Penn State Improves to 7-0 at Home, Best Start Since 1980
April 1, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 1, 2014 - The Nittany Lions continued its winning ways on Tuesday evening, blowing out Youngstown State 15-2 in a non-conference matchup. With the win the Penn State is now 7-0 in games played in Happy Valley, the program's best start since the 1980 season. PSU has now won eight of its last nine games.
The Nittany Lions' 15 runs were the most in nearly two seasons for the program, as the last time Penn State scored at least 15 runs was April 6, 2012 in a 15-5 win over Canisius. The 13-run win is the widest margin of victory since the Blue and White defeated Michigan State by 17 runs in a 22-5 blowout on May 1, 2010.
Penn State received a complete team effort at the plate, as a season-high six players recorded multi-hit performances and the squad combined to draw 11 walks. The Nittany Lions who recorded two hits on Tuesday were Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.), James Coates (Girard, Ohio), Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.), Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.), Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) and Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.). The six batters combined to score 11 of the team's 15 runs and drove in 12 runs altogether.
On the mound Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) went three and a third innings in his short start, allowing just two hits and no earned runs on the way to his second victory of the season. The PSU bullpen kept its recent run of great play intact, as Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas), Tim Dunn (Coto de Caza, Calif.), Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) and Tim Scholly (State College, Pa.) combined to toss five and two thirds innings, allowing no runs on three hits and no walks to seal the 15-2 win.
The Blue and White offense exploded for seven runs in the first frame, the most the team has scored in a single inning this season. The Lions loaded the bases with no outs and Guers plated the first two runs of the game off a two-run double. Skerpon followed with an RBI single and Malinsky added two more Penn State runs with a bases loaded single to quickly make the score 5-0. Snyder then reached for the second time of the inning off an RBI single. The Nittany Lions capped off their monstrous first with Malinsky scoring off a throwing error from the second baseman.
The Blue and White tacked on another run in the third, scoring off a wild pitch in the third to increase the lead to eight runs.
The Penguins scored their first and only two runs of the evening in the top of the fifth, capitalizing on two Penn State miscues to cut the Nittany Lion lead to six at 8-2.
Penn State did not allow the visitors an opportunity to get back in the game, scoring three runs in the fifth and adding three more in the sixth to completely blow the game open at 14-2. Guers and Skerpon combined for the three RBIs in the fifth and Novak and White drove in the Lions' three runs in the sixth stanza.
Skerpon put an exclamation mark on his great game with a sacrifice fly to center to score Novak and give Penn State its 15th run of the night.
Penn State is back on the field this weekend, as the team travels to West Lafayette, Ind. for its first road test in Big Ten play. The first game of the series is Friday evening at 6:30 p.m.