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|Tuesday, May 9 - 6:30 p.m.|
|Monongalia County Ballpark | Morgantown, W.Va.|
|Wednesday, May 10 - 7:00 p.m.|
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|Game Notes: Penn State | West Virginia|
|Statistics: Penn State | West Virginia|
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State baseball returns to the road for a unique two-game series against West Virginia, traveling to Morgantown Tuesday for a 6:30 p.m. game in Monongalia County Ballpark before meeting in PNC Park, the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Tickets to the PNC Park game are available for $10 for the general public, $7 for Penn State and WVU season ticket holders, partners, donors, alumni and faculty as well as Pirates season ticket members, and $2 for students of either university. Tickets will be general admission and are available at Pirates.com/collegebaseball.
Fans can enter PNC Park through the Peoples Gas Home Plate Gate at the corner of Mazeroski Way and General Robinson starting at 6 p.m. Limited concession stands will be open on the main concourse.
Live Video: WVUSports.com (Tuesday)
Live Audio: GoPSUSports.com
Live Stats: GoPSUSports.com
Radio: State College’s ESPN 1450 AM
West Virginia Series History: 70-40
Last Game: 2016, Home, Penn State, 5-4
PSU RHP Schuyler Bates (2-3, 4.71 ERA)
WVU RHP Carter Camp (0-1, 2.59 ERA)
PSU RHP Myles Gayman (0-2, 6.48 ERA)
Penn State to Play at PNC Park
Penn State rescheduled its previously postponed contest against West Virginia with a twist, as the game is now being played at PNC Park on Wednesday at 7 p.m.
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.
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.
Pittsburgh-Area Nittany Lions
LHP Taylor Lehman hails from closest to PNC Park, going to Keystone Oaks High School.
Also hailing from Allegheny County are RHP Dakota Forsyth (Bethel Park/Bethel Park) and RHP Jake Pilewicz (Sewickley/Quaker Valley).
From neighboring counties are OF Nick Riotto (Washington/Trinity) and LHP Colin Macon (Freedom/Freedom Area).
It will also be a homecoming of sorts for freshman IF Logan Goodnight (Wheeling, W.Va./The Linsly School). He will be playing in West Virginia for the first time as a college baseball player while Wheeling is about an hour away from Pittsburgh.
Season Coming to a Close
Penn State is playing its next five games away from home, traveling west to Bloomington, Indiana, to play a three-game series at Indiana.
It is the Nittany Lions’ longest stretch of games away from home since opening the season with 17 straight.
The Lions will conclude their season with a four-game homestand starting Tuesday, May 16 against Villanova and continuing Thursday-Saturday against Big Ten foe Nebraska.
Remaining Home Games to Be Streamed
Penn State’s four remaining home games will be streamed live for free via GoPSUnow on GoPSUsports.com.
Injury Bug Bites Offense
Seven of Penn State’s nine Opening Day starting position players have missed multiple games due to injury. The seven have missed a combined 103 man-games.
Infielder Conlin Hughes and catcher Ryan Sloniger are the latest to get bitten by the injury bug. Sloniger missed five games before returning against Minnesota (5/5-7) and Hughes has been out since the final two games at Iowa (4/28-29).
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 tied for second on the team with three home runs and seven doubles.
Freshman centerfielder Mason Nadeau was mostly out of action for over a month, but has been a big part of Penn State’s offense since his return off the bench against Pitt (4/18). Nadeau was the team’s best hitter and best at getting on-base during the first five games of his return, going 7-for-17 (.412) with a .545 on-base percentage. He also had his first career home run, three RBIs, four walks and a stolen base. For the year, Nadeau is batting .348 with 12 RBIs in 25 starts and 26 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. After struggling to bat .200 upon his return, Riotto has raised his batting average 57 points over the last 11 games.
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.
The average Nittany Lion starter this season is a sophomore, as the average class year (Freshman = 1 ... Senior = 4) across all 10 positions through 43 games is 2.13. On the mound the Lions are averaging 2.15 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.
A total of 11 Nittany Lions have made their debuts this season.
Heating Up in Rio
Outfielder Nick Riotto has been Penn State’s leading hitter over the last 10 games, batting .400 (14-for-35) with two doubles, a home run, nine RBIs and seven walks for a .488 on-base percentage.
The stretch includes a career-best 4-for-4 game against Northwestern (4/21) in which he also tallied a home run, walk, three RBIs and two stolen bases, and a 3-for-4 effort at Iowa (4/29) that included an RBI and walk.
Penn State has already surpassed its 2016 season total for home runs with 22 for its most since the 2012 team hit 38.
18 of the 22 home runs hit this season have come on the road.
Its 10 home runs in the first 14 games of the season were its most since at least 2002.
New Power Sources
Nine different Nittany Lions, one more than last year, have combined for 20 home runs, already surpassing last season’s total.
Five hit their first career home runs, including three sophomores - Conlin Hughes, Jordan Bowersox and Keith Leavitt - and two freshmen - Braxton Giavedoni and Mason Nadeau.
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 two home runs after hitting two last season. He is the only Nittany Lion who returned with multiple home runs hit the season prior.
Burger is the team power leader with a career-high four home runs and 24 RBIs.
On the Mound
RHP Schuyler Bates will continue in his role as the Nittany Lions’ midweek starter, taking the ball Tuesday against West Virginia.
Bates owns a 2-3 record and 3.86 ERA in five midweek starts this season. He averaged just two runs per game of support in his three losses.
Freshman RHP Myles Gayman is slated to make his first start Wednesday since April 16 at Maryland. It will be his fifth-career start.