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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Junior RHP Schuyler Bates (Ossining, N.Y.) earned his first career win with a five-inning, three-strikeout effort and senior catcher Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.) set career highs with three hits and three RBIs in a non-conference baseball win over Cornell, 8-2, Wednesday night in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Bates (1-0) paced Penn State (10-13), allowing just two hits and two walks and retiring the sides in the third, fourth and fifth innings, while Malinsky’s two-RBI double keyed a three-run fourth inning that built a margin Cornell (9-5) was unable to overcome.
It was Bates’ first career start and Malinsky’s first start of the season after missing significant time to start the year after getting struck in the face with a ball while batting during the preseason.
With Malinsky in the lineup, the Nittany Lions started a season-high three seniors, and also got three RBIs and three hits from senior third baseman Christian Helsel (Altoona, Pa.). Helsel went 3-for-4 with a double and run scored. Sophomores Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) and Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) also enjoyed two-hit games, one-walk games, with Bowersox adding two runs and an RBI and Burger tallying one run.
RHP Dakota Forsyth (Bethel Park, Pa.), LHP Taylor Lehman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and RHP Cole Bartels (Belmont, Mass.) combined to just yield three hits and three walks over the remainder of the game to limit the Big Red to five hits. RHP Colby Wyatt (0-1) suffered the loss for Cornell after allowing an unearned run in the first inning. His three innings pitched led a total of seven Big Red pitchers for the evening, and he struck out three,
Penn State took a 1-0 lead in the first with the help of a pair of errors behind the plate. The catcher made contact with Hughes’ bat to leadoff the game, sending him to first on catcher’s interference. An errant throw on a stolen base attempt to second allowed Hughes to advance to third. Then with two outs, Bowersox went the opposite way through the right side with a base hit to plate Hughes.
Cornell loaded the bases in the second, but Bates was able to navigate out of it, retiring the next 10 batters before leaving the game
The Nittany Lions extended their lead with three runs in the fourth. The Punxsutawney duo of Braxton Giavedoni and Ryan Sloniger led the frame off with back-to-back singles, and the pitcher was unable to pick up the ball on a Helsel sacrifice attempt, setting the table for Malinsky. The senior delivered with a double down the left field line to score two runs, and shortstop Logan Goodnight (Wheeling, W.Va.) followed with a sacrifice fly for a 4-0 lead.
Goodnight impressed all evening with his defense at short, making just his third start of the year there.
Penn State left the bases loaded without scoring a run in the sixth, and then Cornell halved the advantage in the top of the seventh. One run scored on a wild pitch and another scored on a sacrifice fly by centerfielder Kaleb Lepper.
It was as close Cornell would come though as the Lions restored their four-run advantage in the bottom half of the frame. Helsel doubled with runners on first and second to drive in one, and then Malinsky dropped a single just in front of the centerfielder to score one more.
Helsel singled in the eighth to drive in two more runs for the final margin.
Penn State will next open Big Ten play at No. 22 Michigan, opening a three-game series in Ann Arbor Friday at 4 p.m.
Season, flex and single-game ticket options for the 2017 Penn State baseball season in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park are now on sale at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711. Ask about the hospitality suite option for season ticket holders.
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