Bartels, Kailher Shine Under the Lights in Penn State Baseball’s Victory Over Mt. Saint Mary’s.

Story posted April 22, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Emma Holtz

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State secured a Wednesday night matchup victory in double digits over Mount St. Mary’s.

Penn State improved to 7-3-1 historically against Mount St. Mary’s with their last encounter being in 2019.

Head coach Rob Cooper said that he was satisfied with the Nittany Lions’ ability to steal bases against the Mountaineers. Keeping a stopwatch close at hand, Cooper timed how long Mount St. Mary’s players would run to home plate and determine if it was appropriate to risk the steal.

“I want our players to be able to run on their own,” Cooper said. “I think we’re too tentative on the bases.”

Penn State pitcher Carson Kohls approached the mound for his first career start of the season. After two outs, a center field single RBI by Tristan McAlister sent fellow outfielder Aiden Tierney to home plate to claim a 1-0 run lead for Mount St. Mary’s.

Penn State’s opportunity to respond came with infielder Jay Harry hitting a single down the right field line. However, the Nittany Lions were unable to capitalize as Mount St. Mary’s pitcher, Bryant Shives, made quick work of the other outs.

Two consecutive walks by Kohls loaded the bases for Mount St. Mary’s at the top of the third inning. Mount St. Mary's capitalized to bring in a two-run RBI. The Mountaineers extended a two-run lead over the Nittany Lions.

Overall, Kohls allowed six hits and three runs. Penn State rotated pitchers Chase Renner, Ryan Partridge and Tommy Molsky to round out its pitching core.

The bottom of the third inning breathed life into Penn State with two early RBIs. Trailing the Mountaineers by one run, Harry’s second base appearance transformed into a run for the Nittany Lions. The student section serenaded him with a “hip hip Harry!” chant as he exited to the dugout.

Penn State’s lucky streak continued with C.J. Pittaro singling downfield. An error by Mount Saint Mary’s propelled Matt Wood and Johnny Piacentino down the stretch to score two runs for the Nittany Lions and snatch the lead from the Mountaineers.

Penn State began to find its footing as key players such as Wood, Cole Bartels and Josh Spiegel each contributed to the fight in big ways.

Bartels, a graduate student from Massachusetts, was at the top of the batting order and ended with the third best hitting percentage on the night.

“The top of the lineup is always better,” Bartels said. “Just tough to get in there the first step out of the game.”

Bartels said that he was satisfied overall with his performance. He credited his father, Don, for changing his hitting strategy from swinging to get a hit to looking deep and swinging hard at the pitch.

“Ever since Maryland, I’ve been really trying to see them deep and swing as hard as I can,” Bartels said.

A left side single by Spiegel propelled the Nittany Lions to a four-run advantage going into the fifth inning. However, pitching errors by the blue and white kept the Mountaineers within striking distance.

In the fifth inning, Mountaineers utility player Tyler Long found the right center gap, bringing Brady Drawbaugh home and shrinking the deficit to 8-6. This would be the final run for the visitors as Penn State continued the defensive stance until the final inning.

Penn State took advantage of multiple wild pitches by Mount St. Mary’s carousel of pitchers, including one by pitcher Jake Andrews that flew over-the-head of catcher Connor Buggy. The Nittany Lions had five stolen bases compared to the Mountaineers’ one stolen base.

“The way they were holding guys on made it advantageous for us to run, so we took advantage of that,” Cooper said.

Infielder Ben Kailher recorded one stolen base on the night, but was forward with his approach on base throughout the game. He received praise from Cooper about his approach to play.

“I really believe Ben Kailher has the ability to be a 30 stolen base type of guy,” Cooper said.

After a stretch between the seventh and ninth innings, Penn State was able to hold off Mount St. Mary’s 11-6 and utilize the skills on its roster to defeat the Mountaineers.

“[There were] a lot of things that we have to get better at and we didn’t play the game specifically well today,” Cooper said. “But I’ll never apologize for a win.”

Emma Holtz is a second-year majoring in public relations. To contact her, email