Baseball Explodes for 16 Late-Inning Runs in 18-7 Triumph Over Michigan State
April 30, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - What started off as an early Spartan lead quickly changed as Penn State turned a 6-2 deficit into a convincing 18-7 win over Michigan State (28-12, 7-6 Big Ten) on Friday evening at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Nittany Lions (18-23, 5-8 Big Ten) batted around in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings, scoring 16 of their 18 runs in the process. Penn State has now scored 50 runs over its last three Big Ten wins against two of the four teams who were tied for first place entering the weekend. Game two of the series is Saturday at 2:05 p.m. and features the first annual Wounded Warrior Benefit Game.
"We just picked up where we left off in the last couple games at Ohio State," said head coach Robbie Wine. "It seems like the confidence is there, the energy is there. Hopefully, we keep it going."
The Nittany Lions racked up a season-high 25 hits in the win, led by eight multi-hit efforts, including seven players with three or more hits. Junior Michael Glantz (Marietta, Ga.) and redshirt freshman Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) both had four hits while freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.), sophomores Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.), Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) and Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) and senior Louie Picconi (North Merrick, N.Y.) all had three. The hit totals tied career-highs for Glantz, DeBernardis, Deegan and Picconi.
Trailing 6-2 heading to the home half of the sixth, the Penn State bats came alive against the Spartans, who entered as the Big Ten leader in ERA. Glantz, who reached base all six times, led off the sixth, seventh and eighth innings with a walk and pair of hits to spark the rallies. In total, the Lions racked up 18 of their 25 hits over the final three innings. They also posted their largest margin of victory this season (11) after their original high of eight was set during last Saturday's 18-10 win at Ohio State.
Freshman pitcher Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) battled through six innings, allowing five earned runs to keep the Lions close. He was relieved by senior David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) who was making his 77th career appearance to surpass Jeff Emerich for the school record. He is also one appearance away from tying the single-season mark of 29 held by Matt Ogrodnik. Lutz tossed 2.0 scoreless innings while picking up his third win of the season. Junior Mike Pierce (State College, Pa.) threw a scoreless ninth to end an impressive all-around effort.
The game got underway quickly as a single by Michigan State's Jonathan Roof scored Eli Boike, who hit a one-out double to left-center. Roof reached third on a two-base error and scored via a Torsten Boss single to make it 2-0 in favor of the Spartans.
Boike's long two-run single in the second doubled Michigan State's lead.
The Lions starting chipping away in the bottom of the third when DeBernardis hit an RBI single to right-center field to give Penn State its first run of the night, making it 4-1.
The Spartans answered right back with a fourth-inning run of their own to retake the four-run advantage. With runners on the corners, an overthrow on a successful stolen base sailed into center field, allowing Boike to score the Spartans' fifth run of the contest.
Penn State came back with an unearned run, taking advantage of an error after a Searer double to make it 5-2 after four full innings.
Michigan State answered, making it 6-2 in the fifth via Brandon Eckerle's line drive single to center which scored Andy Johnson.
Picconi starting the scoring of an action-filled sixth inning, singling to left-center to plate Glantz. A single to right by Searer plated Deegan and made it 6-4. A Steranka groundout then made it 6-5 and Heath evened the score at six with a line drive RBI single for the Lions' fourth run of the inning.
After the Spartans retook a 7-6 lead, Penn State matched its four-spot in the sixth with four more in the seventh while batting around for a second straight inning. With Glantz, Deegan, and Picconi on base after respective singles, Searer stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He responded with his third hit of the evening to plate Glantz, tying the score at seven. Snyder's single to right-center sent two more Lions home to make it 9-7. After a strikeout and intentional walk, DeBernardis singled to score Searer for the 10-7 advantage.
Lutz retired the Spartans quickly in the eighth to send Penn State back to the plate in the bottom of the inning, where it would add eight more runs off three different Michigan State pitchers. The Lions recorded seven consecutive hits to start the inning, with the first eight reaching base. Picconi made it 11-7 with an RBI single while singles from Searer and Snyder made it 13-7. Heath ripped a single to score Searer while Snyder crossed the plate on an error to make it 15-7. Steranka later scored on a wild pitch to make it 16-7 while a Mario Eramo (Houston, Texas) sacrifice fly plated Heath. DeBernardis, who walked, crossed the plate on yet another wild pitch for Penn State's 18th run of the contest.
Pierce tossed a scoreless ninth and the Nittany Lions held on for the impressive 18-7 victory.
The Nittany Lions host Michigan State in two more games this weekend, on Saturday (2:05 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.). Saturday is also the first Wounded Warrior Benefit Game to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, apolitical organization headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org. Purchase your tickets today!
Season and individual game tickets are now available can be purchased online or over the phone. Please call 1-877-997-7453 or (814) 272-1711, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. for more information. Fans can also direct any additional questions or comments via phone, or by email (email@example.com).
Baseball camp information is now available. Call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
Follow Penn State baseball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/psubaseball.