Baseball's Hot Hitting Continues in Dominating 22-5 Wounded Warrior Win Over Michigan State
May 1, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - One day after tying a season-high with 18 runs, the Penn State baseball team carried the momentum into Saturday, notching five first-inning runs on its way to a 22-5 win over Michigan State in the first-annual Wounded Warrior Game at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The 40 combined runs over the first two games mark the most scored in consecutive Big Ten games in school history. The 22-run effort was also the most since Apr. 4, 2001 when the Lions bested Cornell 26-4. Penn State (19-23, 6-8 Big Ten) now looks for the series sweep on Sunday. Please note the new start time of 12:05 p.m.
Wearing specially designed camo jerseys, Penn State batted around three times on the afternoon to up its series total to six. The Nittany Lions batted around in the first inning after batting around in each of its last three at-bats on Friday night. At one point, the squad batted around six times in the span of nine innings bridging the two games.
"These guys are locked in right now," said head coach Robbie Wine. "Going into Ohio State, we knew our backs were against the wall. [We knew] it was time to turn it on, and they have."
On a day where the Lions saw no shortage of offense, it was freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) and sophomore Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) leading Penn State at the plate. Snyder was 4-for-5 with a triple and three RBI, his fifth straight multi-hit game and second four-hit effort in his last four games. He is hitting .577 (15-for-26) over his last five games since taking over in the No. 2 hole.
DeBernardis was 3-for-4 with a triple and career-high five RBI. Sophomore Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) also chipped in with four RBI to tie a career-high, going 3-for-6. Junior catcher Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.) scored a career-high five runs while reaching base five times, including a 2-for-3 effort at the plate. Redshirt freshman Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) and junior Michael Glantz (Marietta, Ga.) also chipped in with a pair of hits.
Redshirt senior Mike Wanamaker (Upper Nyack, N.Y.) put together a strong performance on the mound, tying a season-high 7.2 innings pitched while striking out four in allowing five runs on nine hits. Junior Jesse Alfreno (Grove City, Pa.) came on in relief, striking the one batter he faced in the eighth, and retiring the side in the ninth.
"Every game, we're getting better and better," said Wanamaker. "We're getting it together the way we thought we were going to play at the beginning of the season."
Penn State picked up right where it left off the night before, batting around for the fourth consecutive inning while notching five runs in the opening frame to the delight of the season-high crowd of 2,061. Searer opened the game with a single and Snyder reached safely on a bunt, putting runners on first and second. A Steranka double scored Searer and advanced Snyder to third. Heath was hit by a pitch, loading the bases before DeBernardis connected on a sacrifice fly to score Snyder. Eramo walked to reload the bases and Glantz reached base for the seventh consecutive time, connecting on a single up the middle to score two. Penn State notched its final run of the inning on an error by Michigan State (28-13, 7-7 Big Ten) pitcher Kurt Wunderlich, as his pickoff attempt to first was in the dirt, allowing Eramo to score to make it 5-0.
The Spartans got two runs back in the second, but Penn State answered in the third with two of its own. Heath began the inning with a leadoff single, scoring on a DeBernardis triple. Eramo followed with a single up the middle, bringing DeBernardis home to give the Lions a 7-2 advantage.
The Nittany Lions tacked on one more in the bottom of the fourth to make it 8-2, as Snyder opened the inning with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a fly ball to right, then scored on a DeBernardis single to left. .
Michigan State plated two more in the top of the fifth, but Penn State answered in the bottom of the inning batting around for the second time, and the fifth in two games while scoring five time to open up a 15-4 advantage. Glantz, Deegan, and Picconi all reached base to open the inning loading the bases. Searer drew a bases-loaded walk to score Glantz and keep the bases full. Snyder promptly tripled to the right field wall, clearing the bases. Steranka snuck a fly ball just inside the left field line, good for a double and an RBI. After the Spartans intentionally walked Heath, a DeBernardis groundout moved the runners in scoring position for pinch hitter Bobby Jacobs (West Chester, Pa.). The junior connected on Penn State's first pinch-hit of the season, a double to the center field wall to score two and make it 15-4.
The Penn State bats stayed hot in the bottom of the sixth, batting around for the second straight inning, and third time overall. Singles from Picconi, Searer and Snyder loaded the bases for Steranka with no outs. The sophomore came through with a single to right field, scoring two. Heath walked to load the bases for DeBernardis, who connect through the right side to scored two more to make it 19-4. Glantz singled to right, reloading the bases, and Deegan singled to left to score the Lions' 20th run of the game.
A solo home run from Michigan State's Seth Williams pulled the Spartans to within 20-5 in the top of the eighth, but again, Penn State answered in the bottom of the inning. Heath led off with a single, Jacobs walked and freshman Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Deegan hit an infield single to score one and Jacobs came home on the play following an errant throw to first.
Alfreno impressed over the final 1.1 innings, retiring the side in order to preserve the 22-5 victory.
The Nittany Lions host Michigan State in the final game of this weekend's series on Sunday. Please note the changed start time of 12:05 p.m. due to the threat of inclement weather. 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.
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