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May 17, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State baseball team tied up its final Big Ten series of the season on Friday afternoon, shutting out Michigan State 9-0 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The Nittany Lions (14-35, 4-19 Big Ten) will close out the three-game set, as well as the 2013 season, against the Spartans (32-17, 11-9 Big Ten) tomorrow at 1:05 p.m. for Senior Day. Penn State will honor its eight players and manager in a ceremony at the commencement of the contest.
Posting the first complete game shutout of his career, junior Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.) fired 9.0 scoreless innings for a new career record, moving to a 4.09 ERA and a 3-6 record with the win. Welsh allowed just five hits and walked only one while striking out two.
Junior David Garner suffered the loss for the Spartans, moving to a 4-5 record on the season after 2.2 innings with 11 hits and six earned runs allowed. Garner struck out four, bringing his season total to a team-best 70, before he was relieved by senior Trey Popp. Popp fired 4.1 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out four and walking two. Closing out game for Michigan State, redshirt junior Mike Theodore struck out one while allowing two hits and one earned run.
All nine position players collected at least one hit for the Lions, with seven posting multiple-hit performances. Sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) led Penn State at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and two RBIs. Junior Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.), redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) and redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) each went 2-for-5, with Farkes tallying a run and Searer recording a run and an RBI. Setting a new career record with three runs scored, freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) additionally collected two hits for his 14th multiple-hit game of the season, while senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) and freshman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) each went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI. It was Montesinos’ 16th multiple-hit contest of the season, as well. Rounding out the Lions’ stellar performances, junior Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) notched two RBIs on one hit and senior Matt Paradise (San Clemente, Calif.) recorded two RBIs on PSU’s sole double of the day.
Penn State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, with Coates and Montesinos posting back-to-back base hits on two outs to put runners on first and third. Coban then stepped up with a rip up the middle, allowing Coates to cross home plate to put the Lions on the board. It was the rookie’s 25th run of the season.
Coates would kick off the Lions’ five-run showing in the third inning with a lead-off single to left center, moving to second on sac bunt from Montesinos. A base knock through the right side from Coban would allow Coates to tally his second run of the contest, giving the sophomore his 25th RBI of the season. Paradise would eventually step up to the plate with the bases loaded, doubling directly up the left field line to drive in Coban and Ell for a 4-0 lead. The offensive assault would continue as Kendall reached on a fielder’s choice, allowing Farkes to advance home for the fourth run of the inning. A base hit to center field from Searer would bat in Penn State’s final run, driving in Kendall for a 6-0 lead heading into the fourth.
An excellent outing from Welsh and impressive defense from Kendall and Paradise would keep Michigan State scoreless, with Penn State pulling ahead to 9-0 in the bottom of the eighth. Following Searer collecting his 180th career hit, Montesinos singled through the right side to bring home the senior, earning his 65th career RBI. Ell would come up to bat with Montesinos on second and Coates resting on third, ripping a hit straight up the middle for two RBIs and a nine-run advantage. A three up, three down-showing from the Spartans in the top of the ninth would give Penn State the Big Ten victory, tying the series at 1-1.
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