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Sept. 24, 2007
The Penn State baseball team celebrated Parents' Weekend by completing a three game series of intrasquad scrimmages this past weekend. The Blue Team captured the victory in the Friday game by a 3-1 score and followed up with 4-3 win in the Saturday tilt before the White rallied on Sunday to prevent the series sweep, winning by a 5-0 count.
In game one, the White jumped to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Grant Youngblood singled off Blue starter Ryan Stobart, stole second and scored on a two-out RBI single to right by Cory Wine. After White starting pitcher Mike Lorentson retired the first eight hitters he faced, the Blue put together a two-out rally of their own in the third. Gordie Atkisson was hit by pitch and Louie Picconi coaxed a walk to set the table for Brian Ernst, who ripped a single to left, scoring Atkisson.
The Blue took the lead for good in the fourth when Rob Yodice walked and came around to score following consecutive singles by Jack Greenberg and Bobby Jacobs off reliever Chris Sobota. Greenberg added the final run when he stole third and advanced home on a throwing error to establish the final 3-1 margin.
Following the run allowed in the bottom of the first, Stobart tossed three scoreless innings to earn the win. He was aided in the second, when Scott Kelley made the defensive play of the game, cutting down Rudy Hersh at home plate as he attempted to score on a hit by Davin Strouse. Stobart scattered five hits in his four innings of work, striking out two while not walking a hitter. Lorentson pitched well but was tagged with the hard-luck loss after going three and a third innings, allowing two runs on just one hit. He struck out five and walked two.
The bullpens for both teams shined in the Friday contest with Dave Lutz, Dave Hine and Drew O'Neil each throwing a perfect inning for the Blue. Lutz struck out two of the three hitters he faced and All-American candidate O'Neil fanned one in picking up the save. For the White team, Sobota rebounded after allowing hits to the first two batters he faced to pitch an inning and two-thirds. He allowed an unearned run on three hits and struck out two without issuing a free pass. Mike Pierce pitched the final two innings and struck out two without surrendering a hit.
On Saturday, the Blue jumped out early to a 4-0 lead and held off a furious White rally to take the second game of the series 4-3. The Blue wasted no time in getting started when Picconi led off the game with a sharp grounder that was mishandled, setting the table for Rick Marlin, who drove a John Karr fastball into the picnic area at Medlar Field for a two-run home run. The Blue added to the lead in the second when freshman Jacobs doubled to left, advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Hersh that was thrown away and scored on an RBI groundout by Atkisson. Following a walk to Picconi, Hersh scored on a single by Ernst.
Leading 4-0, the Blue threatened to break the game wide open in the third when they loaded the bases with one out, but reliever Pierce retired Atkisson on a popout and Picconi on a fly to left. Blue starting pitcher Mike Wanamaker held the White in check over his four scoreless innings, but Strouse led off the fifth with a double off reliever Scott Kelley, moved to third on a single by Landon Nakata and scored when a pickoff throw deflected off Atkisson's glove at first base.
The score remained the same until the top of the seventh when the White mounted a rally off O'Neil. Nakata led off with a single and moved to third when Joe Blackburn's sinking liner bounced off the glove of rightfielder Marlin for a two-base error. Following a walk to Wine, Mike Deese fisted a single to center to score Nakata and Blackburn and cut the lead to 4-3, but O'Neil retired Ryan Boonie on a line drive to second baseman Wes Borden who alertly doubled Wine off second to end the game.
Wanamaker earned the win pitching the four shutout frames, striking out three and walking one, while allowing just two hits. Kelley pitched the fifth and allowed an unearned run on two hits while walking two and O'Neil collected his second save of the weekend pitching the final two innings, allowing two runs, one of which was earned, on two hits with one free pass issued.
For the White, Karr was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs in two and a third innings. He walked three, struck out two and surrendered four hits in the outing. Pierce and Dave Hine combined to pitch the final three and two-thirds and did not allow a base runner over that period.
In the Sunday finale, the White came out of the box determined to prevent the sweep and scored three times off Blue starter T.J. Macy in the bottom of the first. Nakata led off the home half with a single and Youngblood drew a walk to set the table for Wine, who doubled to deep left center chasing home Nakata and Youngblood. After a Deese single, Wine scored on an RBI single by Ryan Boonie to make it 3-0. The score remained the same until the sixth when the White tacked on two insurance runs off Lutz. Blackburn singled, stole second and following a base hit by Deese, scored when Ben Heath's pop fly was misplayed. Deese then scored to set the final margin on a sacrifice bunt by Rudy Hersh.
Seth Whitehill was masterful for the White, pitching four scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. He struck out three and walked just one. Sobota earned the save pitching the final two scoreless innings, striking out two and retiring all six of the Blue hitters that he faced.
Losing pitcher Macy rebounded from the rocky first inning to hang up three consecutive scoreless innings to complete his outing. He allowed the three runs on five hits while walking two and fanning two. Lutz struck out three in his two innings of work along with two runs on two hits.
For the weekend, Ernst led the Blue team with three hits including a double and a pair of RBIs. Jacobs chipped in with a single, a double, an RBI and a run scored. Marlin homered and drove in two in the series win. The White team was paced by Deese, who collected a team high four hits including a double and 2 RBI's. Nakata had three hits and a pair of runs scored, while Cory Wine added a double and single with 3 runs batted in.
The team will return to action for another three-game series of intrasquad games this coming weekend with the scheduled start times tentatively set for 6:30 on Friday and 1:00 on Saturday and Sunday. All scrimmages are open to the public and admission is free.