Baseball Falls to Iowa in Series Finale, 13-9
May 9, 2010
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Despite a game-tying two-run home run from sophomore Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) in the bottom of the fifth inning, Iowa's red-hot bats rattled off 10 runs over the sixth, seventh and eighth en route to a 13-9 victory over the Nittany Lions on a cold Sunday afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Still very much in the hunt for a Big Ten Tournament berth, Penn State (21-25, 8-10 Big Ten) next heads to the Metrodome in Minneapolis for the penultimate Big Ten series of the season against Minnesota.
Steranka's two-run blast to right field knotted the score at 3-3 heading into the top of the sixth. However, Iowa (21-25, 8-10) stormed back with three runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and five more in the eighth to build a 10-run advantage. Junior Michael Glantz (Marietta, Ga.) fueled a two-run eighth inning with his first home run of the season. A four-run ninth from the Lions trimmed the Iowa lead to 13-9, but that was as close as they would get.
Six different Nittany Lions tallied two hits in the setback. Steranka led the way with a 2-for-6 afternoon to go with three RBI. Redshirt freshman Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) and freshman Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) also went 2-for-6 at the plate, giving Penn State's top three in the lineup six hits on the afternoon. Sophomore Joey DeBernardis (Lake Zurich, Ill.) went 2-for-4 with a double. Glantz tallied two hits and two RBIs while Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) notched his third straight two-hit game. Both DeBernardis and Snyder extended their hitting streaks to 10 games while Steranka's has reached nine and Deegan's is up to eight.
The Lions sent senior lefty David Lutz (West Chester, Pa.) to the hill in the rubber game of the series, his second consecutive Sunday start. He was solid through five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits while striking out four.
After a scoreless first, Iowa took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second. Catcher Tyson Blaser led off the inning with a double to left. Two batters later, Andrew Host tallied an RBI single up the middle.
The Nittany Lions struck back in the home half of the inning, starting with DeBernardis' one-out double off the center field wall. Junior Mario Eramo (Houston, Texas) then singled to right, moving DeBernardis to third. Glantz plated the run with a sharply hit single down the left field line to tie the score at 1-1.
The Hawkeyes reclaimed the lead in the third behind a pair of singles and a sacrifice bunt. Ryan Durant's RBI single handed Iowa a 2-1 edge. The Hawkeyes pushed their lead to 3-1 in the fourth with another inning of small ball.
Hawkeye starter Phil Schreiber held the Lions scoreless in the fourth, but the Lions erased the deficit with a two-out rally in the bottom of the fifth. Snyder kick-started the inning with a single through the left side of the infield. One batter later, Steranka tied the ballgame with one swing, blasting his seventh homer of the season over the 375 foot sign in right-center field. The sophomore's first home run in exactly one month (Apr. 9) knotted the score at 3-3 heading into the sixth.
Nonetheless, the tie score was short-lived, as Iowa's leadoff man Kurtis Muller notched a three-run home run to left field off Nittany Lion freshman reliever Neal Herring (West Chester, Pa.) to hand the Hawkeyes a 6-3 advantage in the top of the sixth. Muller finished the day 5-for-6 with five RBI. Iowa went back to work in the seventh and eighth innings, plating seven more runs to make it 13-3.
Glantz led off the home half of the eight with his first home run of the season. The solo shot sailed over the wall in center field to trim Iowa's lead to 13-4. Steranka also tallied an RBI single in the eighth to set the scoreboard at 13-5.
The Nittany Lions were not quite done, as they mounted a four-run rally in the ninth to close within four. Searer reached on a throwing error, which plated two runs. Snyder then notched a two run single to set the final score at 13-9.
Penn State now looks ahead to a three-game series at Minnesota in the Metrodome. Its final home series of the year comes on May 20-22 against Michigan. Purchase your tickets today!
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