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|Medlar Field at Lubrano Park | University Park, Pa. | 621|
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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State scored the game's last nine runs, highlighted by a seven-run eighth inning, to erase a three-run deficit to Villanova and earn an 11-5 victory in non-conference baseball action Tuesday evening in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Penn State (17-35) had six batters post multi-hit games to total a season-high matching 15 hits for the game, while six also posted at least one RBI. Senior catcher Alex Malinsky (Apex, N.C.) drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-RBI double in the eighth, while right fielder Braxton Giavedoni (Punxsutawney, Pa.) led the offense with a career-high matching 3-for-5 night and was one of five Nittany Lions with two RBIs. First baseman Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) reached base four times going 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, stolen base and two walks. Second baseman Christian Helsel (Altoona, Pa.) also doubled as part of a 2-for-4 night that included two RBIs and a walk.
RHP Schuyler Bates (Ossining, N.Y.) (3-3) earned the win with four innings of relief, allowing just a run on four hits and a walk with one strikeout. RHP Myles Gayman started and yielded four runs to Villanova (13-31) in the second but, after a leadoff groundout to start the second, picked up the remaining eight outs with strikeouts. He finished with a career-high nine strikeouts, pushing Penn State's team strikeout total past the 2012 record of 407. Bates' lone strikeout gives Penn State 409 for the year with three games remaining.
Villanova totaled 10 hits, led by catcher Doug deMarrais, who went 3-for-4 with a double, run and RBI, and third baseman Dominic Sarro, who went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. The Nittany Lions scored runs off of each of the Wildcats' five pitchers, with RHP Tyler Arella (1-5) taking the loss after allowing the go-ahead runs in the eighth.
Penn State trailed 5-2 after the fifth inning, but took a bite out of the deficit with two-out hitting in the sixth. With Burger on third after doubling with one out and advancing on a fly out, third baseman Brett Davis (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) singled him home and advanced to second when the ball was bobbled in right. Shortstop Logan Goodnight (Wheeling, W.Va.) took advantage of the error with a single through the left side to plate Davis and shrink Villanova's lead to 5-4.
The seventh was scoreless but the Lions exploded for seven runs on seven hits in the eighth. Left fielder Nick Riotto (Washington, Pa.) led the inning off with a line out, but Burger singled, designated hitter Ryan Sloniger (Punxsutawney, Pa.) was hit by a pitch and then Davis singled to load the bases for Goodnight, who delivered the game-tying RBI with a single up the middle.
That brought Malinsky to the plate after a pitching change, and he roped a double to the left gap to score two for a 7-5 lead and leave two in scoring position. Centerfielder Mason Nadeau (Lansdale, Pa.) drew a walk to load the bases again, and Helsel followed with another two-run double for a 9-5 lead. After another pitching change, Giavedoni singled up the middle to score one. Riotto drove in the final run of the frame with a single through the right side.
Penn State was first on the board after back-to-back, two-out hits from Giavedoni and Riotto in the first inning. Giavedoni doubled down the left line, and Riotto drove him home with a single to center.
Villanova jumped ahead the very next frame though, scoring four runs on six hits. deMarrais hit a one-out double to start the inning, centerfielder David Gulati followed with a single, and then shortstop Timothy Lilly, third baseman Dominic Sarro, second baseman Todd Czinege and first baseman Ryan Toohers added RBI-singles.
Giavedoni hit an RBI-single for Penn State in the third to pull within two, but deMarrais restored the three-run lead with the same in the fifth.
It would be the final run for the Wildcats though, and Penn State responded with nine for the win,
Penn State will conclude its season with three games against Nebraska starting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. and continuing Friday (6:30 p.m.) and Saturday (11 a.m.) Thursday will be Dollar Dog Night, as hot dogs will be priced at $1. Then dogs will be welcome to attend Friday, May 19, for "Bark in the Park" night (one dog allowed per person and must have proof of up-to-date vaccinations).
The Saturday season finale includes several promotions. Members of the Penn State football team will sign autographs for the Nittany Lion faithful on the stadium concourse from when gates open at 10 a.m. until first pitch at 11 a.m. The Big Ten Championship trophy and a championship ring will also be on the concourse for fans to take pictures with. Additionally, the Penn State athletics marketing department will have its annual Spring Cleaning promotion, handing out extra giveaways and prizes from previous Nittany Lion contests across all sports. It will also be Senior Day, as the baseball team's senior class will be honored on field postgame, and Alumni Day, as members of the Penn State Alumni Association can show their membership card and receive up to four tickets at a discounted price of $2.00 per ticket.
Tickets can be purchased at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711.
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