Pittsburgh Tops Nittany Lions in Keystone Battle, 7-4
March 24, 2010
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Despite jumping out to a 3-0 lead on Ben Heath's (Huntersville, N.C.) seventh home run of the season, the Penn State baseball team couldn't hold on as it dropped a 7-4 decision to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Heath and sophomore Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) combined for four of the Lions' five hits while redshirt senior David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) tossed 4.1 scoreless innings out of the bullpen. Penn State now looks ahead to the home opener this weekend when it hosts Hofstra on Friday at 3:35 p.m.
Heath's home run was his third in as many games while he increased his RBI total to 22 through only 16 games played. He has racked up three home runs and 13 RBI over the last three games while DeBernardis picked up his team-leading ninth multi-hit game of the season and sixth in the last eight contests. Sophomore Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) had an eighth-inning single while junior Mario Eramo (Houston, Texas) reached base twice via a pair of walks.
Lutz followed redshirt sophomore Drew Irsfeld (Eugene, Ore.) and dazzled, allowing only three hits in the second longest outing of his career. His longest came when he threw five innings against Ohio State on Mar. 28, 2008.
The scoring started in the first with Heath's three-run home to deep left-center field, giving Penn State the early advantage. Sophomore Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.)and senior Louie Picconi (North Merrick, N.Y.) led off the inning with walks and scored on Heath's third round tripper in as many games.
Pittsburgh responded with three in the bottom of the inning to tie the score after one full inning. Danny Lopez led off with a solo home run down the left field line, then with two out, Sean Toole hit a single up the middle to plate Jeff Leonard and Kevan Smith.
The Panthers took their first lead of the game with a three-spot in the bottom of the third to open up a 6-3 advantage. It could have been worse if not for freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.), who gunned down David Chester at the plate for the first out of the inning. Corey Brownsten made it 4-3 with a double to left-center field while Zach Duggan followed with an RBI groundout and Lopez swatted an RBI single.
Pitchers settled down in the middle innings, highlighted by Lutz's strong outing. Pittsburgh answered with seven different pitchers, four of which held the Lions off the board from the second until the eighth.
Penn State did pick up a run in the eighth when a DeBernardis single plated Picconi from second to pull within 6-4, but Pittsburgh added an insurance marker in the bottom of the inning and held on for the victory.
The Nittany Lions return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for their home opening weekend against Hofstra. Following a 3:35 p.m. start on Friday, the teams play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game Sunday. Both games are set for 12:05 p.m. Purchase your tickets today!
Season and individual game tickets are now available can be purchased online or over the phone. Please call 1-877-997-7453 or (814) 272-1711, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. for more information. Fans can also direct any additional questions or comments via phone, or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Baseball camp information is now available. Call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
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