Nittany Lions Host Hofstra In Home Opening Weekend

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Joey DeBernardis is hitting .411 over the last eight games.

Joey DeBernardis is hitting .411 over the last eight games.

March 25, 2010

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    • Following a month-long road trip to start the season, the Penn State baseball team finally returns home this weekend to host Hofstra in a four-game series. The Nittany Lions kick off their fourth season at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park on Friday at 3:35 p.m. before a Saturday doubleheader (12:05 p.m.) and single game on Sunday (also 12:05 p.m.).
    • This weekend marks the beginning of an exciting season of promotions at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Fans can purchase an All-Weekend pass, good for admission into all four games, for only 10 dollars. In addition, 2010 Season Team Posters will be given away and Friday marks the first of five dollar hot dog nights at the ballpark. Friday, one lucky student will win FREE RENT for one month! Kids can run the bases following Sunday afternoon's game as well.
    • The Nittany Lions are coming off Wednesday's tough 7-4 loss at cross-state rival Pittsburgh. Junior Ben Heath continued to shine with his seventh home run of the season and third in as many games. Redshirt senior David Lutz impressed out of the bullpen, tossing 4.1 scoreless innings.
    • Coming off a game against one of its longtime rivals, the opposite is true of Hofstra. Friday actually marks the first time in Penn State's 122-year history that the Pride and Lions will meet.
    • Fans can follow the action through GameTracker and live audio via Penn State All-Access. Loren Crispell and Sebastian Saraceno are together behind the mic for the second straight season. And as always, be sure to follow the Penn State Baseball Twitter page.


    Probable Starting Pitchers
    Friday, March 26, Hofstra at Penn State, 3:35 PM ET Tickets | GameTracker | Listen Live | Twitter Updates
    Hofstra: David D'Errico (1-0, 10.80 ERA)
    Penn State: Mike Wanamaker (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

    Saturday, March 27, Hofstra at Penn State, 12:05 PM ET Tickets | GameTracker | Listen Live | Twitter Updates
    Sean Monaghan (1-2, 5.65 ERA) vs. Ryan Ignas (1-1, 6.56 ERA)

    Saturday, March 27, Hofstra at Penn State (Game Two) Tickets | GameTracker | Listen Live | Twitter Updates
    Jared Rogers (1-3, 12.60 ERA) vs. John Walter (0-3, 8.47 ERA)

    Sunday, March 28, Hofstra at Penn State, 12:05 PM ET Tickets | GameTracker | Listen Live | Twitter Updates
    TBA vs. Neal Herring (1-1, 6.10 ERA)


    Upcoming Schedule
    3/26-28: HOFSTRA
    3/30: at Kent State
    3/31: KENT STATE
    4/2-4: at Illinois
    4/6: BUCKNELL
    4/9-11: NORTHWESTERN

    Baseball Games To Air Online And On State College ESPN Radio
    • The Penn State baseball team released its radio broadcast schedule on Thursday which includes all 36 remaining games set for Penn State All-Access, 28 of them to air on WQWK, ESPN Radio 1450 AM starting with this Saturday's home doubleheader vs. Hofstra. All but eight games are scheduled for the airways while every remaining contest can be heard online through Penn State All-Access.

    Rain, Rain Went Away!
    • Penn State and Pittsburgh finally got to play baseball Wednesday after four straight rainouts/postponements.
    • The two teams were scheduled to play twice last year, but were never able to get a game in.
    • Wednesday's contest was the first between the two rivals since Apr. 9, 2008.

    DeBernardis Continues Hot Streak
    • Sophomore Joey DeBernardis was one of the lone bright spots in Wednesday's loss to Pittsburgh.
    • He finished with two of the team's five hits to increase his hitting streak to eight games. He has recorded multiple hits in three straight games and six of the last eight contests.
    • The native of Lake Zurich, Ill. is batting .411 (14-for-34) during his career-long hit streak which began in the series opener at Texas State.

