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May 4, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The Penn State seniors continue to rise to the occasion, as Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) hit a game-winning RBI double in the 10th inning to give Penn State a 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday night. Penn State is a game over .500 for the first time this season after starting 3-14.
Penn State's bullpen was phenomenal in relief of sophomore Joe Kurrasch (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), who went seven strong innings while striking out six. The bullpen pitched three innings and allowed just one hit while giving up no earned runs.
In the top of the first inning, senior Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) started things where he left off on Sunday. The senior smashed a leadoff homer an estimated 382 feet into the right field seats to give the Nittany Lions an early 1-0 advantage. The homer by Deegan was just the second homer that Minnesota starter TJ Oakes has given up all season.
The Golden Gophers would put up a two-spot in the bottom of the fourth inning. With one out, Kyle Geason earned Minnesota's first hit on a swinging bunt. Matt Halloran followed with an RBI triple to tie the game up at one. Troy Larson then reached on a fielder's choice and Halloran scored to make the score 2-1 in favor of Minnesota.
Penn State finally got something brewing in the top of the eighth inning. Junior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) led things off with a double to the left field gap. Deegan followed with a great at-bat and forced a walk. Sophomore Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) reached on an infield hit to load the bases. Minnesota turned to Tom Windle to replace Oakes, who struck out 10 in the game. Windle got the next two batters and the bases remained loaded. Sophomore Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) worked a walk to make the score 3-2. Junior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) hit a big RBI single through the left side to tie the game up at three. Senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) tried to score from second but was thrown out at home.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, Minnesota's Andy Henkemeyer singled and Kurt Schlangen walked to give the Gophers runners on first and second with nobody out. Sophomore Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) would strike out Dan Olinger to give the Gophers one out. Then, Kyle Geasen ripped a ball that was heading towards the left centerfield gap. Searer made an unbelievable leaping play to knock the ball down. He got the lead runner at third for the second out of the inning. Welsh then forced Halloran to ground out to Steranka.
In the bottom of the 10th with one out, Snyder worked a big walk to set things up for DeBernardis. The senior roped a double to the left centerfield gap to give the Nittany Lions a 4-3 lead. Junior Dave Walkling (Nanaimo, Canada) came in and picked up his second save of the season.
Penn State is back in action tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. ET. The game will be played at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, and will be aired live on the Big Ten Network. Junior Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) will take the hill for the Nittany Lions.
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