Nittany Lions Drop Close Contest to Mount St. Mary's, 2-1
April 21, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite six strong innings from junior lefty Calvin Grumley (Johnsonburg, Pa.), the Penn State baseball team struggled to muster much offense in falling, 2-1, to Mount St. Mary's on Wednesday evening at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Junior Michael Glantz (Marietta, Ga.) was the only Nittany Lion (15-21, 2-7 Big Ten) to record multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored. Penn State now looks ahead to a weekend series at Big Ten rival Ohio State.
The low scoring game had no shortage of action, as the bottom of the first inning opened with an errant pitch which caught home plate umpire Dale Gallo in the hand. Gallo had to the leave the game, and after a 19-minute delay, action finally resumed.
Redshirt freshman Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) and junior Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.) both went 1-for-3 to extend impressive streaks. Searer hit in his 17th consecutive game, tied for eighth in Penn State history while Heath reached base safely in his 23rd straight contest. Sophomore Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) also registered a hit for Penn State to extend a hitting streak of his own to seven.
Grumley impressed in his fourth start of the season, allowing just one earned run and striking out three in six full innings of work, his longest start of the season and longest since Apr. 4, 2009 at Michigan when he also went six. Freshman John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) took the reigns in the top of the seventh to record a scoreless inning before handing the ball over to senior David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) in the eighth. Lutz, appearing in his 24th game of the season, surrendered just one hit and struck out two in two full innings of work. He is now within three appearances of tying the Penn State all-time career record and within five of tying the school's single-season appearance mark.
Despite four scoreless innings to open the game, there was no lack of action in the opening frames. Several Nittany Lions made stellar efforts in the field, including junior Mario Eramo's (Houston, Texas) running grab in right, a Grumley pickoff and a rocket of a throw from Searer in left field to gun down Andrew Caron at the plate, who was trying to score on a Sam Nott single.
Mount Saint Mary's got on the board in the top of the fifth however, as a hit batter and a single put runners on the corners. Then, a pickoff attempt was thrown away, allowing Nott to score. The Lions surrendered another run in the top of the sixth, and suddenly found themselves down 2-0.
Penn State finally got on the board in the bottom of the seventh to pull within 2-1. Glantz singled up the middle, stole second and advanced to third on a Searer groundout. Deegan then reached on an error, allowing Glantz to cross the plate. Deegan went on to register his 21st and 22nd stolen bases of the season, stealing second and third in the ensuing at-bat. He was stranded however, as DeBernardis grounded to short.
The Lions tried to tie it up in the bottom of the ninth when Glantz reached first on a one-out infield single. Freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) came in to pinch run and promptly stole second. Senior Louie Picconi (North Merrick, N.Y.) walked on a full count, and Searer came to the plate with runners on first and second. Searer's hard ground ball up the middle was snagged by second baseman Michael Foster, who completed the 4-3 double play to the game.
Penn State hits the road to Ohio State this weekend for a three-game series against the Buckeyes beginning Friday. The Nittany Lions return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park next Tuesday for a midweek contest against La Salle. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m.Purchase your tickets today!
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