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April 18, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Mike Franklin (Harleysville, Pa.) had a career-night at Medlar Field, as he struck out 10 batters and allowed four hits in a 2-0 shutout victory over Bucknell on Wednesday. The 10 strikeouts for the senior is a lifetime best and the complete game is the first of his career.
The Nittany Lions (16-20, 4-5) put together 10 hits on the night, but struggled to put up numbers in the runs column. With no score in the seventh inning, Penn State lit up the scoreboard with one run. The Lions followed with a second run in the eighth inning. Franklin did the rest, allowing just five base runners on the evening.
"I was locating my fastball well and throwing the change up effectively tonight," said Franklin. "Our defense was great behind me. When the defense is so well behind you, it gives you the confidence to execute pitches."
Sophomore Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) had three hits in the victory, including the game-winning RBI in the seventh inning. Freshman Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) extended his hitting-streak to seven games with a 2-for-4 performance. Freshman catcher JC Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) also garnered two hits and scored the game winner on Snyder's RBI single.
In the top of the seventh, junior Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) made a great sliding catch to rob Bucknell's David Duffett of an extra-base hit. Rob Krentzman would single with one out, but Franklin struck out the next two hitters to escape the scare and keep the game scoreless.
Penn State rode that momentum into the bottom half of the inning. Coban led off the inning with single. Then with two outs, he advanced on a failed pick-off attempt. Snyder capitalized with an RBI single to centerfield to give the Lions a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the eight, senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) moved into a tie with Deegan on the all-time triples list in school history with a three-bagger to lead things off. The senior then scored on a wild pitch to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
Franklin would fan two more batters in the ninth inning, including the final batter who was the tying run at the plate.
Penn State now turns to a big three-game series in Iowa City beginning this Friday with the Hawkeyes. Penn State and Iowa are tied up in the Big Ten standings with a 4-5 record in conference play. All action from Friday, Saturday and Sunday's games can be heard on ESPN Radio 1450 State College.
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