Penn State men’s baseball preview against Pitt
Penn State men’s baseball looks to bounce back against Pitt after getting swept by Michigan over the weekend.
The Nittany Lions kicked off Big Ten action against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Friday. The Wolverines went on to crush the blue and white in the first two games by nine runs in each of the affairs.
Michigan would wrap up the series in game three Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Penn State to send the Nittany Lions down to a 12-8 record on the season.
Over on the western side of Pennsylvania, Pitt is coming off a 2-1 series win over Virginia Tech. The Panthers would win the first game 5-4 on Friday then lose a 20-12 shootout on Saturday before finishing off the series with another 5-4 victory on Sunday.
Coming into the midweek non-conference matchup, Penn State leads the series 89-46-1 headed into its 137th matchup against Pitt all-time. The last time the Nittany Lions and Panthers faced off was in the final few games of the 2022 regular season where Penn State won 19-6.
Penn State enters the matchup with the third-best batting average in the Big Ten hitting .289. Kyle Hannon and Jay Harry combine for nine home runs, 29 RBIs and 38 runs on 46 hits with a .295 average when at the plate.
The duo, along with the rest of the lineup for the blue and white have scored the fourth most runs and have one of the leading on-base percentages in the Big Ten.
The Nittany Lions will face the worst bullpen in the ACC when it comes to average runs and hits given up throughout the season.
Jack Sokol and Kyle Mosley lead the Panthers in total innings pitched while also averaging a 7.24 ERA between the two.
A struggling bullpen against a talented lineup that has cooled off in recent games could prove to be disastrous for the Panthers and beneficial for the Nittany Lions moving forward.
Flipping the field, Penn State tops the Big Ten with the lowest ERA and average given up against batters. The starters and rotation for the blue and white in its bullpen have proven to be the ace in the hole for the team.
Travis Luensmann, Daniel Ouderkirk and Jaden Henline continue to prove their value and will get to do so again against a bottom-two team in hitting in the ACC.
Noah Martinez is having a strong 2023 campaign for the Panthers with a .351 average, 25 runs, 6 home runs and 26 RBIs. While the senior is having himself a year, the rest of the team will need to start off the game red-hot against Penn State.
The opening pitch will be thrown out at 6 p.m. on Tuesday against Penn State’s in-state rival. Medlar Field in Labrano Park will have a dollar dog night at the park for the Nittany Lion's first night game of the season.
Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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