    Lutz Turning It Up
    • Strong on the pitching side was redshirt senior David Lutz, who tossed a season-high 4.1 innings.
    • It marked his longest outing of the season and the second-longest of his career. His only longer outing was five innings on Mar. 28, 2008 against Ohio State.
    • Lutz has only given up one run one five hits in his last 9.1 innings. Included in that time was two outings of three or more shutout innings. The other was at the Coca-Cola Classic against Kent State when he tossed three one-hit frames to earn Penn State's first save of the season.

    Heaths' Haven
    • Two "Heaths" are among the Nittany Lions' offensive leaders.
    • Junior Heath Johnson has reached base safely in 14 of the first 17 games. He has at least one hit in 13 of those contests and two hits in four. Johnson is fifth on the team with 17 hits and owns Penn State's second longest hitting streak (seven games).
    • Fellow junior Ben Heath has reached base in 15 of 16 games, recording a hit in 14 of those.

    Ben Heath - Johnny Bench Award Candidate
    • Penn State junior Ben Heath (Huntersville, N.C.) was one of 53 Division I catchers named to the Watch List for the Coleman Company Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John's Pizza, as announced by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. Named in honor of the former Cincinnati Reds' great, the award is presented to the top catcher in Division I.
    • Heath is one of five Big Ten catchers named to the list.

    Tracking Heath: Season Updates
    • Last time out at Pittsburgh, Heath hit his third home run in as many games (video below), a long three-run shot for his seventh long ball of the season. That propelled Penn State to a 3-0 first inning advantage.

    • Heath had a monster performance at last weekend's Coca-Cola Classic, playing in three of four games with a .455 average (5-for-11) along with a double, two home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored. He also had four walks, improving his on-base percentage to .600 for the week.
    • In total, Heath leads the Lions with a career-high seven home runs, six doubles, 22 RBI, .731 slugging percentage and 1.126 OPS (on-base plus slugging). Penn State's cleanup hitter is also hitting .328, starting 16 games - 12 at catcher and the other four at DH.
    • His hits have come at huge moments of games, starting in the season-opener vs. Cincinnati when his solo home run in the sixth inning broke a 1-1 deadlock.
    • Then against Notre Dame, his seventh-inning long ball pulled the Lions within one while his ninth-inning home run tied the score at eight to force extra innings. They came in consecutive at-bats to tie a career-high for home runs in a game.
    • Against McNeese State, his home run doubled Penn State's lead from three (4-1) to six (7-1), serving as the key knockout blow on the way to a 12-6 win.
    • He then hit home runs in consecutive games against Winthrop and Kent State at the Coca-Cola Classic. His first came against Winthrop and marked his first-career grand slam to up Penn State's lead to 8-3.
    • Heath has also been strong defensively, posting a .986 fielding percentage while throwing out 26 percent of potential base stealers (6-of-23).
    • In total, 12 of his 20 hits (60 percent) this season have gone for extra bases.

    The Series With Hofstra
    • The Nittany Lions face four teams for the first time this season - Cincinnati, McNeese State, Lamar and Hofstra. So far, Penn State is 2-2 against those teams, a 5-4 extra-inning win over the Bearcats and 12-6 win over McNeese State.

    Scouting Hofstra
    • Hofstra has had an interesting season, losing the first 10 games while riding a five-game winning streak into Happy Valley this weekend.
    • Among those wins was a four-game sweep against Fairfield and midweek win vs. Manhattan. The team did lose against some impressive competition - Troy (3X), Florida State (3X), Maryland (3X) along with New York Tech.
    • The Pride are hitting .288 as a team, led by Matt Prokopowicz's .396 average with three home runs and 12 RBI. Ethan Paquette is right behind, hitting .367 with the same number of long balls and ribbies. John Kenny is another regular who is hitting over .300. He has a .339 average with two home runs and seven driven in.
    • The pitching staff has struggled against some top offenses, posting a 10.19 team ERA. Andrew Barbarino has been the best with a 1.29 ERA in seven innings pitched along with a save. Saturday's starter, Sean Monaghan, is 1-2 with a 5.65 ERA.

