Searer Walk-Off Leads Nittany Lions to 7-6 Victory in Extras
On a beautiful Wednesday night in State College, Penn State (8-24, 0-9 Big Ten) would walk it off on the shoulders of an Elliot Searer base hit in the 12th against the Bucknell Bisons (13-24, 7-5 Patriot League) at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
This was a makeup for the game scheduled on April 10, but was rescheduled for Wednesday due to poor weather conditions.
Bucknell starter Jack McLinden had trouble finding the plate in the first, falling behind every batter he faced and laboring through a tough 24-pitch inning. This all came after surrendering a leadoff base hit to shallow left-center by freshman James Coates.
Luis Montesinos’ first of his two doubles on the night would get the Nittany Lions on the board with an early 1-0 lead. He would finish the night 3-for-5 with the two doubles and two RBI.
“I’ve gotten plenty of at-bats to where I’m now feeling comfortable at the plate,” said Montesinos after his fourth three-hit game of the season.
Nittany Lions' southpaw Nick Hedge showed early signs of success, but a walk to Bucknell leadoff man Corey Furman in the top of the third would be followed by a deep shot to left field off the bat of Travis Clark.
Clark's shot put runners in scoring position for the first time all game for Bucknell. With a short leash Head Coach Robbie Wine pulled his starter and succumbed to the bullpen, bringing in Ian Parvin to close the book on Hedge’s short two and a third inning appearance.
The train would then come off the tracks in the top half of the fifth for Bucknell. Reliever Ian Parvin would plunk the leadoff hitter Scott Glass and a Matt Paradise throw would pull first baseman J.J. White off first and put Parvin in a rut with runners on first and second.
A fly ball down the right field line would drag Aaron Novak to the warning track, tipping off his glove and loading the bases for Bucknell. The double play tandem of Montesinos and Skerpon would not able to turn the twin-killing quick enough, plating the Bisons second run of the game.
A mishandled slow-roller back to Parvin would then put the touches on the two-run fifth inning for the Bisons and make it 3-1.
McLinden was cruising and about to be officially in line for the win, facing one batter over the minimum from the second to the fifth, a leadoff infield base hit by Steve Snyder ended up being the much-needed spark for the Nittany Lions as they put up a crooked three runs.
A shot down the left field line by J.C. Coban bobbled by Bisons left fielder Joe Ogren and a go-ahead two out J.J. White single put a bow on the big sixth.
After five innings of scoreless relief by the bullpen trio of Parvin, Jordan Donmoyer and Blake Estep, Cody Lewis entered the game for the Nittany Lions in a tough situation in the eighth with the bases loaded. Lewis would walk Furman and tie the game at four.
A missed pick by the first baseman White on a double-play chance and a base hit up the middle by Travis Clark would then make it 6-4 Bisons.
More bullpen would be needed as Geoff Boylston and Tim Dunn would then tack on another scoreless three innings of relief, continuing the story for the Nittany Lions of strong pitching from the bullpen.
“It was the plan to get all these guys innings”, said head coach Robbie Wine. “Maybe not this many innings, but we were going to get these guys to the mound and get some work in.”
The Nittany Lions would tie things up in the bottom of the ninth as Bisons reliever Tucker Rekucki loaded the bases and another big knock from J.J. White would put them within one. The Bisons would then concede the game-tying sixth run on a double play.
In the bottom on the 12th James Coates was intentionally walked to load the bases and Elliot Searer would end the four hour back-and-forth marathon of a game with a clutch base knock.
“I think the other guys on the team had confidence in me”, said Searer. “I was just trying to see something up and knew I didn’t have to get a base hit to get the job done and that took a little bit of the stress off me.”
The Nittany Lions will continue their six-game home stand at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park as they welcome the Iowa Haweyes for a three game series from April 19 to 21 during Blue/White weekend. All three games will broadcasted on ComRadio.
Ross Insana is junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
Ross is a senior from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania majoring in Broadcast Journalism, minoring in business and a member of Penn State’s John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. He anchors and reports both sports and news for the Centre County Report. He’s also a sports talk show host of “The Ross Insana Show” every Sunday from 5-6 PM on ComRadio in addition to headlining ComRadio’s Penn State Hockey coverage as the Men’s Hockey columnist and host of the ComRadio Men’s Hockey Pregame Show for the 2013-2014 season. His internship experiences recently include being a Production Assistant Intern for ESPN Radio 1450 in State College for “Sports Talk” with the voice of Penn State Football Steve Jones. Ross was formerly the Pittsburgh Pirates Pregame and Postgame Show intern for Sports Radio 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh for hosts Dan Zangrilli and former Major Leaguer Kevin Orie during the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season. His future aspirations are to cover baseball in any facet at any level whether it’s play-by play, color commentary, writing, media relations or sideline reporting. With a background in baseball coaching and instruction, he’d like to become a head coach for a High School baseball team in the future.