BASE Hosts No. 22 Nebraska in Season Finale

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May 17, 2017

PENN STATE
vs. #22 NEBRASKA

Thursday, May 17 - 6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 18 - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 19 - 11:00 a.m.
Medlar Field at Lubrano Park | University Park, Pa.

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Gameday Central
Game Notes: Penn State | Nebraska
Statistics: Penn State | Nebraska

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State concludes its 2017 season against a Big Ten baseball title contender as No. 22 Nebraska makes its first ever visit to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to open a three-game series Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The series continues Friday at 6:30 p.m. and concludes Saturday at 11 a.m.

Essentials
Live Video: GoPSUsports.com
Live Audio: GoPSUsports.com
Live Stats: GoPSUsports.com
TV: N/A
Radio: State College’s ESPN 1450 AM

Nebraska Series History: 1-6
Last Series: 2016, Away, 1-2
Streak: L2

Thursday Probables
PSU RHP Sal Biasi (5-5, 3.34 ERA)
NEB RHP Jake Hohensee (6-3, 3.80 ERA)

Friday Probables
PSU RHP Justin Hagenman (1-10, 5.85 ERA)
NEB RHP Derek Burkamper (5-4, 3.32 ERA)

Sunday Probables
PSU RHP Eric Mock (0-5, 6.53 ERA)
NEB LHP Jake Meyers (7-1, 3.34 ERA)

Promotions
Thursday, May 18 - 6:30 p.m.

  • Dollar Dog Night for all fans in attendance!
  • Cub Club Night
    • All Penn State Cub Club members can receive free admission by showing their badge, and can take a photo on the field after the game!

Friday, May 19 - 6:30 p.m.

  • Bark in the Park Night
    • Bring your pup to the ball park to enjoy an evening out!
    • IMPORTANT! Bring proof of up-to-date vaccinations.
    • Call Steve Christ at 814-272-1711 for more information on purchasing Bark in the Park Tickets
  • Post-game
    • Kids 12 and under can run the bases!

Saturday, May 20 - 11:00 a.m.

  • Meet the Penn State Football Team!
    • Members of the Penn State football team will sign autographs for the Nittany Lion faithful on the stadium concourse from when gates open at 10 a.m. until first pitch at 11 a.m.
    • The Big Ten Championship trophy and a championship ring will also be on the concourse for fans to take pictures with.
  • Alumni Day
    • Members of the Penn State Alumni Association can show their membership card and receive up to four tickets at a discounted price of $2.00 per ticket.
  • Penn State Baseball Bingo
    • Enter and play to win great prizes all day long!
  • Spring Cleaning
    • We're cleaning out our promotional closets, meaning we'll have giveaways for you all day long! Just stop by the customer service desk behind home plate to claim prizes. If you like Penn State memorabilia and giveaways, this is the day for you!
  • Senior Day
    • Help us honor our Nittany Lion seniors after the conclusion of the game vs. the Huskers
  • Post-game
    • Kids 12 and under can run the bases!

Tickets can be purchased at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711.

Six Seniors Donning Blue and White for Final Time
RHP Dakota Forsyth will conclude his Penn State career with the third-most appearances in school history, as he is currently tied with Jeff Emerich (1993-96) with 76. In his 76 appearances, Forsyth has pitched 170.0 innings with a career record of 9-10 and a 4.24 ERA. Five were starts and he has earned two saves. This season, he has set career highs for appearances (23), innings pitched (43.2), wins (4) and strikeouts (46).
IF Christian Helsel has been 113 starts in 131 games in his three seasons since transferring from Ole Miss. Helsel drew regular starts at first, second and third bases. This season, he is the team leader in games played and started, only not appearing in the season opener. His four home runs and 24 RBIs are also career highs and enter the weekend tied for the team lead. Helsel received the team’s inaugural “We Are” Award for best exemplifying what it means to be a Penn Stater with involvement in the community. He was recognized for his efforts for Wyatt Shaffer. Wyatt joined the Lions in 2015 through Team IMPACT, an organization that helps children facing life threatening and chronic illnesses get drafted by local college teams.
C Alex Malinsky has been a leader on-and-off the field, appearing in 102 games and starting 68. He owns the team’s highest GPA and was recently recognized as this year’s Penn State “True Grit” award for bouncing back after suffering a serious injury in preseason practice. Malinsky had a tendency for the dramatic, hitting a walk-off double against Purdue last season, setting career highs with three hits, two doubles and three RBIs in his first start this season after returning from injury against Cornell (3/29), and driving in the game-winning runs with a double in the eighth against Villanova (5/16) in the Lions’ most recent outing.
RHP Tom Mullin has made 46 appearances and three starts over his four-year career, making 13 appearances out of the bullpen this season. As a sophomore he posted a team-best 4-0 record, and his junior campaign was highlighted by a career-best 5 1/3 inning relief appearance against No. 10 TCU, surrendering just two hits and a walk.
OF Nick Riotto has been one of the team’s leading hitters the past two seasons, and he enters the weekend with 134 starts in 161 games, and a .259 career average with five home runs and 57 RBIs. An injury sustained in the season-opener at No. 1 TCU hampered his start to this season, but over the previous 20 games entering the weekend he leads the team with a slash line of .324/.393/.423, 12 RBIs and nine walks. His 21 RBIs and eight stolen bases this season are career highs.
RHP Tim Scholly, a local State College product has been the ultimate team player during his career, leading on and off the field. He missed his sophomore season due to injury, but has pitched a career-high four times this season, tossing three scoreless appearances.