    All-Time Against BIG EAST
    • Wednesday's opponent, Pittsburgh, is out of the BIG EAST, a familiar conference to the Lions.
    • With the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge destined to stay for the foreseeable future, the Nittany Lions will have their annual opportunity to face one of the top conferences in the nation.
    • Winning two-of-four BIG EAST games so far this season, Penn State is now 262-138-2 against current members of that conference.
    • The squad has faced Pittsburgh the most (121 times) while also playing West Virginia (105), Villanova (59) and Rutgers (54) numerous times.
    • Penn State has never faced one squad - Louisville.
    • In total, Penn State plays five BIG EAST teams this season, the most of any conference (other than the Big Ten) - Cincinnati, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Seton Hall and Villanova. A home game against Pittsburgh (4/13) and road tilt at Villanova (5/18) still remain.

    3-4-5 Packs Powerful Tournament Punch
    • The heart of Penn State's order all impressed at last weekend's Coca-Cola Classic to lead the Lions.
    • Sophomore Jordan Steranka hit .368 (7-for-19) in the three-hole with four doubles and two three-hit games. He reached base five times against Winthrop Saturday night.
    • Junior Ben Heath in the cleanup hole hit .455 (5-for-11) with two home runs, 10 RBI and six runs scored.
    • Sophomore Joey DeBernardis made his impact with a walk-off single on Saturday against Columbia, already his second walk-off this season. He hit .412 (7-for-17) for the week with three multi-hit games.

    Walking Off?
    • Penn State has seen an incredible six of its first 18 games (33 percent) this season end via a walk-off of some kind, three in the Nittany Lions' favor.
    • Incredibly, both games from last Saturday's split doubleheader ended via a walk-off.
    • After the Nittany Lions came back for a 6-5 win over Columbia, Winthrop pulled out a 14-13 extra-inning win in the nightcap.
    • The season's first three games ended in walk-off fashion, the first two Penn State victories. Then, Texas State hit a sacrifice fly with one out in the bottom of the ninth to (at the time) even the Lions' "walk-off record."

    Going Extra
    • In addition to the walk-offs, four games have gone to extra innings, with Penn State winning two.
    • After a 12 game "drought," the Nittany Lions saw Saturday's game against Winthrop go to extras.
    • It marked the first extra-inning game since the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge. Penn State played three extra inning games in as many days, against Cincinnati, Seton Hall and Notre Dame.
    • The Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge has seen four extra-inning games in its two-year history, three coming from Penn State this year.
    • Penn State had four extra-inning games ALL last season, three in 2008 and four in 2007.
    • The Lions are 0-2 in games ending in 10 innings, but 2-0 in games lasting longer than 10 frames.

    Eramo Driving In The Runs
    • Junior Mario Eramo has been on fire lately, with at least one RBI in seven of his last eight games. His RBI streak was snapped Wednesday when he didn't drive in any, but he had recorded at least one in every game since Mar. 12 at Texas State.
    • The hot streak upped his season total to 14, second only to Ben Heath.
    • In that time, he posted a career-high four RBI against Winthrop, three of which scored on a bases-clearing double.
    • Eramo also leads the team with three sacrifice flies.

