpon led off the inning by reaching on an error and followed by stealing second and then third. After a Haley walk to put runners on the corners, Keefe singled up the middle to give Penn State a 1-0 lead. Two batters later Snyder reached on an infield single and then advanced to second off a throwing error from the Bears’ second baseman allowing Keefe to come in and score the second run of the inning.
The Nittany Lions doubled their lead in the third frame, plating two more runs to open up a 4-0 advantage. Ell singled to center with two outs to score Greg Guers (Landsowne, Va.), who reached earlier in the inning with a walk. Later in the inning the Nittany Lions successfully pulled off a delayed double steal to push its lead to four runs, as Haley stole second and drew the throw, allowing Ell to break for home and score.
After being held scoreless in the fourth, the Blue and White blew the game open in the fifth with three runs in the frame to take a commanding 7-0 lead. Guers led off with a single and then came around to score off a three-base error, as the catcher threw the ball into the right field corner trying to throw out Skerpon on the play. Keefe then drove in his second run of the game off a single to center. Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.) capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to right field to plate the third run of the inning
Penn State tacked on its eighth run of the day in the seventh off Sam August’s (Needham, Mass.) pinch-hit single to center field to score Skerpon for the third time in the game. The hit came in August’s first at bat of the season and the RBI was the senior’s first of his career.
The Penn State pitching staff held the Bears’ offense scoreless in the top of the eighth and ninth to secure the 8-0 shutout victory and improve the Nittany Lions’ record to 7-12.
The Blue and White has two days off before returning to the field for a four-game weekend series against intrastate rival Bucknell. The Nittany Lions will host the Bison in a Saturday doubleheader starting at noon before traveling to Lewisburg for a Sunday doubleheader with the first pitch scheduled for noon.