Penn State Set for NC trip to face Northern Illinois
The 1-2 Penn State baseball team has its hands full this weekend with four straight games in three consecutive days, including a double header on Friday.
The blue and white are coming off a 1-2 series loss to No. 22 Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The series opened with a 9-5 upset win for the Nittany Lions, followed by a 10-2 beat down by Miami on Saturday, ending with a 3-2 walk-off win for the Hurricanes on Sunday.
The blue and white will travel down to Cary, N.C., for the first of three weekends this season.
Starting off the road trip with a double header on Friday, Penn State will take on the Northern Illinois Huskies at 1 p.m. then start the second game at 4 p.m. This will be the first matchup between the two schools in program history.
Right handed pitcher Travis Luensmann is projected to faceoff against Dominic Hann for the weekend opener. Luensmann helped deliver the blue and white’s first ranked win since 2019 against Miami where he struck out four batters in five innings while allowing one run on two hits.
The Nittany Lions will continue their road trip against Maine on Saturday at 12 p.m. The Maine Black Bears started their season 2-1 against Pitt, scoring double digit runs in two of the three contests.
The Nittany Lions and Black Bears faced off in 2022, where Penn State won the series 2-1. Penn State holds the all-time series 2-1 and will look to extend that record on Saturday.
In last year's series against Maine, Jay Harry went three for eight at the plate, driving in one run while crossing home plate two times himself. In 2023, Harry has five hits in 15 at bats, four RBIs and one run.
Wrapping up the weekend on Sunday, the Nittany Lions will face Monmouth at 10 a.m. Penn State leads the series 5-4 after winning four consecutive games in 2019 and 2020.
Monmouth opened its season up losing three straight against Florida Atlantic, giving up double digit runs in the final two games of the series.
In last year's game against the Hawks blew the Nittany Lions out of the water in a 10-1 victory. Monmouth went 10-35 at the plate with nine RBI’s while holding the blue and white to only one hit, a performance they’ll look to repeat on Sunday.
Keep an eye on who starts at catcher for the Nittany Lions as Josh Spiegel got the start in the 9-5 win over Miami but then sat game two and came back in game three. Thomas Bramley filled in for Spiegel during game two of the series where Miami scored 10 runs.
Penn State has a long weekend ahead of it but the experience in the bullpen and outfield, combined with the talent at catcher and depth in the infield should help get them through it.
Micheal Bolger is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.
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