    Redshirt Senior Pitcher
    David Lutz


    Comeback Kids
    • Only 18 games into the season, the Nittany Lions have already staged some impressive comebacks.
    • Down 5-0 against Columbia, Penn State fought back to tie the score with a run in the seventh before winning in the bottom of the ninth.
    • That marked the third time this season the Lions have come back in the seventh inning or later to win a game. They were also trailing heading to the sixth inning Friday vs. Kent State before scoring two and holding on for the victory.
    • It marked Penn State's first comeback win since the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge in the opening weekend of the season. It had to come back in the eighth inning or later in all three of those games to force extra innings while coming away with two victories.
    • Down by two in the opener vs. Cincinnati, the squad was down to its last out (and strike) when junior Michael Glantz and senior Louie Picconi recorded back-to-back singles. Freshman Steve Snyder followed with a triple down the right field line to clear the bases and tie the score at four.
    • Then against Seton Hall, Snyder led off the bottom of the eighth with a single, advanced to second on a groundout and to third on a wild pitch. He crossed the plate on a Heath Johnson sacrifice fly to even the score at two.
    • The Lions came back twice against Notre Dame, scoring two runs in the seventh to knot the score at seven. Then after the Irish retook the lead, a Ben Heath home run to lead off the ninth tied the score for a second time, forcing extra innings once again.

    "Perfect" At The Plate
    • Redshirt freshman Elliot Searer impressed in his first career at-bats at Texas A&M.
    • He entered as a late defensive replacement in both Tuesday and Wednesday night's games, picking up a base hit in his only at-bat of each game.
    • Searer is currently hitting .333, but for a few days, was actually one of two Penn State players to own a perfect 1.000 career batting average up to that point. It took him until his third career game before he did not get a hit.
    • Redshirt sophomore Drew Yukelson is currently 2-for-2, both coming in his freshman season in 2008.

    Returning To The Lone Star State
    • The 10-day Texas road swing was extra special for four players on the Penn State roster who are from the lone star state: Mario Eramo (Houston), Steven Hill (Colleyville), Blake Lynd (Deer Park) and Erik Rumberger (Allen).
    • Junior Heath Johnson played junior college ball at Frank Phillips College in Texas and played for the Texas Collegiate League's Coppell Copperheads last summer.
    • Head coach Robbie Wine also returned to the state where he played Major League Baseball. Wine played parts of two seasons with the Houston Astros from 1986-87.

    Experiencing The "States"
    • The Nittany Lions are enjoying a mini tour of the United States this season, with early games in Florida, Texas and South Carolina while later traveling to Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Minnesota.
    • Fittingly, Penn State is playing a number of "States." In total, they face five teams that end in State, including next week's opponent, Kent State. They've already played two - McNeese and Texas State - while also facing Ohio and Michigan State come conference season.
    • Coppin State was also on the schedule, but the game scheduled for Feb. 20 was canceled due to snow.

    Wanamaker Returns
    • Redshirt senior pitcher Mike Wanamaker returned to the mound against Texas A&M after missing last season due to injury. He was a Second Team All-Big Ten honoree as a junior in 2008.
    • On a pitch count, he tossed the first four innings last Wednesday, allowing three hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out four.
    • After allowing two runs in the first inning, he bounced back by striking out the side in the second. He retired nine of 10 hitters in a span bridging the first through fourth innings.
    • Wanamaker returned to the mound Friday against Kent State, tossing six strong innings for his first win since 2008. His season ERA currently stands at 4.50.

    Freshman Pitcher
    Steven Hill


    From The Pocket To The "Hill"
    • Freshman pitcher Steven Hill, also a quarterback on the football team, has dazzled in his first collegiate appearances.
    • He followed up his first-career start against Lamar (3/6), with another strong performance on Sunday against Texas State (3/14). For the second time in as many starts, he tossed six innings, this time allowing only two runs to keep Penn State in the game.
    • Against Cincinnati (2/26), he was summoned with runners on the corners and only one out in the top of the 10th. He struck out the first batter on three pitches before inducing a groundout to end the threat (all strikes). He then went on to retire six in a row in the 11th and 12th innings for the win.
    • Then against Notre Dame (2/28), he pitched three innings in relief, only allowing one run to go along with six strikeouts. He got out of a bases loaded one out jam in the bottom of the ninth with two consecutive strikeouts.
    • Hill entered into a similar situation against Columbia. With runners on first and third with only one out in the eighth, he induced two straight pop ups to work out of the jam once again. He then pitched a scoreless ninth and got his second victory.

