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Baseball Hosts Indiana in Big Ten Opener Friday

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John Walter

March 22, 2012

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UNIVERSTY PARK, Pa. - Penn State baseball opens Big Ten competition on Friday as it hosts the Indiana Hoosiers for a 6:05 first pitch at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Any Penn State student that attends the game will get free admittance. All fans in attendance at any of the three games at this weekend's series will receive a free Penn State Baseball schedule magnet, while supplies last.

It will be the second of seven "Dollar Dog Nights" at the ballpark in the Nittany Lions' home opener. Another feature on Friday will be "Winning Weeknight Scratchoffs." The first 200 fans that show up to any weeknight game this season will receive a scratchoff ticket. Each ticket is a guaranteed winner of a Penn State Baseball prize.

All student season ticket holders in attendance at Friday's game will get free food by showing their season ticket holder voucher. Student season tickets can still be purchased at the State College Spikes' box office. Season tickets are just $20 and each student that purchases them will receive a Penn State Baseball three-quarters sleeve t-shirt, tickets to remaining home games, free food on Friday home games and two batting practice sessions with the team.

Season tickets for Adult General Admission start at just $63. For fans interested in the "In The Box" seats, those will start at $99. Youth General Admission tickets are the same cost as student season tickets, $20. Individual game tickets for Adult General Admission start at just $4 and just $2 for youth. Single game tickets can be purchased at the Spikes' box office or via a link on the tickets page on

Friday's game can be heard on ESPN Radio State College 1450 with Loren Crispell and Mark Wishnia calling the action. Live stats will be available via a Gametracker link on In addition, fans can follow @psubaseball on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.

In front of 1,150 fans at Medlar Field, Penn State earned a 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) had a huge day for the Lions, going 4-4 from the plate with four RBI, including a three-run homer in the third inning.

Junior pitcher John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.) will take the hill on Friday night, making his first Friday start of the season. Walter enters the series with a 0-3 record, but has pitched very well in his last two outings. Last Saturday at East Carolina, Walter had his best outing of the season, going 7.2 innings of five-hit ball and giving up just one run. Walter also punched out four batters and walked three on the day in a no-decision effort.

Saturday's starter will be sophomore Joe Kurrasch (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.), who made his first career start in a Penn State uniform last weekend and was impressive. He didn't allow a base runner from the fourth to the beginning of the eighth inning in that outing against East Carolina. Kurrasch fanned seven batters and gave up four earned runs in his first-career start in a Nittany Lion uniform. He threw 109 pitches in a complete game effort and only walked one batter.

Senior Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) will get the ball in Sunday's 1:05 contest. Hill enters the series looking for his first win of the season, but has pitched very solid as of late. Hill had a quality start last Sunday against the Pirates, going six innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out two batters.

Indiana enters this weekend with an 8-13 overall record with a 5-12 mark in away contests. The Hoosiers will throw two lefties and a righty in Joey DeNato (3-1, 1.64), Drew Leininger (2-2, 5.09) and Kyle Hart (0-1, 3.51). The Hoosiers enter Big Ten play hitting .250 as a team, while its opponents hit .286 off their pitchers. Sam Travis has a team-leading .342 batting average and has started in all 21 of Indiana's games. Indiana's power comes from Kyle Schwarber and Justin Cureton. Schwarber has belted four homeruns this season with 18 RBI while Cureton has hit three homers to go along with 17 RBI.

Penn State holds a 38-28 all-time advantage on the Hoosiers, including a 21-11 edge in games played on the Penn State campus. Indiana took two of three last year in Bloomington.

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