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April 20, 2017

PENN STATE
vs. N'WESTERN

Friday, Apr. 21 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Apr. 22 - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, Apr. 23 - 1:00 p.m.
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park | University Park, Pa.

GAME DAY LINKS

Game 1: GameTracker | Live Audio
Game 2: GameTracker | Live Audio
Game 3: GameTracker | Live Audio
Baseball Blog | Baseball Videos
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Gameday Central
Game Notes: Penn State | Northwestern
Statistics: Penn State | Northwestern

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.. - From fireworks to an appearance by Pittsburgh Steeler Jesse James, Penn State’s Big Ten baseball series against Northwestern will have excitement on and off the field at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The series opens Friday at 6:30 and continues at 6 p.m. Saturday following football’s Blue-White game across the street. The finale will begin Sunday at 1 p.m.

Ticket options for the 2017 Penn State baseball season in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park are now on sale at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711. Ask about the hospitality suite option for season ticket holders.

Promotions
Friday, April 21 - 6:30 p.m.

  • Pre-game PYRO effects for our Nittany Lion Player introductions!
  • Dollar Dog Night for all Nittany Lion Fans!
  • Cub Club Night - All Penn State Cub Club members can receive free admission by showing their badge at the box office
  • Be there for a post-game FIREWORKS show to light up the sky after the Nittany Lions battle Northwestern!
  • Post-game kids 12 and under can run the bases!

Saturday, April 22 - 6:00 p.m. (Following the Blue-White Football game)

  • Former Nittany Lion and current Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Jesse James will throw out the first pitch and sign autographs for the first three innings
  • Penn State Baseball Bingo - Take your shot at winning great prizes throughout the game!
  • All fans through the gates receive a limited edition, numbered Penn State Football print that features some of the greatest moments of the thrilling 2016 season!
  • One number will be chosen during the game to select a lucky fan who will win a football autographed by members of the Blue-White football roster!
  • White out the Wildcats - Free white shakers to fans in attendance while supplies last
  • Post-game kids 12 and under can run the bases!

Sunday, April 23 - 1:00 p.m.

  • Salute to Service Day - All Veterans and First Responders can claim up to four free tickets by contacting Steve Christ at 814-272-0208 (Additional tickets may be purchased for a discounted price of $2)
  • Touch-A-Truck exhibit in Porter North Parking Lot! Bring the kids out to see First Responder Vehicles up close and in person before the game!
  • Post-game kids 12 and under can run the bases!

Essentials
Live Video: N/A
Live Audio: GoPSUSports.com
Live Stats: GoPSUSports.com
TV: N/A
Radio: State College’s ESPN 1450 AM

Northwestern Series History: 41-35
Last Series: 2016, Away, Penn State, 3-0
Streak: W5

Friday Probables
PSU RHP Sal Biasi (4-4, 3.80 ERA)
NU LHP Cooper Wetherbee (1-1, 2.67 ERA)

Saturday Probables
PSU RHP Justin Hagenman (1-6, 5.16 ERA)
NU RHP Hank Christie (2-4, 6.12 ERA)

Sunday Probables
PSU RHP Eric Mock (0-3, 6.94 ERA)
NU LHP Matt Gannon (0-2, 4.94 ERA)


Up to Bat
From fireworks to an appearance by Pittsburgh Steeler Jesse James, Penn State’s Big Ten baseball series against Northwestern will have excitement on and off the field at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The series opens Friday at 6:30 and continues at 6 p.m. Saturday following football’s Blue-White game across the street. The finale will begin Sunday at 1 p.m.

Biasi Coming Off Career-Best Outing
Friday night starting RHP Sal Biasi threw a complete game at Maryland in his last outing, carrying a one-hitter into the ninth inning.
Biasi enters the weekend leading the Nittany Lions with a 3.80 ERA and 62 strikeouts.
Biasi’s 62 strikeouts rank third in the Big Ten and 62nd in the nation, while his 11.79 strikeouts per inning lead the league and rank 27th nationally.
Last season, Biasi led the Nittany Lions with a career-high 66 strikeouts.
Biasi is also among the leaders in WHIP (walks & hits per innings pitched), ranking second in the Big Ten at 1.04 (26 hits, 23 walks in 47.1 IP).

Injury Bug Bites Offense
Five of Penn State’s nine Opening Day starting position players have missed multiple games due to injury. The quintet has missed a combined 62 man-games.
Leading hitter and outfielder Jordan Bowersox has been out of the lineup since Apr. 15. Bowersox leads the team with a .333 batting average, .418 on-base percentage, .480 slugging percentage and nine stolen bases, and is second on the team with three home runs, seven doubles and 18 RBIs.
Freshman centerfielder Mason Nadeau has been mostly out of action since Mar. 11. Nadeau returned to action Mar. 21, but did not play again until Apr. 18 against Pitt, entering late off the bench. Nadeau is batting .354 with eight RBIs in 15 starts and 16 games.
Freshman shortstop Joe Weisenseel missed the Michigan series and has not played since the opening game of the Ohio State series (4/8). Weisenseel managed just four hits in his first 17 games, but was just starting to heat up with eight hits in his last six games, batting .500 (8-for-16).
Senior outfielder Nick Riotto played in just two games in the opening month of the season after running full speed into a wall in the season opener at TCU. He led Penn State with a .405 on base percentage in 2016 and batted .307.
Sophomore infielder Connor Klemann has been out since the end of February and will miss the remainder of the season. He batted .260 in 28 games in a freshman season that was also limited by injury.
Additionally, senior catcher Alex Malinsky missed the first month of the season recovering from an injury suffered in preseason training.