    Starting Quality
    • Four Penn State pitchers - Ryan Ignas, Neal Herring, Steven Hill and Mike Wanamaker - have combined to toss seven quality starts this season.
    • Ignas allowed two runs (both earned) in seven innings against Cincinnati (2/26) and McNeese State (3/5), both Nittany Lion victories.
    • Herring one-upped his strong performance against Seton Hall (2/27) when he allowed two earned runs in six innings, by allowing only one earned run in six frames against Dallas Baptist (3/6). That led to his first-career victory.
    • In his first-career start, Hill dazzled in his home state of Texas, allowing only one earned run in six against Lamar (3/6). He then allowed only two runs in the series finale at Texas State (3/14).
    • Wanamaker then enjoyed a quality start against Kent State when he only allowed three runs in six innings for the victory.

    Batting Around
    • The Nittany Lions had an inning to remember in the second against Dallas Baptist (3/6), batting around while crossing the plate seven times to take early control against the Patriots.
    • It marked the first time they'd batted around since last April 11, an 11-9 win over Purdue.
    • The seven runs were the most in an inning since scoring seven in the fourth against Kent State on March 24, 2009. The last time Penn State scored more than seven was on May 11, 2008 when it crossed the plate eight times in the fifth inning vs. Iowa.
    • Sophomore Joey DeBernardis had two hits in the inning, the first Penn State player to accomplish that feat since Mike Deese on March 9, 2008. He finished with two hits in the fourth inning against Air Force.

    Penn State Impresses At Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge
    • Penn State went 2-1 from Feb. 26-28 to tie for the top record of any Big Ten teams at the challenge.
    • No Big Ten squad finished undefeated while a total of five finished 2-1. Louisville and St. John's out of the BIG EAST both went 3-0.
    • It marks the second consecutive season that the Lions went 2-1 at the challenge. Last year, they were one of six Big Ten squads to do so.

    A Team Effort
    • The Big Ten/BIGEAST Challenge success came from a variety of sources.
    Here is what the following players contributed in the win over Cincinnati:

    • Sophomore Joey DeBernardis - Walk-off single in the bottom of the 12th
    • Junior Ben Heath - Double and home run
    • Freshman Steven Hill - Retired all eight batters he faced (in innings 10-12) for the win
    • Sophomore Ryan Ignas - Strong start, allowing only two runs in seven innings
    • Freshman Steve Snyder - Game-tying triple with two outs in the ninth

    Then in the following day's 3-2 walk-off win in 13 against Seton Hall:

    • Junior Heath Johnson - Tripled and scored in the first, later drove in game-tying run in the eighth with a sacrifice fly
    • Sophomore Jordan Steranka - Two hits, including leadoff double and game-winning run in the bottom of the 13th
    • Junior Mario Eramo - Walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th
    • Freshman Neal Herring - Started and allowed only two runs in six innings of first collegiate game.
    • Entire Bullpen: Redshirt senior David Lutz, freshman John Walter and junior Jesse Alfreno tossed seven scoreless innings, only allowing four hits. In total, Penn State pitchers kept Seton Hall off the board for the final eight innings.

    Impressive, Fresh Arms
    • Four freshman pitchers saw time at the Big Ten/BIGEASTChallenge- Neal Herring, Steven Hill, Erik Rumberger, John Walter - and combined to throw 15.1 innings, only allowing five earned runs for a 2.98 "group" ERA.
    • Herring received the only start, against Seton Hall, and only allowed two runs in six innings.

    JuCo Transfers Making An Impact
    • Penn State has a number of new junior college transfers on this year's squad, led by Mario Eramo and Heath Johnson. Each made their mark to start the season, especially against Seton Hall.
    • Eramo had the walk-off single against Seton Hall while Johnson tied the score with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. Johnson also hit a first-inning triple and scored to get the Lions on the board.
    C.J. Smith is also a new junior college transfer, who is expected to redshirt this season.

