Baseball Looks to Extend Streak at Pitt on Wednesday
April 9, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State Baseball (13-18, 2-4) looks to make it seven-straight victories as it heads to Pittsburgh for the second of two matchups with the Panthers this season. Penn State won the first contest back on March 21 by a score of 5-3.
Wednesday's game can be heard on ESPN Radio State College 1450 with Loren Crispell and Brian Tripp calling the action. Live stats will be available via a Gametracker link on GoPSUSports.com. In addition, fans can follow @psubaseball on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates.
In front of 1,150 fans on March 21 against Pitt, Penn State earned a 5-3 victory at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in its home opener. Senior Jordan Steranka (Pittsburgh, Pa.) had a huge day for the Lions, going 4-for-4 from the plate with four RBI, including a three-run homer in the third inning. Senior pitcher Mike Franklin (Harleysville, Pa.), who will start on Wednesday, had a very quality outing going 5.2 innings and giving up three earned runs.
Penn State is coming off a series sweep of Canisius this past weekend, which included two walk-off victories. Sophomore Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.) broke out with a career-high three hits on Sunday and hit the game-winning single with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. Senior Sean Deegan (Readington, N.J.) played hero on Saturday afternoon, as he ripped an RBI walk-off single off the elevated right field wall to give the Lions the win in extra innings. Friday night was a slugfest for Penn State, as the Nittany Lions dropped 15 runs on the Griffins.
Franklin will be making his fifth start of the season on Wednesday. The senior is coming off a 4.2 inning outing at Kent State last week, but pitched well enough to put the Lions in position for the victory. Franklin has given up just 20 hits in 21.2 innings He has put up some solid numbers against Pittsburgh as well, getting two wins in two starts and sporting an ERA of 2.31.
Pittsburgh goes into Tuesday's contest against Akron with a 14-15 overall record and a 5-3 mark in home games. As a team, the Panthers are hitting a solid .284 in 29 games. Pittsburgh is led by Anthony Defabio and Rick Devereaux. Defabio leads the team with 12 doubles on the season, while Devereaux has a team-leading five homeruns and 39 RBI. Right-handed pitcher Casey Roche is expected to make the start for Pittsburgh on Wednesday, as he is 2-1 with a 7.56 ERA this season. He started the first game against Penn State earlier this season, earning the loss.
Penn State is 28-15-1 all-time in contests with Pittsburgh, including wins in the last three contests between the rival schools. The series dates back to 1912, when Penn State won the first ever contest by a score of 11-2.
This weekend's Big Ten clash with the Wolverines will include a highlight-reel of promotions. Friday will be Dollar Dog Night at the ballpark and all students will get free admission into the game as part of the Free Day Friday promotion. In addition, student season ticket holders will get free food for showing their voucher. In addition, 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. Saturday will be the third annual Wounded Warrior Game. The game was developed to help create awareness for wounded warriors and their sacrifices while providing useful services to meet the needs of injured service members and their families. During the game, Penn State will wear special camouflage uniforms and hold a silent auction with proceeds going to the Wounded Warrior Project. In addition to the silent auction, fans can purchase special Penn State baseball hats for $20 to benefit the project. Additionally, a portion of each ticket sold for the game will be donated to the cause. The Wounded Warrior Project is a non-profit organization dedicated to "honoring and empowering wounded warriors" of the U.S. Armed Forces. Its mission is to raise awareness while providing benefits such as quality healthcare, support groups, and compensation programs to the service members and their families.
Sunday will be THON Sluggers Day at the ballpark. For every student ticket purchased, all proceeds will be donated to THON 2013. THON is the largest student-run philanthropy in the world. The Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon, affectionately referred to as THON, is a yearlong effort to raise funds and awareness for the fight against pediatric cancer. Since 1977, THON has raised more than $88 million for The Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital.
Season tickets for students 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 GoPSUSports.com.
Follow Penn State baseball on Twitter: www.twitter.com/psubaseball.