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May 6, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Traveling to Ohio for a non-conference contest on Tuesday, the Penn State baseball team will take on Akron at 3 p.m. at Lee R. Jackson Field. This is the third time in program history that the Nittany Lions (12-30, 3-15 Big Ten) and the Zips (12-32, 8-12 MAC) will meet.
Links: The 3 p.m. matchup will be available via Listen Live at GoPSUSports.com, as well as updated at the @PennStateBASE Twitter account.
Last Time Out: The Lions snapped a five-game slump on Sunday afternoon, topping Big Ten-leader Minnesota with a 4-3, extra-inning walk-off victory. Sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.) posted the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th, reaching on a fielder's choice and narrowly escaping a Minnesota double play as redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) crossed home plate. Snyder went 1-for-3 in the victory, collecting his 46th hit of the season, while Skerpon recorded a run scored along with his RBI. Freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) led the Lions at the plate, going 3-for-3 in the 4-3 victory, as well as 5-for-10 over the three-game set with two RBIs. Redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) and sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Raton, Fla.) each collected a hit and a run on Sunday, and senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.), who had an excellent defensive game, collected two hits and an RBI.
Senior Neal Herring (West Chester, Pa.), who will make the start on Tuesday against the Zips, earned his second win of the season in the walk-off thriller. Herring fired 2.2 scoreless innings with just two hits allowed against the Gophers, and has picked up two wins and a save in his last four appearances. The senior has pitched a total of 12.0 innings this season, allowing 11 hits and six earned runs while striking out three. Continuing to lead the Penn State bullpen, redshirt senior Cody Lewis (Laguna Niguel, Calif.) made his 17th appearance of the season against Minnesota in the 7-3 loss on Saturday, throwing 3.2 scoreless innings with three hits allowed and five strikeouts. Lewis boasts a 2.15 ERA with an opposing batting average of .198, allowing 19 hits and just seven earned runs in 29.1 innings. He has now posted 33 strikeouts this season.
Lions Stats: Coban continues to lead the squad with a .288 batting average and seven doubles, and co-leads the Lions with 21 RBIs along with Montesinos. Snyder's 46 hits are a team-best, and his game-winning run on Sunday leaves him with a team-high 21. The trio has combined for 132 hits, 53 RBIs and 53 runs this season.
Scouting the Zips: Although Akron had a three-game winning streak snapped on Sunday with a 3-2 loss to Western Michigan, the Zips recently posted a 6-1 victory over No. 17 Pittsburgh last week, and currently sit with a 12-32 overall record with a 8-12 mark in the MAC. The Zips are led by redshirt sophomore Devan Ahart, who holds a .283 batting average and a team-best 49 hits. Redshirt sophomore Joey Havrilak leads his squad with 19 runs, while redshirt sophomore Matt Larocca leads with 21 RBIs. The trio has combined for 121 hits, 52 RBIs and 52 runs this season.
Redshirt sophomore Jon Pusateri will face off against Herring on Tuesday, currently holding a 10.98 ERA and a 1-8 record on the season. Pusateri has fired 30.1 innings, giving up 49 hits and 37 earned runs while walking 24 and striking out 17. Akron's bullpen is led by senior Samuel Trecaso and freshman Zach Beaver, holding respective ERAs of 0.68 and 2.52. Trecaso has made 18 appearances this season and collected three saves in 26.1 innings of work. The veteran has struck out 15 while allowing 17 hits and just two earned runs. Holding a 2-2 record on the season after 21 appearances, Beaver has allowed 41 hits and 10 earned runs while striking out 16 in 35.2 innings.
All-Time Series: Tuesday's contest will mark the third time in program history that Penn State will face off with Akron. The squads first met on April 15, 2008, with the Zips posting a 5-3 victory over the Lions in Happy Valley. Tying the series at 1-1 on March 7, 2009, PSU topped Akron 10-4 at a neutral site.
Up Next: Penn State will travel to Illinois (28-15, 9-9 Big Ten) on Friday, May 10 to kick off a three-game conference set. Friday's first pitch is slated for 7:05 p.m. ET, with Saturday's contest beginning at 2:05 p.m. ET. The weekend series will conclude with a noon contest on Sunday for Mother's Day.
Check back to GoPSUsports.com for continued updates during the 2013 season. Follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/PennStateBASE and find us on Facebook at facebook.com/pennstatebaseball.