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Feb. 21, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State baseball team will head to Virginia for its second series of the season, taking on Liberty for a three-game set. Due to weather conditions, the Nittany Lions (1-2) will play a nine-inning game on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1:05 p.m. against the Flames (1-2), followed by a doubleheader on Sunday, Feb. 24. The first contest, nine-innings, will begin at 12:05 p.m. and will be immediately followed by a seven-inning game. All games can be followed via the GameTracker link provided on GoPSUSports.com.
The Lions are coming off of a three-game series against Eastern Tennessee State University, going 1-2 against the Bucs last weekend. Opening the season in style, Penn State took the first game 6-4, posting 11 hits without a single error. Despite a weekend of hard-fought games, the squad dropped the next two to ETSU, falling 8-3 and 9-7. The Lions pushed for a late-game comeback in the third game, however, notching four runs between the eighth and ninth innings and recording 14 hits overall.
Sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) had a standout series, going six for 14 with a home run, five RBIs and a double. Coban's double gave the Lions the lead in the 6-4 victory over the Bucs, moving the score to 5-3 after being down a run going into the top of the eighth. With the bases loaded, the designated hitter sent the ball hurtling towards the center field wall, earning three RBIs and giving Penn State the momentum to win the contest. The sophomore went on to record his first home run of the season in the final game of the series, earning two RBIs and moving the score to 9-7.
Making his collegiate debut, freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) stepped up for Penn State, notching two hits and an RBI in his first game as a Nittany Lion. The rookie ended the weekend with five hits, two RBIs and two runs, and currently boasts a .500 batting average. Coates fit right in with veterans Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) and Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.), who each notched three hits and an RBI.
Additionally posting solid performances against ETSU, redshirt senior Cody Lewis (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) earned the win for Penn State on Friday, recording one strikeout while walking one without a single hit or earned run. Lewis was relieved by sophomore Casey Kulina (Hummelstown, Pa.), who pitched 1.1 innings with three strikeouts, one hit and one earned run to earn the save. Sophomore Ryan Harper (Texas City, Texas), freshman Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) and junior Ian Parvin (Irvine, Calif.) each saw action coming out of the bullpen for Penn State, as did freshman Jack Anderson (Evanston, Ill.) who recorded one strikeout in 1.1 innings and held the Bucs without a hit or earned run in the 9-7 loss.
Penn State's rotation will remain identical to last weekend, with redshirt senior Dave Walkling (Nanaimo, B.C.) expected to start on Saturday, and senior Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) and sophomore Patton Taylor (Nichols, N.Y.) starting the first and second games, respectively, on Sunday. Walkling pitched a total of six innings in the 6-4 victory, tying his career high, and struck out two with four hits and three earned runs. Also seeing six innings of action, Hill posted five strikeouts with four earned runs, while Taylor recorded three strikeouts while walking two with three earned runs in 4.1 innings.
Coming away from a three-game series against No. 7 South Carolina, Liberty sits at a 1-2 record after a 3-2 win and falling 8-7 and 4-3. The close contests were highlighted by a win for Trey Lambert, who posted four strikeouts with five hits and an earned run in 4.1 innings, and a save for Ashton Perritt in the 3-2 victory over the Gamecocks. Perritt struck out one and allowed zero hits or earned runs in 1.1 innings for the save, and went on to see an inning of action in the 8-7 loss to South Carolina. Brooks Ray made the start in the second game, with one strikeout and one hit, while Carson Herndon recorded three strikeouts with three hits and an earned run in the 4-3 loss.
Ryan Cordell leads the squad with a .462 batting average, with six hits in 13 at-bats, two doubles, a triple and five RBIs. Following Cordell, Trey Wimmer holds a .333 percentage after three hits in nine at-bats. Dalton Britt and Bryan Aanderud each hold a .273 average and three hits. Britt has recorded a triple and an RBI, while Aanderud has notched three RBIs.
Herndon, who holds a 1.80 ERA, is expected to make the start on Saturday, while Lambert, who holds a 2.08 ERA, will start on Sunday in the first game of the doubleheader. The starter for the final game has yet to be announced.
Check back to GoPSUSports.com for continued updates during the 2013 season. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/PennStateBASE and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/pennstatebaseball.
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