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April 27, 2013
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Penn State baseball team completed a weekend series against Ohio State on Saturday, falling 10-8 and 8-3 in a doubleheader at Bill Davis Stadium. The Nittany Lions move to 11-28 overall with a 2-13 mark in Big Ten play, despite attempting late-game comebacks in both contests, while the Buckeyes move to 28-13 and 12-6.
The Buckeyes struck first in game one, tallying three runs in the bottom of the second. The squad would go on to extend its lead to 10-0 by the bottom of the fourth, with Brian King leading Ohio State at the mound in his 11th start of the season. King went on to fire 8.0 innings with eight hits and two earned runs allowed, earning the win to improve to a 7-4 record on the season. Trace Dempsey picked up the save, holding the Lions hitless in the top of the ninth for the final two outs.
Despite the 10-run deficit, Penn State would slowly chip away at OSU’s lead for a gutsy comeback effort. Getting on the board in the top of the fifth, junior Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.) led off with a bunt single for his 20th hit of the season, giving the Lions some momentum as junior Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) stepped up to the plate. Ell then recorded the first home run of his career, ripping a hit over the left field wall to drive in Farkes for two RBIs. It was the junior’s 30th career hit, as well, cutting the Buckeyes’ lead to eight runs. Following doubling to center field in the top of the fifth for his 40th hit of the season, redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) scored on an Ohio State fielding error, his 20th run of the season, to move the score to 10-3.
With senior Neal Herring (West Chester, Pa.) holding the Buckeyes scoreless in his 2.1-inning relief outing, the Lions went on to tally five runs in the top of the ninth. Redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded, singling to left field to bat in Farkes and Ell and cut Ohio State’s lead in half. Moments later, redshirt freshman Ryky Smith (York, Pa.) came up to bat with two outs and the bases loaded once gain. Smith stepped up with a hard-hit double to the left center wall, driving home freshman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.), freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) and senior Matt Paradise (San Clemente, Calif.) to cut the Buckeyes’ lead to 10-8. Penn State would fight until the end, but Dempsey went on to hold the Lions off to conclude the contest for the win.
Smith ended the game going 2-for-4 with three RBIs, while Ell went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Kendall collected three hits for a new career-best, posting his second career double and a run scored. Batting in two runs for Penn State, Searer went 2-for-5, while Farkes scored twice for the sixth time in his career. Sophomore Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas) made the start for Penn State, firing three innings with eight hits and three earned runs allowed. Relieving Harper, freshman Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) went 2.1 innings with four hits and four earned runs allowed, while Herring allowed just one hit to close.
The second contest proved to be more defensive, with both teams held scoreless until the bottom of the fourth. The Buckeyes again drew first blood, with Zach Ratcliff posting his first home run of the season to give Ohio State a 1-0 lead. The squad went on another scoring streak in the bottom of the fifth, tallying four runs for a 5-0 advantage. Patrick Porter earned three RBIs along the way, tripling to center field to drive home Ryan Cypret, Joe Ciamacco and Brad Hallberg. Porter went on to score himself, crossing home plate on a Penn State fielding error. Junior Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) ended the offensive attack, however, striking out Ratcliff to end the inning.
The Lions would hold off the Buckeyes with a runner on third in the bottom of the sixth before scoring in the top of the seventh, with Coates crossing home plate for his 19th run of the season on an infield error. Farkes went on to kick his squad into gear in the eighth, stepping up to pinch hit for an injured J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.). The junior sent the ball sailing over the left field wall for his first home run of the season, cutting OSU’s lead to 5-2 to lead off the inning. Sophomore J.J. White (Lansdowne, Va.) recorded his fourth double of the season moments later, prompting Greg Greve to step in for Ohio State’s starter Jaron Long. Sophomore Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) followed up with another double to right center, batting in White for his 25th career RBI. It was White’s 25th career run, as well.
Despite Penn State’s second rally of the day, the Buckeyes answered with three runs in the bottom of the eighth to regain a five-run lead. Brett McKinney held the Lions hitless in the ninth, sealing the 8-3 victory for his squad. Long earned the win for OSU, firing 7.1 innings with 11 hits and two earned runs allowed.
Welsh pitched 5.2 innings for Penn State, striking out four while allowing seven hits and four earned runs. Senior Cody Lewis (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) stepped in to relieve the junior, firing 2.1 innings with one hit and one earned run allowed. Lewis struck out two in his 16th appearance of the season. Farkes and Snyder led the Lions at the plate, with Farkes extending a nine-game hitting streak on his home run and Snyder going 3-for-5. Sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) went 2-for-4, recording his 30th hit of the season, while Searer tallied his 170th career hit in the contest.
The Lions return to action on Friday, May 3 when Penn State hosts Minnesota for a three-game conference series. Friday’s first pitch is slated for 6:05 p.m. at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
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.
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