Nittany Lions Respond With 10-8 Win Over Kent State
March 31, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Following a 9-8 loss at Kent State on Tuesday, the Penn State baseball team bounced back 24 hours later with an impressive 10-8 victory over the Golden Flashes on Wednesday evening at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Lions used a seven-run fifth inning on the way to their fourth-consecutive home victory. Freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) had the big hit with a three-run triple while fellow freshman John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) tossed 5.2 strong innings out of the bullpen for his first-career win. The Nittany Lions now turn their attention to the Big Ten opener on Friday at Illinois.
Snyder was the offensive hero, finishing 2-for-4 with that triple, along with three RBI and a run scored. Sophomore Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) went 2-for-5, his ninth multi-hit effort in his last 14 games. He has racked up 23 hits in that span.
Walter took over for sophomore Mike Franklin (Harleysville, Pa.) in the first inning and pitched all the way into the seventh, allowing only two runs on four hits in the second longest outing of his career. Redshirt senior David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) struggled to begin his outing, but bounced back strong to toss scoreless eighth and ninth innings to preserve the victory.
"I think from an experience standpoint, it was good for Walter to go out and get in that situation and have to get out of it because that's what he'll have to do this weekend," said head coach Robbie Wine. "It was good for him to do that. He's shown signs of brilliance then signs of being a young arm out there. It was good to see him go out there and eat up some innings for us."
Scoring started in the top of the first when Kent State's Jared Humphreys crossed the plate on a David Lyon double. Anthony Gallas then scored the second run on a wild pitch while Kyle McMillen drew a bases loaded walk to score Lyon and put the Golden Flashes up, 3-0.
Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) led off Penn State's first inning with a walk. Deegan then stole his 15th base in as many tries to get into scoring position. DeBernardis followed with a single to move Deegan to third. After Deegan was thrown out at the plate on a Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) chopper, DeBernardis rounded the bases on junior Ben Heath's (Huntersville, N.C.) double to right-center field to pull within 3-1.
Steranka hit his fourth home run of the season in the third, a two-run shot to tie the score at three.
Jimmy Rider gave the Golden Flashes a 4-3 advantage with a run in the fifth when he scored on Lyon's single to right. Both Steranka and Heath reached base via an error before scoring on separate wild pitches to give Penn State the 5-4 lead. Senior Louie Picconi (North Merrick, N.Y.) drew a bases loaded walk for the Lions' sixth run while Snyder followed with a clutch triple to the right-center field gap, scoring Picconi and juniors Heath Johnson (Alamagordo, N.M.) and Michael Glantz (Marietta, Ga.). Snyder then scored on Deegan's sacrifice fly to make it 10-4 in favor of Penn State.
"I was just trying to put the ball in play to score the run and build on the lead," said Snyder. "It worked out well."
Lutz replaced Walter in the seventh after 5.2 stellar innings. Kent State mounted a rally to pull within 10-8, but the redshirt senior limited the damage and got out of the jam with a two-run lead.
Lutz bounced back with two scoreless innings, good for the 10-8 final.
Penn State now looks ahead to Friday's Big Ten opener at Illinois. Gametime is set for 7:05 p.m. ET. The Lions face the Illini for three before returning home to host in-state rival Bucknell on Tuesday evening. Purchase your tickets today!
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