    All-Time In Season Openers
    • Penn State's win against Cincinnati improved its all-time record in season openers to 74-46.
    • It was only the Lions' third win in their last nine season-openers. Their six losses have come against some of the nation's best teams: 2009 (St. John's), 2007 (Kansas State), 2006 (Tulane), 2005 (Charlotte), 2004 (Virginia) and 2003 (Arizona State). They did defeat High Point in 2008 and Norfolk State in 2002.
    • Penn State posted an impressive 19 straight season-opening wins, spanning from 1948-1966.

    Baseball's Season-Opening Weekend Canceled Due To Snow
    • The Penn State baseball team's season-opening weekend at Longwood University was canceled due to snow pack. The Nittany Lions were scheduled to play a neutral site game against Coppin State on Saturday before facing host Longwood on Sunday.
    • Southern Virginia received a significant amount of snow in the past weeks, which made the field unplayable.

    Nittany Lions Take Part In THON
    • With its season-opening weekend canceled, the Penn State baseball team made the most of it by getting involved in THON at the Bryce Jordan Center. The 38th annual Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon began on Friday (Feb. 19) at 6 p.m. and lasted until Sunday at 4 p.m., raising more than $7.8 million for pediatric cancer research.
    • Penn State student-athletes have always been heavily involved in THON. Baseball is normally on the road THON weekend, but with the games at Longwood canceled, the Nittany Lions were on campus, giving them the opportunity to participate. Despite being too late to enter the pep rally, the squad found time between a busy weekend of practice for Athlete Hour on Saturday.

    Baseball's Big Ten Network Schedule Released
    • The Penn State baseball team will be featured at least six times on the Big Ten Network in 2010.
    • The Nittany Lions open the Big Ten Network's coverage on Apr. 2 at Illinois. All three games from the weekend series can be viewed on BigTenNetwork.com.
    • Penn State's complete home series vs. Iowa from May 7-9 will be shown live on the Big Ten Network as well.
    • Should they make the conference tournament, the Nittany Lions would see additional games aired on the Big Ten Network. Each and every game will be televised by the Big Ten Network.
    • For the complete story, please click here

    Big Ten Baseball Tournament To Be Held In Columbus Through 2010
    • The Big Ten Conference, Huntington Park and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission announced that Columbus, Ohio, will be home to the Big Ten Baseball Tournament for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 seasons.
    • The Big Ten played its first neutral-site tournament since 1994 at Columbus' Huntington Park in 2009 and will return to the ballpark in 2011 and 2012.
    • Due to a facility conflict, the 2010 tournament will be held at Ohio State's Bill Davis Stadium.
    • For the complete story, please click here

    Nittany Lions Release Complete Ticket & Promotional Information
    • Penn State baseball single-game and group tickets went on sale on Monday (Feb. 1) at 9 a.m. An action-packed promotional schedule is now available as well. The Nittany Lions play 21 home dates (and 22 games) at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, beginning with their home-opening weekend from Mar. 26-28 against Hofstra.
    • Ticket prices remain the same as last season with "In The Box" reserved seats for only $6 while Adult General Admission is $4 and Youth and Student General Admission are $2. In addition, groups of 20 or more can purchase General Admission tickets for only $3.
    • Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone. Please call 1-877-997-7453 or (814) 272-1711, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Fans can also direct any additional questions or comments via phone, or by email (psubaseball@athletics.psu.edu).
    • For more information, please click here