All-Time vs. Nebraska
Penn State and Nebraska have met only seven times, with Nebraska holding a 6-1 lead all-time. The first meeting came in 2012 in the Big Ten tournament, and the Nittany Lions visited Lincoln in 2014 and 2016, earning their first win last season. This will be Nebraska’s first baseball trip to Happy Valley.

Scouting Nebraska
Nebraska enters the final regular season weekend in the thick of a Big Ten title hunt, trailing league-leading Minnesota (14-6, .700) by a mere .010 in winning percentage (14-6-1, .690.) The Cornhuskers are ranked in four different polls, led by a No. 22 ranking in Baseball America, and they have won nine out of their last 12 Big Ten games.
Pitching and defense has been Nebraska’s specialty this season. Boasting a team ERA of 3.56, the Huskers ranks second in the Big Ten and 30th in the NCAA. They also rank second in the Big Ten and ninth in the NCAA with 1.08 double plays per game and fourth in the Big Ten and 24th in the NCAA with a .978 fielding percentage. Scott Schreiber leads the team with a .344 batting average, five home runs and 41 RBIs, while Jake Myers is a dual threat with a .301 batting average, team-best .422 on-base percentage and the Sunday starting pitching role. On the mound, he owns a 3.34 ERA, 7-1 record and team-high 72.2 IP with just nine walks.

Remaining Home Games to Be Streamed
Penn State’s last four home games will be streamed live on GoPSUsports.com.

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.

Pitchers Set Strikeout Record
Penn State’s pitchers have combined for 409 strikeouts this season, breaking the record of 407, set in 2012.
The 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).

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 120 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 .316 with 13 RBIs in 31 starts and 32 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 78 points over the last 19 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.

Youth Movement
The average Nittany Lion starter this season is a sophomore, as the average class year (Freshman = 1 ... Senior = 4) across all 10 positions through 52 games is 2.1.
Penn State has started an average of 3.4 freshmen per game in the 10 lineup card spots, but has started less than four just once in the last 16 games.
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.

Offense Erupts Against Villanova
Penn State scored the game’s last nine runs against Villanova (5/16), highlighted by a seven-run eighth inning, to erase a three-run deficit and earn an 11-5 victory in the non-conference finale.
Penn State had six batters post multi-hit games to total a season-high matching 15 hits for the game, while six also posted at least one RBI.
Senior catcher Alex Malinsky drove in the go-ahead runs with a two-RBI double in the eighth, while right fielder Braxton Giavedoni led the offense with a career-high matching 3-for-5 night and was one of five Nittany Lions with two RBIs. First baseman Willie Burger reached base four times going 2-for-3 with two runs, a double, stolen base and two walks. Second baseman Christian Helsel (Altoona, Pa.) also doubled as part of a 2-for-4 night that included two RBIs and a walk.
RHP Schuyler Bates earned the win with four innings of relief, allowing just a run on four hits and a walk with one strikeout.
RHP Myles Gayman started and picked up his final eight outs with strikeouts. He finished with a career-high nine.

Cat Fight
The Nittany Lions went 7-7 this season against fellow big cat schools, playing the Pacific Tigers (2-1), Columbia Lions (2-2), Pitt Panthers (0-2), Northwestern Wildcats (1-2), Lafayette Leopards (1-0) and Villanova Wildcats (1-0).
Biggest Wins
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 ranked 20th entering the week and Indiana 33rd.
The Nittany Lions entered the week without any wins against RPI Top 100 teams.

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 four total 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 and Helsel and Hughes are the team power leaders with a career-high four home runs each and 24 RBIs each.

Power Bump
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.

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.

Heating Up in Rio
Outfielder Nick Riotto has been Penn State’s leading hitter over the last 20 games, batting .324 with five doubles, 12 RBIs and nine walks for a .393 on-base percentage.
He has hits in six out of his last seven games.

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 previous 16 games at second base.
He has started all four games since 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 141-96 all-time record and have an 9-11 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.




 

 

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