Penn State Tops Mt. Saint Mary’s

Story posted April 18, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by George Stockburger

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State batted around and scored six runs in the second inning in a 7-2 win over Mount St. Mary’s. The Nittany Lions snapped an 11 game losing streak, their longest since 2013.

The Mount made Wednesday’s game, which had been postponed twice this year, a bullpen game with starter Brenden Kennedy being pulled after one shutout inning. Manager Scott Thompson utilized five relievers to finish the job, allowing all seven of the Nittany Lions earned runs.

Mount St. Mary’s sophomore reliever Trey McGough allowed five runs in two-thirds of the second inning in which Penn State sent 11 batters to the plate. Left fielder Parker Hendershot collected both his hits in the carousel inning while driving in two runs.

“I’m going up there with a boatload of confidence and it’s paying off pretty well.”

Designated hitter Ryan Sloniger also made his presence known in the lineup with a two-run single and a run scored in the six-run second inning. Penn State sent eight batters to the plate before having the first out recorded.

Mount St. Mary’s responded in the third inning when Penn State third baseman Connor Klemann committed his fifth error of the season, allowing lead-off hitter Myles Nicholson to reach base and later score on a Patrick Causa double. Thomas Savastio’s sacrifice fly drove in Alex Kriss from third despite a perfect throw from center fielder Jordan Bowersox that bounced out of catcher Derek Orndorff’s glove.

Nittany Lions manager Rob Cooper admits his club didn’t play their best game of the year, and that he’d take “an ugly win over a pretty loss,” noting  “we’ve had enough of those for sure this year.”

Penn State’s ugliness showed when freshman second baseman Tommy Gibson attempted to steal home plate in the third inning with no outs and was thrown out. Cooper ran up the steps of the dugout to confront Gibson and pointed to the scoreboard before benching his second baseman.

“He’s trying like crazy to create a play, that’s not the right time for him to do it...and now he knows that’s not the time to do it.

Nittany Lions starter Bailey Dees pitched three innings allowing three hits, two unearned runs, and five strikeouts for his first collegiate win. While it was Dees’ first collegiate start, he started all four years at Hough High School in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Cooper’s bullpen finished the job pitching six shutout innings with four hits and two walks.

Penn State pitchers also neutralized Mt. Saint Mary’s leading hitter Vaughn Parker II to just one hit. Parker entered the game hitting .320 and leading the time in hits, doubles, home runs, and RBIs.
“It’s a byproduct of getting a routine and playing mid-week,” said Cooper, a slight to the fact Penn State has seen five games postponed this season, the majority of which were midweek games affected by weather.

The night was capped off with a perfect ninth inning from State College Area High School graduate Mason Mellott, who threw just eight pitches to seal Penn State’s eighth win of the season.

Star of the Game:

Penn State third baseman Connor Klemann led the game with three hits, including his first triple of the season in the second inning. Cooper said in his post-game press conference Klemann was making adjustments to his swing Tuesday while battling a prolonged hitting slump.

“Baseball has its ups and downs. It’s a long season and we’re only halfway. I’ve been hitting some balls hard and sticking with it, so it was good to see some results tonight.”

Coming up:

Penn State travels to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a three-game series against the Wolverines. Michigan is on a 17 game win streak and has lost just one game at home this season.

 

 

George Stockburger is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email gos5187@psu.edu.