Nittany Lions Welcome Big Ten's Best in Indiana this Weekend
May 8, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 8, 2014 - Penn State hosts the Big Ten’s top ranked team in Indiana for a three-game series at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park this weekend. The series opener is scheduled for Friday at 6:30 p.m. with game two on Saturday at 2 p.m. The finale will be played on Sunday with first pitch coming at 1 p.m.
Promotions: Penn State baseball has a number of promotions for this upcoming weekend’s games. Saturday is Little League Day, meaning all children who wear their jersey to the game receive a ticket for just one dollar. There will also be an equipment donation where fans can donate new or gently used baseball equipment for a free ticket to the game. Sunday’s game will be the annual THON Sluggers and Pink Zone Appreciation Day. Four Diamonds families and breast cancer survivors or those currently undergoing treatment are invited to the game. The baseball team will then shave their heads in support of the fight against cancer after the game on the concourse.
On Deck: After this weekend’s games, the Nittany Lions enter their final week of regular season play with four games remaining on the schedule. Penn State will travel to Villanova on Tuesday for a non-conference matchup with the Wildcats before returning home for its season finale vs. the Spartans from Michigan State for three games from Thursday through Saturday.
Follow the Games Live: This weekend’s games will have a number of options in ways fans can follow the action. The games can be listened to live on State College ESPN 1450 or can be heard on GoPSUsports.com. Fans can also follow along with the live stats found on GoPSUsports.com, which allows users to get up to the minute stats and plays from the game.
All-Time Series vs. Indiana: Penn State holds a six-game advantage over the Hoosiers in the all-time series matchup, compiling a record of 39-33 against Indiana. Despite the overall success, Indiana has owned the matchup as of late, winning eight of the last ten games, including the last four in a row. The Nittany Lions’ record improves to 22-13 when playing in Happy Valley.
Hoosiers at a Glance: Indiana is currently one of the hottest teams in the country, winning 11 of its last 12 games, including five straight. The Hoosiers enter the weekend with the fourth highest RPI (.6031), trailing just Virginia, Florida and Florida State. In the national polls the Hoosiers are ranked anywhere from eighth through 20th depending on what publication you read.
IU at the Dish: The Hoosiers are one of the most talented teams in the batter’s box in the Big Ten. Indiana has three individuals who rank in the top five of the conference in batting average in Sam Travis (1st; .372), Dustin DeMuth (2nd; .368) and Kyle Schwarber (5th, .345). Each of the three aforementioned players sport slugging perecentages north of .540 and on base perecentages better than .430. The team as a whole leads the conference in home runs with 32 in 2014, 11 more than any other team.
IU on the Mound: The Hoosier pitching staff has been every bit as good as the hitters this season. The Indiana pitchers have a combined earned run average of just 2.39 on the season. The team’s ERA drops to a ridiculous mark of 1.71 for conference games, nearly a whole run less than the second ranked team Nebraska (2.70). Indiana’s Friday starter, Joey DeNato, is largely considered the ace of the staff. The senior has a record of 10-1 on the season and an ERA of 2.06 over 78.2 innings of work.
Last Series vs. Indiana: The Nittany Lions and Hoosiers met in both team’s opening Big Ten series a season ago in Bloomington, Indiana. IU recorded a victory in each of the three games, recording the Hoosiers’ first sweep of Penn State in program history. Indiana won the opener by a score of 9-3 before winning the second game of the day in a doubleheader by a final score of 2-0. The Hoosiers completed the sweep with an 11-3 win in the third and final game of the doubleheader, taking an 11-3 victory. Penn State’s standout from the plate that series was J.J. White, who went 4-for-11 with two runs and two RBIs.
Last Time Out: The Nittany Lions were swept by the Nebraska Cornhuskers over the weekend. Penn State game one by a score of 13-3 and fell in game two by a final of 9-2. In the third and final contest, Nebraska used a five-run fourth inning to propel itself to an 8-4 win to capture the sweep over the Nittany Lions.
B1G Double Plays: Despite playing the fewest amount of Big Ten games thus far this season, the Nittany Lions rank first in amount of double plays turned in 2014 conference play with 23. Over the last two weekends Penn State has combined to complete 10 double plays with six coming at Minnesota and four at Nebraska. The next closest team to PSU in Big Ten double plays is Northwestern, which has turned 22 through three more games.
Guers Goes Yard: Redshirt sophomore Greg Guers blasted his first career home run as a Nittany Lion last Friday night with a two-run shot in the top of the fourth inning. The left hander turned on a pitch and launched it over the wall in right center. With the home run, Guers joins J.J. White and James Coates as the only Nittany Lions to record a homer in 2014. The blast is Guers’ fifth as a collegiate player, as the sophomore recorded four with USC-Upstate in 2012.