Penn State baseball looks to end the 2023 regular season on a high note against No. 20 Maryland.
The 2023 Penn State baseball season kicked off with an upset 9-5 victory over No. 22 Miami on Feb. 17. Now, 91 days and 46 games later the season comes to a close with a finale series against a Big Ten ranked opponent.
Since entering May, the once 24-15 Nittany Lions have gone winless in eight straight games throughout the final month of the season. The losing streak has all but sealed the blue and white’s fate of missing the 2023 Big Ten tournament.
While the tournament is out of reach, Penn State looks to carry some momentum into the offseason with a series win over Senior weekend. The Nittany Lions will be honoring 10 of its seniors on Saturday in their final game in a blue and white jersey.
Ending on a series win is easier said than done as Penn State will be hosting Maryland at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The two teams meet for the 39th time in program history with the road team leading the series 21-18.
No. 20 Maryland rides high headed into the weekend series after it has won 12 out of its 15 past games. The Terrapins hold a 35-18 record on the season, 15 of those wins coming against conference opponents.
The 20th-best team in the country is coming off a seven-game home stretch where it took two three-game series against Nebraska and Minnesota while losing to Northeastern in a one-game take-all. Throughout the stretch, Maryland outscored its opponents 76 to 54.
The late-season success has punched the Terrapin's ticket into the Big Ten tournament with seeding now on the line.
Maryland will need to rely on its batting against Penn State to secure the high seeding it is looking for. The Terrapins lineup ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten with Nick Lorusso and Matt Shaw both batting above .360.
However, the Maryland lineup is set to face two top-seven pitchers in the Big Ten. The conference's fifth-best pitcher, Travis Luensmann, has the second most strikeouts in the Big Ten with 94.
Flipping the diamond over, the Nittany Lions’ batting order needs to come up with a standout performance after generating just 18 runs in their last five games. Kyle Hannon has been outstanding for Penn State, batting .288 with 23 RBIs and a team-leading 26 steals.
The junior, along with the rest of the team, could have a breakout day against the second-worst pitching core in the Big Ten. However, the Nittany Lions will need to win at the plate as Maryland has had a ton of success in the field, ranking fifth in the conference.
Game one of the series will kick off on Thursday at 5 p.m. followed by Bark in the Park and post-game fireworks for the second game on Friday at 5 p.m. The third and final game of the 2023 season will be on Saturday at noon for Senior Day.
Hannon has stolen 26 bases throughout the year and is just two away from breaking Michael Camp’s record of 27 steals in a single season set in 2000.
Tayven Kelley has five triples with three games remaining in the season, he needs just one to tie Kevin Billotte's record of six triples in a season set in 1995.
Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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