    Baseball Signs Seven Top Recruits To National Letters Of Intent
    • Penn State head baseball coach Robbie Wine announced in November the signing of seven top recruits to National Letters of Intent.
    • Among the class are five of the top prospects from Pennsylvania and two from Massachusetts. The group, that will join the program in the fall of 2010, consists of two pitchers, three position players and two others who can both pitch and play in the field.
    • Among the incoming freshmen are five from the Keystone State: right-handed pitcher Scott Dixon (Blairsville), outfielder Zach Ell (Plains), third baseman Kyle Redinger (Lebanon), pitcher/infielder Austin Urban (Windber) and left-handed pitcher Greg Welsh (Holland). They are set to join 15 Nittany Lion underclassmen from Pennsylvania who are scheduled to return in the fall of 2010.
    • Along with the Pennsylvania talent, the Nittany Lions will welcome two from Massachusetts: catcher Alex Farkes (Boston) and right-handed pitcher/infielder TJ Jann (Westford).
    • For the complete story, please click here

    Nittany Lions Ride Roller Coaster In 2009
    • The Penn State baseball team entered the `09 season with high hopes. After starting the year on fire, the Lions fell short of reaching their third-consecutive Big Ten Tournament. Despite the disappointment, the squad did finish with a 25-26 record, one of only four Big Ten teams (along with Illinois, Michigan and Ohio State) to post 25 or more victories in each of the last three seasons.
    • The Nittany Lions won 13 of their first 21 games and 21 of their first 35. Included in that stretch was taking two of three at the inaugural Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge. They were one of six Big Ten squads to finish the weekend with a winning record.
    • They then went on to battle at #4 Texas, but were swept by the powerhouse Longhorns. Included was a nail-biting 1-0 defeat in which senior T.J. Macy sparkled on the mound.
    • Penn State subsequently won six of its next nine, but the best was yet to come as the Lions followed with six straight wins in the latter stages of March. After the streak was snapped, they rebounded with a thrilling 15-11 victory over #16 Ohio State on Mar. 29.
    • Success continued into the beginning of April, with notable wins coming against perennial conference power Michigan, eventual NCAA qualifier Indiana and Big Ten Tournament participant Purdue. The Nittany Lions would finish the year having beaten four of the six tournament participants at least once.
    • Following their huge win over Indiana on Apr. 17, the Nittany Lions would struggle down the stretch.
    • Penn State was still alive for a postseason berth heading into the final weekend of the regular season at home. Despite dropping the first two games against #21 Minnesota to eliminate any postseason aspirations, the Lions would ultimately have a say in the Big Ten race. They then went on to a thrilling 10-8 win on May 16 amidst two rain delays to prevent the Golden Gophers from winning the Big Ten Regular Season Championship, while also concluding the season on a positive note.

    Sophomore Third Baseman
    Jordan Steranka


    Freshmen Ignas & Steranka Highlight Big Ten Postseason Honors
    • Penn State freshmen Ryan Ignas and Jordan Steranka were both named to the All-Big Ten Third Team, marking the first time since 1995 that the Nittany Lions netted multiple freshmen on the All-Conference squad.
    • Ignas enjoyed an impressive rookie season, leading the team in both wins and saves. He was one of just 10 players in all of Division I to accomplish that feat. He appeared in 22 games (two starts) with a 5-1 record, 5.31 ERA and 1.25 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched). He posted five saves while holding opponents to a .270 average.
    • Steranka made his mark on Penn State baseball history, becoming the program's all-time single-season hits leader for a freshman. The third baseman tallied 70 and also earned the team's "triple crown," leading in average (.365), home runs (6) and RBI (42). He was atop triples (3) and runs scored (39) as well.
    • In addition to All-Conference accolades, Steranka was a unanimous choice as the All-Freshman Team third baseman.
    Ryan Boonie was awarded the Sportsmanship Award, which is presented to one player from each of the Big Ten baseball programs.

