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April 28, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State baseball (21-22, 7-7) evened up its series with Ohio State on Saturday afternoon with a 5-4 victory over the Buckeyes. The Nittany Lions trailed 4-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but put together a two-run inning to retake the lead.
Freshman JJ White (Lansdowne, Va.) continued his hot hitting as of late, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Freshman JC Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) also went 2-for-3 with an RBI and run scored in the win. Junior Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) pitched a solid seven innings in his start, giving up four runs. Junior Dave Walkling (Nanaimo, Canada) relieved Hill and struck out four batters in two innings to earn his first victory of the season.
Ohio State would start the scoring in the second inning. With two runners on first and second, Kirby Pellant singled through the right side to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead. In the bottom half of the inning, Penn State would produce a run with two outs and nobody on base. Junior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) walked, stole second and then scored on White's base-hit.
The Buckeyes retook the lead in top of the fifth. With two outs, Tim Wetzel stole second base and scored on a base-hit from Ryan Cypret. The Buckeyes had a 2-1 lead.
Penn State would retake the lead in the sixth inning. Senior Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) roped a double down the right field line to lead things off. Senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) then followed with an RBI single up the middle to tie the game back up at two. After White singled to move Steranka to second, Coban hit an RBI single center field to put Penn State up by a score of 3-2.
Nevertheless, Ohio State kept battling and took the lead once again in the top of the eighth. The Buckeyes would put together three hits and score two runs to take a 4-3 advantage.
Penn State would rally in the bottom half of the eighth. White was hit by a pitch with one out. Freshman Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) came in to pinch run and advanced to second on a Coban walk. Junior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) moved the runners over with a walk of his own to load the bases. A wild pitch would score Skerpon to tie the game up at four. Then with two outs and Coban at third, Ohio State pitcher Andrew Armstrong balked to score the Coban, the game-winning run.
A wild eighth inning carried over to the top of the ninth. Cypret was struck out to start things off, but Josh Dezse doubled to give the Buckeyes a runner at second with one out. Mike Caroll grounded out to short, but Dezse advanced to third. Walkling then struck out Brad Hallberg to pick up his first victory of the season.
Penn State looks to take the series from the Buckeyes tomorrow in a 1:05 p.m. start. Junior John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) will take the mound for Penn State.
Follow Penn State baseball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/psubaseball.
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