Errors Prove Costly in Baseball's 4-3 Loss at Purdue
April 18, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue turned three errors into three unearned runs to hand the Nittany Lion baseball team a heartbreaking 4-3 loss in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at Lambert Field. With the Lions leading 3-2 in the eighth, a bouncer to third would have ended the inning, but a fielding error allowed the tying and go-ahead runs to score. Senior Mike Wanamaker (Upper Nyack, N.Y.) dazzled on the mound in his best start of the season, allowing only six hits and one earned run over 6.2 strong innings. Penn State (14-20, 2-7 Big Ten) returns to action with a pair of home midweek games, against Duquesne on Tuesday and Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday.
The Nittany Lions struggled to pick up the clutch hit as they left nine runners on base, including the bases loaded in the seventh when they looked to add to their 3-1 advantage. Purdue capitalized with three runs over the next two innings to take the lead, a lead that would stand.
Senior Louie Picconi (North Merrick, N.Y.) finished a strong weekend by going 1-for-3 with a walk and double. He had a two-bagger in each of the three games after entering the series with no extra-base hits. It also marked the first time in his career that he's recorded an extra-base hit in three or more straight contests.
Redshirt freshman Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) had another strong game, going 2-for-3 with two walks, the first time in his career that he's reached base all four times. In the process, he also extended his career-high hitting streak to 15 games, tied for 15th in program history.
After both starters breezed through the first three innings, the Boilermakers plated an unearned run in the bottom of the fourth to take a 1-0 advantage. They took advantage of two Penn State errors, allowing Payton Bieker to cross the plate.
The Nittany Lions answered in the fifth when Searer drew a two-out walk and scored on sophomore Jordan Steranka's (Pittsburgh, Pa.) double down the left field line to tie it at one.
Penn State took its first lead of the series with a pair in the seventh for the 3-1 advantage. Searer had the big hit, a two-run single up the middle to score Picconi and freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.). It could have been more, but Purdue reliever Drew Wurdack stranded the bases loaded by retiring sophomore Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) and junior Mario Eramo (Houston, Texas).
Purdue answered with a pair of infield singles in the bottom of the inning to pull within 3-2. The second slow chopper, by Jon Moore, allowed Cameron Perkins to cross the plate.
The Boilers got runners on second and third with no out in the eighth, but senior David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) bounced back to retire the next two. After an intentional walk to Bieker, pinch hitter Brad Schreiber hit a grounder to third, which got through to plate Tyler Spillner and Eric Charles with the tying and winning runs.
The Nittany Lions return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a midweek contest with Duquesne on Tuesday at 5:35 p.m. They also host Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday at 6:35 p.m. before hitting the road to Ohio State next weekend. Purchase your tickets today!
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