    Hitting Streaks Aplenty
    • The 2009 season saw a number of lengthy hitting streaks from Penn State players.
    • The top came from freshman Jordan Steranka (18 games), which was tied for fourth in program history.
    • In addition, senior Blake Lynd and sophomore Grant Youngblood saw streaks reach 14 games, tied for 15th all-time.
    • In fact, Youngblood's streak was actually 15 games dating back to the final game of 2008. That mark is the fourth-longest to bridge two seasons.
    Louie Picconi also posted a career-best 11-game hitting streak.
    • All the impressive marks are still far from the Penn State all-time leader, Michael Campo, whose streak reached 41 games in 2000.

    Milestone Game For Penn State Baseball
    • Penn State played in its 3,000th all-time game on Mar. 1 of last season. Fittingly, it came against the winningest program in NCAA history, Texas.
    • The Nittany Lions stand in the top 50 in all-time winning percentage among schools with a minimum of 25 years in Division I. Their all-time record is 1,835-1,188-21 (.606).
    • Baseball is the oldest intercollegiate sport at Penn State, dating back to its debut in 1875. This season marks the Nittany Lions' 122nd in program history due to not fielding a team for several years in the late 1880s. Penn State is one of only a select few schools in the nation to boast a team for at least 120 years.

    Lutz, Alfreno Emerge In Pen
    • Lefty David Lutz and righty Jesse Alfreno impressed in the bullpen last season, finishing atop the team in ERA (3.38 and 4.44, respectively). Both took very different paths to where they are today as arguably the top pitchers in the Lions' pen.
    • Lutz, a former walk-on was Penn State's most consistent pitcher in 2009, finishing with a 4-2 record and three saves to go with his stout ERA. Batters only hit .247 again him.
    • Alfreno, also a member of the Penn State football team, impressed in his first collegiate baseball season. He made his mark from the beginning, going nine innings spanning his first five appearances before allowing a run. Opponents only hit .226 against him for the year.
    • The duo allowed fewer hits than innings pitched. The only other Nittany Lion with at least 10 innings of work to accomplish that was T.J. Macy, who gave up 76 base knocks in a team-leading 76.1 innings.

    Baseball Camp Information Now Available
    • Baseball camp information is now available.
    • Just call the Sports Camp Office at (814) 865-0561 or email them at SportCampInfo@outreach.psu.edu for more information.
    • Also, visit them on their website by clicking here.

    Click pec-rel/020310aab.html" >here to order your media guide today!


    Baseball Alumni Event Set For May 7-8
    • Penn State baseball's alumni event is set for May 7-8. The event coincides with Nittany Lion home games against Iowa at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. All baseball alumni are invited to attend. • Please contact the Varsity `S' Club Coordinator, Mike Milliron at varsitys@athletics.psu.edu or (814) 867-2202 with any questions or to RSVP.
    • For more information, please click here.

    2010 Media Guide Now Available
    • The 2010 media guide is now available! In it, you can find everything you need to know about Penn State baseball including stats, player bios, a complete history section and MUCH more!
    • The guide is available for PDF download, for view through the interactive website Issuu or for purchase.
    • Hard copies are available for only $7. They can be purchased through the publications store on GoPSUsports.com.
    • Just click here for all the information!

    Sign Up For Penn State Baseball News
    • Fans, want to stay up to date on the Penn State baseball team? Sign up today by contacting Justin Lafleur (jal47@psu.edu) in the Penn State Athletic Communications Department. You will receive game previews, game recaps, news releases and more, straight to your inbox!

    Follow Penn State Baseball On Twitter!
    • Penn State baseball is on Twitter! You can find exclusive notes and features to help stay one step ahead when following the Nittany Lions.
    • Included will be live in-game scoring updates, so if you can't make it to Happy Valley, you'll still be able to follow all the action. Go to www.twitter.com and search for the username psubaseball. Or click here!

    Check Back To GoPSUsports.com For Exclusive Video!
    • New this season is exclusive postgame highlights and interviews on GoPSUsports.com. Check back often to the Penn State baseball YouTube page for more highlight and interview packages as the season progresses.

     

     

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