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April 23, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State baseball team picked up its fourth win in five games on Tuesday evening, topping La Salle 7-4 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Nittany Lions improve to an overall record of 11-25, while the Explorers move to 18-20 on the season. The squad was led by freshman Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) on the mound, firing a career-high 6.2 innings in one of his best outings to date.
Hedge made his 10th appearance and third start of the season against the Explorers, allowing five hits and three earned runs in 6.2 innings of work. The freshman, who struck out the side in the top of the second, struck out a career-best seven batters while walking only two. Earning the win for the Lions, junior Ian Parvin (Irvine, Calif.) threw 2.0 innings of relief with two hits and one unearned run allowed. Senior Neal Herring (West Chester, Pa.) picked up his first career save as he came in to close in the ninth, holding the Explorers hitless for the final out.
Junior Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass) and sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) led the Lions at the plate, with Farkes going 2-for-3 and White going 2-for-4. The duo each collected a run and two RBIs, including White's two-RBI hit in the bottom of the eighth to give Penn State a 5-3 lead. Redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) and freshman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) each collected one hit, one run and an RBI, while sophomore Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) posted a hit, a run scored and his fourth double of the season.
La Salle struck first in the top of the second, with sophomore Justin Korenblatt leading off with a bunt single. Fellow sophomore Mark Williams followed up with a hard-hit double down the left field line, allowing Korenblatt to score and give the Explorers a 1-0 lead. Despite the opposition stealing the momentum early on in the game, Hedge went on to strike out the next three consecutive batters to shut down La Salle's offense.
Answering back in the bottom of the third, Searer ripped a base hit to left field and advanced on the throw as Kendall crossed home plate to tie the game. Farkes would eventually step up to the plate with the bases loaded, bringing home sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Searer for a 3-1 lead. It was Farkes' 19th and 20th career RBIs. Penn State went on to hold La Salle scoreless for the next three innings, with Hedge striking out three more Explorers along the way.
Two back-to-back singles from La Salle in the top of the seventh, however, would bring the Explorers' bats alive. Parvin entered the game with the bases loaded, with Ryan Welling pinch hitting and singling through the left side to bat in Williams and Korenblatt. The score now rested at 3-3 heading into the eighth.
Following a single to center field from Coban and a double to right field from Novak in the bottom of the inning, Farkes was walked to load the bases as White came up to bat. The sophomore blasted a hit to deep center field for his 24th and 25th career RBIs, driving home Coban and Novak to regain the lead. With runners on second and third following a sac bunt from redshirt freshman Ryky Smith (York, Pa.), Kendall tore a hit through the right side for his fifth RBI of the season, allowing Farkes to score and give the Lions a three-run lead. White went on to score on a passed ball to give Penn State a 7-3 advantage, and although the Explorers tallied another run in the ninth inning, the Lion defense prevailed to claim the 7-4 victory.
Penn State will face Mount St. Mary's tomorrow, April 24 at 6:05 p.m. at Medlar Field for a CODE Blue Blast. Free pizza from Rotelli's will be handed out at the gates while supplies last and students will earn 3 CODE Blue points when they swipe in.
Tickets: Season tickets for students are just $20, with Student General Admission tickets starting at $2 and Student Bleacher tickets at $1. Season tickets for Adult General Admission start at $63, while Adult General Admission tickets are sold for $4. For fans interested in the Diamond Club "In the Box" seats, single games start at $6 and season tickets will be sold for $99. Youth General Admission and Season tickets are the same cost as student tickets. Single game tickets can be purchased at the Spikes' Box Office or via the Tickets page on GoPSUSports.com.
Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates during the 2013 season. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/PennStateBASE and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/pennstatebaseball.