Nittany Lions Fall to Spartans in Season Finale, 7-6
May 17, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; May 17, 2014 - The Penn State Nittany Lions (18-32, 5-18 Big Ten) wrapped up their 2014 campaign on Saturday afternoon, dropping a 7-6 decision to Michigan State (29-24, 11-13 Big Ten). The Nittany Lion offense was efficient in driving in their six runs on eight hits.
The Blue and White honored its eight seniors following the game in a Senior Day ceremony. The honorees were Sam August (Needham, Mass.), Tim Dunn (Coto De Caza, Calif.), Zach Ell (Plains, Pa.), Alex Farkes (Boston, Mass.), Colin Keefe (Woodbury, Minn.), Ian Parvin (Irvine, Ca.), Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) and Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.).
Freshman Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.) wrapped up his first season in grand fashion, going 3-for-4 at the plate with a run and an RBI. The other Penn State player with a multi-hit day was Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.), who went 2-for-3 with a run and a run driven in.
The Nittany Lion seniors started Senior Day in fitting fashion in the first inning of play. Starting pitcher Ian Parvin struck out two Michigan State batters and held the Spartans scoreless in the top of the frame and then Penn State seniors had their hand in each of the two runs the team scored in the bottom of the inning. Snyder led off the frame with a walk and came around to score on a balk from the MSU starter. With one out and Haley on third, senior Zach Ell lifted a ball to deep center field for a sacrifice fly to score Haley and push the lead to 2-0.
After the Spartans responded with a run in the top of the second inning, the Blue and White offense went back to work in the bottom half of the inning and plated two more runs to increase its lead to three runs at 4-1. All of the production came with two outs, as Farkes and Snyder reached on a walk followed by a single to put runners on first and second. Penn State then recorded back-to-back singles up the middle courtesy of Skerpon and Haley to drive in Farkes and Snyder for the team's second-straight two-run inning.
Both the Spartans and Nittany Lions' offenses were held scoreless in the third and then Michigan State's bats got going in the fourth with some help from the Penn State defense. MSU took its first lead of the game at 5-4 after scoring four runs in the inning. The Spartans posted three hits in the frame and took advantage of a Penn State throwing error that made three of the runs unearned.
In the bottom of the fifth Penn State came back and tied the game at 5-5. Skerpon led off the inning with a double to left field and moved to third via a flyout to center off the bat of Haley. Guers then dug into the batter's box and notched his first RBI of the afternoon with a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Skerpon.
The back-and-forth affair continued in the sixth, as both Penn State and Michigan State notched a run in the inning to move the score to 6-6. Michigan State retook the lead in the top of the inning by taking advantage of another Penn State miscue, as their runner on third scampered home off a passed ball.
Keefe started the bottom of the frame with a leadoff single then moved up two bases off a sacrifice bunt followed by a passed ball. August drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out and then strayed too far off first and got in a rundown between first and second. While August was in the pickle, Keefe broke for home and beat the throw to knot the score back up.
Neither team scored in the seventh stanza and then Michigan State managed to plate a run in the eighth to go ahead by one run at 7-6. MSU's Ryan Richardson hit a one-out double to left field and then stole third and came home off a throwing error by Penn State.
Penn State was unable to scrape a run across the plate in either the eighth or ninth inning and lost by a final score of 7-6. The loss gives Penn State a final record of 18-32 on the season.