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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.. - Penn State begins its final 2017 homestand by hosting Villanova in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. on Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. It will be Penn State's final non-conference game of the season.
Purchase Penn State baseball tickets by visiting GoPSUsports.com or calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711. For more information on Penn State baseball tickets please call 814-272-1711 or email Stephen Christ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two for Tuesday
- Two tickets for the price of one! Any fan who purchases a full price ticket is eligible to claim an additional ticket at no charge
Live Video: GoPSUsports.com
Live Audio: GoPSUsports.com
Live Stats: GoPSUsports.com
Radio: State College's ESPN 1450 AM
Villanova Series History: 33-29
Last Game: 2015, Home, 5-2
PSU RHP Sal Biasi (4-5, 3.58 ERA)
Penn State earned its biggest wins of the season, based on RPI, by defeating West Virginia (5/9) and Indiana (5/12) on the road. Both were ranked in the Top 25 at the time.
West Virginia currently ranks 20th and Indiana 33rd.
The Nittany Lions entered the week without any wins against RPI Top 100 teams.
Strikeout Record in Reach
Penn State's pitchers have combined for 399 strikeouts this season, putting them on track to break the record of 407, set in 2012.
The Nittany Lions have been led in the category this season by RHP Sal Biasi, who has totaled 82 this season for the most by a Penn State pitcher since T.J. Macy in 2009 (91).
The Lions boast five pitchers with more than one strikeout per inning: Biasi (82 in 67.1 IP), Nick Distasio (48 in 43.0 IP), Dakota Forsyth (46 in 43.2 IP), Eric Mock (45 in 40.0 IP) and Taylor Lehman (30 in 28.1 IP).
New Power Sources
Eleven different Nittany Lions have combined for 26 home runs this season.
The total of 11 different Nittany Lions with home runs is the most since 1999.
Six hit their first career home runs, including three sophomores - Conlin Hughes, Jordan Bowersox and Keith Leavitt - and four freshmen - Brett Davis, Logan Goodnight, 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, Helsel and Hughes are the team power leaders with a career-high four home runs each and 24, 22 and 19 RBIs, respectively.
Remaining Home Games to Be Streamed
Penn State's last four home games will be streamed live on GoPSUsports.com.
All-Time vs. Villanova
The in-state series began in 1902, and Penn State holds a 33-29 advantage all-time. The Wildcats won six consecutive meetings from 2003-2009, but after a three-year hiatus, Penn State has won the last three contests in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Last year's scheduled game was canceled.
Villanova is 13-30 overall this season, and is looking to bounce back from a sweep by Seton Hall in which it was no-hit in the finale. The Wildcats have had success against its opponents in common with Penn State, taking a 10-1 victory over Iowa in March and two of three from Xavier in April. Todd Czinege leads the team batting .293 with three home runs and 23 RBIs.
Penn State's 26 home runs on the season are its most since the 2012 team hit 38.
22 of the 26 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.
Penn State is 6-7 so far this season against its fellow big cat schools.
The Nittany Lions have played the Pacific Tigers (2-1), Columbia Lions (2-2), Pitt Panthers (0-2), Northwestern Wildcats (1-2) and Lafayette Leopards (1-0).
Distasio Earns Save
RHP Nick Distasio earned his first save since Mar. 9 by closing out Penn State's win at Indiana (5/12).
Distasio earned his fourth save of the season by not allowing a hit or walk over the final 1 2/3 innings of the game.
Distasio has enjoyed a career year, setting highs for wins (3), saves (4), appearances (20), innings pitched (43.0) and strikeouts (47).
Early in the season, Distasio factored in decisions in four straight appearances, totaling three saves and a win.
Distasio earned the final two outs vs. Xavier (2/24) for his first career save and then pitched 3 1/3 innings in the series finale (2/26) to earn the win.
Including the Xavier win, he had three appearances for 3 1/3 innings. He earned 3 1/3 inning saves at Pacific (3/4) in an 11-4 victory and at Sacramento State (3/9) in a 4-2 victory.
Biasi Poised to Rank Among Team K Leaders
RHP Sal Biasi leads the Nittany Lions with a career-high 82 strikeouts this season, which are the most by a Penn State pitcher since T.J. Macy struck out 91 in 2009.
Biasi needs five more strikeouts to crack the school's top-10 list for single-season strikeouts, as Sean Stidfole is tied for 10th with himself as he posted back-to-back 87 strikeout seasons in 2004 and 2005.
Penn State Single Season Strikeouts
1. 135 Nate Bump 1998
2. 116 Ed Drapcho 1957
3. 108 Mitch Lukevics 1975
4. 105 Bob Fenton 1963
5. 99 Ed Drapcho 1955
6. 97 Pete Yodis 2000
7. 96 Cal Emery 1957
8. 91 T.J. Macy 2009
9. 88 Mike Watson 2002
10. 87 Sean Stidfole 2004
87 Sean Stidfole 2005
-- 82 Sal Biasi 2017
Biasi Leads Rotation
RHP Sal Biasi boasts a 3.34 ERA, a career-high 82 strikeouts, and a career-high matching five wins to lead Penn State. His 67.1 innings pitched are a career high and rank second on the team.
Biasi's 82 strikeouts rank third in the Big Ten and 82nd in the nation, while his 10.96 strikeouts per nine innings rank third in the league and 41st nationally.
His 3.34 ERA ranks 11th in the Big Ten.
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 117 man-games.
Infielder Conlin Hughes and catcher Ryan Sloniger were the latest to get bitten by the injury bug, but both have returned.
Leading hitter and outfielder Jordan Bowersox has been out of the lineup since Apr. 15. Bowersox led the team with a .333 batting average, .418 on-base percentage, and .480 slugging percentage. He is still tied for the lead in stolen bases with nine.
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 .319 with 13 RBIs in 30 starts and 31 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 73 points over the last 18 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 51 games is 2.11. On the mound the Lions are averaging 2.14 years of experience as compared to 2.11 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 month, batting .319 with five doubles, 10 RBIs and nine walks for a .392 on-base percentage.
He is also leading the way over the last 10 games with a .333 average that includes a .400 OBP, three doubles and four RBIs.
All-Around the Infield
Christian Helsel has drawn starts at three infield positions this season.
He returned to third base for one game against West Virginia (5/10) after starting the last 16 games at second base.
He started all three games of the Indiana series (5/12-14) at second base.
Helsel previously drew 21 starts at third base and eight at first base.
Helsel currently owns a career-best .966 fielding percentage.
Hagenman Striking Out the Opposition
Saturday starting RHP Justin Hagenman has seen a sophomore surge in strikeouts.
During his Freshman All-America campaign last season, Hagenman struck out 39 in 82 innings, but this season he has struck out 67 in 72 1/3 innings.
Home Sweet Home
The Nittany Lions are in their 11th season in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, where they hold a 140-96 all-time record and have an 8-11 record this season.
In 2016, Penn State won a facility record 10 consecutive games en route to totaling 15 wins, its most since 2008.
The Lions enjoyed their seventh winning mark in the park and hosted two of the 11 largest crowds in program history.