All-Time vs. Northwestern
Penn State has stretched out a previously tight all-time series to 41-35 after winning the last five games. The Nittany Lions earned a three-game sweep in Evanston, Illinois, last season, and took two games the last time Northwestern visited Happy Valley in 2014. Penn State has done well with home field advantage with a 22-12 record in the series. The teams first met in 1992.

Scouting Northwestern
The Wildcats are 14-22 overall and 3-6 in Big Ten play. Northwestern was swept by Indiana to open Big Ten play, but the Wildcats bounced back from a 14-2 defeat to Iowa to win the next two games in the series, and then won one at Illinois. Northwestern is one of the most defensively sound teams with a .978 fielding percentage that ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 25th in the NCAA. Joe Hoscheit (.322), Matt Hopfner (.307) and Alex Erro (.307) lead the team offensively all batting above .300, while Hoscheit also leads the team with a .408 on-base percentage, four home runs and 28 RBIs.

Hagenman Striking Out the Opposition
Saturday starting RHP Justin Hagenman has seen a sophomore surge in strikeouts this season.
During his Freshman All-America campaign last season, Hagenman struck out 39 in 82 innings, but this season he has struck out 53 in 52 1/3 innings so far.

Helsel Heats Up
Senior infielder Christian Helsel has been one of Penn State’s top offensive threats over the past month, batting .303 with a team-best 12 RBIs.
He is also leading the way over the past 10 days batting .343 with four RBIs.
Helsel has four multi-hit games in the past month, including two three-hit games with most recent coming against Pitt (4/18).
His three home runs and 17 RBIs on the year are both career highs.

All-Around the Infield
Christian Helsel has drawn starts at three infield positions this season.
He has started the last six games at second base after starting 31 at third base and eight at first base.
Helsel currently owns a career-best .966 fielding percentage.

Freshman Playing B1G
Rookie outfielder Braxton Giavedoni has adapted well to Big Ten play so far, leading Penn State with a .344 average through the first nine conference games.
He homered twice in his most recent Big Ten game, the Sunday finale at Maryland.
Giavedoni’s .283 season batting average , .346 on-base percentage and .469 slugging percentage lead all healthy Nittany Lions.
His 13 extra base hits on the year lead the team, and he is batting at a .321 clip over his last 10 games.

Slugging Sloniger
Sophomore catcher Ryan Sloniger has broken out of an early-March slump to tie for the team lead in batting over the last 19 games at .317. Fellow Punxsutawney native Braxton Giavedoni has also batted at the same clip over the past month.
Sloniger is batting .314 over the last 10 games to rank third on the team, and also has a pair of doubles, a home run and a four-game hitting streak.
Sloniger’s home run against Maryland (4/14) almost stood as the game-winning run, but the Terps responded in the bottom of the ninth with two homers of their own to walk-off the Nittany Lions, 2-1.

Power Bump
Penn State has already surpassed its 2016 season total for home runs with 19 for its most since the 2012 team hit 38.
However, 18 of the home runs hit this season have come on the road. Conlin Hughes hit the first Nittany Lion home run at home against Ohio State (4/9). Penn State’s 10 home runs in the first 14 games of the season were its most since at least 2002.

New Power Sources
Eight different Nittany Lions, one more than last year, have combined for 19 home runs, already surpassing last season’s total.
Four hit their first career home runs, including three sophomores - Conlin Hughes, Jordan Bowersox and Keith Leavitt - and one freshman - Braxton Giavedoni.
Christian Helsel hit a grand slam against Pacific (3/5) after going homer-less in 2016. He hit one home run in 2015 but has three this season.
Willie Burger hit just one home run as a freshman, but hit two in the third game of the season at No. 1 TCU (2/19) and has added two since.
Nick Riotto has one home run after hitting two last season. He is the only Nittany Lion returning with multiple home runs hit the season prior.
Burger is the team power leader with a career-high four home runs and 22 RBIs. He is also batting .290 and getting on base at a .333 clip.

Youth Movement
The average Nittany Lion starter this season is a sophomore, as the average class year (Freshman = 1 ... Senior = 4) across all 10 positions through 36 games is 2.13. On the mound the Lions are averaging 2.17 years of experience as compared to 2.13 at the plate.
For the 2016 season, the Lions averaged 2.25 years in the starting lineup with a youthful 1.96 on the mound and a deceptive 2.49 at the dish as the Lions started two to five freshmen per game.
Penn State only has three upperclassman position players on the roster.

Penn State to Play at PNC Park
Penn State has rescheduled its previously postponed contest against West Virginia with a twist, as the game will now be played at PNC Park on Wednesday, May 10 at 7 p.m., the Pittsburgh Pirates announced.
The Pirates are hosting a make-up of the contest originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 22 that was to be played at Penn State’s Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, but was postponed due to weather. However, the Nittany Lions will be yielding little in the way of home field advantage, as Medlar Field shares the same field dimensions as PNC Park.
It will be Penn State’s first time playing at PNC Park and its first game in a Major League ballpark since May 5, 2012 when it played Minnesota at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. The three-game series also included two games in the Twins’ former home, the Metrodome.
The May 10 matchup at PNC Park will complete the two-game series between the Mountaineers and Nittany Lions. Game one is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch on Tuesday, May 9 at Monongalia County Ballpark in Morgantown, W.Va.



 

 

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