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April 7, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State baseball team ended a 13-game slump against Wright State on Sunday afternoon, winning 11-3 for its first home victory of the 2013 season. The Nittany Lions (6-21) racked up 17 hits over the Raiders (12-16), with each position player posting at least one hit in the contest. Junior Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) earned his first win of the season, holding the Raiders without an earned run in 8.0 innings.
Welsh's eight-inning performance tied his career record, with the junior striking out eight batters while allowing just six hits. After firing 109 pitches, Welsh was relieved by sophomore Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas) for the ninth inning. Harper held the Raiders scoreless in his closing effort, allowing just one hit and striking out two. The New Mexico J.C. transfer now has 19 strikeouts on the season, while Welsh now boasts a 2.31 ERA with a 1-2 record.
Five Nittany Lions recorded multiple-hit performances, with senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) leading the pack with two RBIs and three runs scored. Montesinos went 3-for-5, tying his career record for hits and RBIs in a single contest. His three runs were a new personal record. Sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) and junior Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.) each went 3-for-5, as well, with Coban collecting two RBIs and a run. Farkes tied his career record for hits in a single game, and additionally tallied a run and an RBI. Freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) continued a three-game hitting streak, scoring two runs and earning an RBI, while sophomore Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) notched two RBIs and two doubles.
Penn State opened the bottom of the first with three runs, with Coates opening the Lions' offensive effort with an infield single to the shortstop. Following the freshman advancing to second on a sac bunt from redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.), Coban ripped a hit to center field to bat in Coates for a 1-0 lead. Sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) then stepped up with his first career double, moving Coban to third with Montesinos up to bat. The senior singled to left field for Penn State's third consecutive hit in the inning, earning two RBIs on the play as White and Coban scored.
A run from Kody Krizman in the top of the second would put Wright State on the board, but Welsh caught Jason DeFevers looking to shut down the Raiders and steal back the momentum. The Lions answered right back in the bottom of the inning, with Novak recording a leadoff-double to left field. A sac bunt from freshman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) would eventually move Novak to third and Farkes to second, with Coates loading the bases moments later as he was hit by his fourth pitch of the season. Recording his 50th career RBI, Searer then singled to the shortstop to bring home Novak for a 4-1 lead. Coban would step up to the plate with bases loaded for the second time in the inning, collecting his 60th career hit and 14th RBI of the season as the sophomore singled to left field. Coates advanced home from third for his 16th run of the season, giving Penn State a 5-1 lead heading into the third inning.
The Raiders would attempt to come back in the top of the fifth, tallying two runs to cut Penn State's advantage to 5-3. DeFevers and Cody Gardner each scored a single infield error, leaving runners on first and third with just one out. However, the Lions came up with a clutch 1-5-6 double play to end the inning and shut down Wright State's offense.
Refusing to allow a late-game rally, Penn State immediately answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to regain a four-run lead. Recording his second double of the game, Novak sent the ball soaring into center field to bring home Montesinos and White. It was Montesinos' 70th career run.
Welsh would hold the Raiders scoreless the next three innings, giving Penn State prime opportunity to pull away and clinch the win. The Lions saw three more runs in the bottom of the seventh, with Montesinos, Farkes and Kendall each scoring to give Penn State a 10-3 lead. Kendall and Coates each picked up an RBI, the fourth and 11th of their careers, respectively. Following his third career triple in the eighth inning, Montesinos was able to score on a hit up the middle from Farkes on two outs. With the Raiders unable to score in the ninth, thanks in part to two strikeouts from Harper, Penn State picked up the 11-3 victory.
The Lions return to action Tuesday, April 9 when they face Kent State for a non-conference, midweek contest. The game will be aired by BTN, with coverage beginning at 7:05 p.m. from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Penn State will then face Bucknell at home on Wednesday, April 10 before heading back out on the road for a three-game conference series against Michigan. The Big Ten foes will face off on Friday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. in Ann Arbor.
Tickets: Season tickets for students are just $20, with Student General Admission tickets starting at $2 and Student Bleacher tickets at $1. Season tickets for Adult General Admission start at $63, while Adult General Admission tickets are sold for $4. For fans interested in the Diamond Club "In the Box" seats, single games start at $6 and season tickets will be sold for $99. Youth General Admission and Season tickets are the same cost as student tickets. Single game tickets can be purchased at the Spikes' Box Office or via the Tickets page on GoPSUSports.com.
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