Purdue Holds Off Nittany Lion Comeback Attempt, 6-4
April 17, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A four-run first inning proved too much as a resilient Penn State baseball squad clawed back, but could never pull even in a 6-4 loss to Purdue on Saturday afternoon at Lambert Field. After a tough first innings, sophomore Ryan Ignas (North Wales, Pa.) settled down nicely to pitch into the sixth inning. Senior Louie Picconi (North Merrick, N.Y.) finished with two RBI, including a two-out double in the sixth inning to pull within 4-2. The Lions (14-19, 2-6 Big Ten) now look to salvage game three of the series on Sunday at 12 p.m.
The Boilermakers took advantage of some Penn State miscues with four runs in the first inning, but Ignas held them scoreless until the sixth, allowing the Nittany Lions to get right back into the game. Junior Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.) was held hitless for the first time since Mar. 14 to end his career-high 19-game hitting streak. He was robbed of a hit in the fifth inning when his liner was stabbed by third baseman Cameron Perkins.
While Heath owns a 20-game on-base streak, sophomore Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) finished 2-for-4 with two runs scored for his 15th multi-hit game of the season, tied for the team lead. He has now recorded a hit in six consecutive games and reached base in 24 straight.
Redshirt freshman Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) finished 2-for-5 with a run scored to up his hitting streak to 14 games, tied for 15th in program history. Sophomore Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) went 2-for-5 for the second straight day.
Like they had on Friday, the Boilermakers scored quickly with four in the first inning. After retiring the first batter on one pitch, Eric Charles followed with a single to right and advanced all the way to third on an error. Barret McArthur then hit a grounder to first and reached on a fielder's choice when DeBernardis' throw to the plate was too late to gun down Charles. Drew Madia and Kevin Plawecki followed with singles to make it 2-0 while a Perkins RBI single and Nick Overmyer sacrifice fly made it 4-0.
Ignas settled down and the Nittany Lions continued to claw back with single runs in the fourth and sixth innings to pull within 4-2. Picconi drove in both with a groundout and double, respectively.
Purdue quickly responded with two of its own in the bottom of the inning to re-open a four run advantage at 6-2. A sacrifice bunt from Jon Moore scored Perkins while advancing Overmyer to second. Overmyer later advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on Tyler Spillner's sacrifice fly.
Penn State got those runs right back in the top of the seventh when Deegan led off with a single and advanced to third on Searer's double. They both crossed the plate on consecutive wild pitches to pull within 6-4.
Senior David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) threw 2.2 hitless frames to keep the Lions within two, but the Penn State offense couldn't stage another comeback as Kevin Cahill also tossed 2.2 hitless innings for his second save of the season.
The Nittany Lions round out their series on Sunday (12 p.m.) before returning to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a midweek contest with Duquesne on Tuesday, Apr. 20th. First pitch will be at 5:35. Purchase your tickets today!
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