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April 7, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; April 7, 2014 - The Nittany Lions return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park for a midweek game against West Virginia, as Penn State tries to remain undefeated in games played in Happy Valley. Tuesday's game against the Mountaineers has a start time of 6:30 p.m.
Promotions: Tuesday night's game against WVU will be a `Dollar Dog Night'. All hot dogs will be just $1 at the concession stands. Also, baseball's Glory Day is tomorrow. Students who check in on the "WE ARE Student Rewards" app on their phone at the game may receive three bonus points for attending the game.
Follow the Game Live: Tuesday's game will have a number of options on ways fans can follow the action. The game will air live on State College ESPN 1450 or can be heard on GoPSUsports.com. Fans can also follow along with the GameTracker found on GoPSUsports.com, which allows users to get up to the minute stats and plays from the game.
All-Time Series vs. West Virginia: The Nittany Lions and Mountaineers will face each other on the diamond for the 108th time on Tuesday. Penn State holds a 27-game advantage in the all-time series with a record of 67-40. The two sides have met just three times since the turn of the millenium with West Virginia claiming wins in two of the three matchups. In games played in Happy Valley, the Lions are 36-17 against the Mountaineers, winners of the last four matchups.
West Virginia at a Glance: The Mountaineers are off to a solid start midway through the 2014 campaign. West Virginia enters Happy Valley with a 16-11 record and a 2-3 mark in Big 12 play. The Mountaineers are coming off a disappointint two-loss weekend to TCU but sport a number of impressive victories. WVU has claimed notable wins against North Carolina, Cal State Northridge, Baylor, Duke, Coastal Carolina, Pittsburgh and San Diego State.
WVU at the Dish: West Virginia will present one of the toughest challenges to date for the Penn State pitching staff. The Mountaineers have three players currently hitting north of .340 in Bobby Boyd, Billy Fleming and Ryan McBroom. Boyd is the table setter, leading the team in runs (28) and steals (13). McBroom provides much of WVU's run production, driving in a staggering 31 runs on the season, more than double anyone else on the squad. As a team, West Virginia is very aggressive on the bases, stealing 52 bags off 69 attempts.
WVU on the Mound: The Mountaineer pitching staff has a combined ERA of 3.43 this season, holding opposing hitters to a batting average of .247 as a collective unit. One of the keys to success for WVU is its low walk totals. West Virginia has allowed just 80 free passes in over 241 innings of work.
Last Game vs. the Mountaineers: The Nittany Lions played West Virginia in the second game of the season in 2012 and fell to the Mountaineers by a final of 4-1 in a game played in Clearwater, Fla. Current members of the Blue and White who played in the game against West Virginia include Steve Snyder, Zach Ell, J.J. White and Tim Dunn. Snyder and Ell each picked up a base hit in the contest and Dunn tossed 3.2 innings, allowing one earned run.
Last Time Out: The Nittany Lions took two out of three games over the weekend in West Lafayette, Ind. against Big Ten foe Purdue. The Nittany Lions won games one and two on Saturday, edging the Boilermakers in two one-run games. Penn State was victorious in a pitcher's duel in game one, winning 2-1 followed by a 6-5 victory in the second game of the doubleheader. The Blue and White then fell to the Boilers in the series finale by a final of 4-0 on Sunday.
The series win over Purdue marks Penn State's first since 2007. Saturday's two wins gave the Nittany Lions a 4-0 start in Big Ten play, their best in program history. Once again, the Penn State bullpen was key to the Lions' success. Over the three games, PSU tossed 15.1 innings, allowing just two earned runs. Relievers Dakota Forsyth and Ian Parvin each picked up wins during Saturday's doubleheader.
Persevering at Purdue: Penn State traveled to West Lafayette over the weekend and claimed a series win over the Boilermakers for the first time since the 2007 season, when the Nittany Lions won three out of four games at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Saturday's doubleheader sweep marked the first time the Blue and White was victorious in a series in West Lafayette in over a decade, as the last time Penn State pulled off the feat was March of 2003.
`Pen'n State: Since returning home from California, the Nittany Lion bullpen has been lights out to opposing batters. The relievers have combined to toss 55 innings over the 12 games, allowing just10 earned runs for a staff ERA of 1.64. The Penn State pen has held hitters to an average below the Mendoza line of .178. Jack Anderson, Ian Parvin, Dakota Forsyth and Ryan Harper have done much of the damage in relief over the stretch, with each recording at least 10 innings of work. The Penn State relievers combined for six of the team's 10 wins over the last 12 games.
Guering Up in the Big Ten: Redshirt sophomore Greg Guers has taken his game to another level for Big Ten games. Guers is tied for the team lead in batting average over the five conference games with a mark of .389. The sophomore has driven in four runs and scored three himself to help propel Penn State to one of its best starts in the conference in program history.
Haley Hitting His Stride: Freshman Jim Haley is tied with Guers for the team lead in batting average for conference games with an average of .389. Haley sports a team-best on base percentage of .476 over the course of the five games and has scored twice and produced two RBIs thus far in the Big Ten portion of the schedule. The freshman is also 1-for-1 in stolen base opportunities in league action.
Coates Crushes First HR: Sophomore James Coates hit his first home run of his career in game two of Saturday's doubleheader at Purdue. With two runners on and two outs in the second inning, Coates launched a shot over the right field fence to give Penn State a 6-0 lead. The home run proved to be vital, as the Lions went on to win 6-5.
Cooper Claims 300th Career Win: First year head coach Rob Cooper won his 300th game as a collegiate head coach on Saturday, taking game one of the doubleheader at Purdue by a score of 2-1. 286 of his now 301 victories came while Cooper was the skipper at Wright State for nine seasons.