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April 20, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State baseball team took on Big Ten opponent Iowa on Saturday, picking up its first conference win to split a doubleheader. The Nittany Lions (9-25, 1-10 Big Ten) defeated the Hawkeyes (14-19, 3-8) in a walk-off, 8-7 victory in the first contest and fell 5-2 in game two. The two squads will complete the three-game series tomorrow, April 21 at 12:05 p.m. at Medlar Field.
Picking up his first win of the season, senior Neal Herring (West Chester, Pa.) closed out the final 1.2 innings in the come-from-behind victory, holding the Hawkeyes scoreless to allow Penn State to post three-runs in the ninth inning for the win. Redshirt sophomore T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) made the start, firing 3.1 innings with eight hits and four earned runs allowed. Freshman Jack Anderson (Evanston, Ill.) and redshirt sophomore Geoff Boylston (West Chester, Pa.) combined for 4.0 innings of relief, with Boylston holding Iowa hitless with two strikeouts in his 2.1-inning performance.
Down 7-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth after slowly inching its way back from a 7-0 deficit, Penn State's comeback victory was kicked into gear by base hits from junior Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.) and redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) to put runners on first and second. Sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) stepped up to the plate, doubling to right center to bat in Farkes and cut Iowa's lead to one run. Completing the Lions' remarkable come-from-behind victory, sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) stepped up with a hard-hit double up the left field line to allow Snyder and Skerpon to score, giving Penn State the walk-off win.
Coban led the Lions at the plate, collected three hits, two RBIs, one run scored and two doubles. The sophomore tallied just two of Penn State's six doubles in the contest, with Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) posting two, as well. The senior went 3-for-4, tallying two runs and an RBI. Snyder recorded a team-best four hits on the day, going 4-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. Sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) and Farkes each went 2-for-4, with Farkes posting two runs and a double.
Despite the momentum gained from tallying their first Big Ten win of the season, the Lions went on to drop a 5-2 decision to the Hawkeyes in the second contest of the day. Senior Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) fired 5.0 innings in his ninth start of the season, allowing 10 hits and two earned runs while striking out five. Sophomore Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas) had an excellent relief outing in the final four innings of the game, holding Iowa to just one hit and striking out one.
Iowa's Andrew Hanse earned the win for the Hawkeyes, opening the first 6.0 innings with five hits and two earned runs allowed. The senior walked five while striking out seven. Senior Ricky Sandquist came into relieve Hanse in the seventh, allowing just two hits in 3.0 innings with two strikeouts.
Answering with two runs in the bottom of the first following Iowa scoring in the top of the inning, Coban reached first on an infield error to load the bases as Montesinos came to bat. Montesinos then reached on a fielder's choice for an RBI, driving home Snyder from third to tie the game at 1-1. Redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) followed up with a single through the left side, batting in Skerpon to take a 2-1 lead. However, it would prove to be Penn State's final run of the contest, with the Hawkeyes pulling ahead for an eventual 5-2 victory.
Promotions: The THON Sluggers game will be held on Sunday, with $1 of every ticket sold donated to THON 2014.
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