Baseball drops series opener to Purdue
The Penn State Nittany Lions (5-16, 0-4 Big Ten) lost 6-1 to the Purdue Boilermakers (8-14, 0-3 Big 10) Friday afternoon at Medlar Field.
The Nittany Lions got out to an early lead after a J.C. Coban RBI infield single scored Elliot Searer in the bottom of the first to put Penn State up 1-0.
The Boilermakers would tie the game at one in the bottom of third after some erratic pithing from Penn State starter T.J. Jann.
Purdue shortstop Jake Hansen grounded out to second to start the inning. Jann then plunked leadoff hitter Stephen Talbott in the head, stole second base, and eventually moved to third on a pass ball. Talbott would score to tie the game after a wild pitch got by catcher Alex Farkes.
Control issues would continue to plague the Nittany Lion pitching staff and Purdue took advantage of this to take the commanding lead in the top half of the fifth inning.
Purdue’s best hitter, third baseman Sean McHugh, got the inning started with an infield single. Designated hitter Kyle Woods would ground out advancing McHugh to second. Purdue first baseman Angelo Cianfrocco, who has been struggling thus far in the early season, hit a laser down the right field line for a double scoring McHugh and giving Purdue the 3-1 lead. Two batters later, centerfielder Kyle Johnson hit an RBI double scoring Cianfrocco giving the Boilermakers a 4-1 lead.
Jann gave up three hits, two runs, and three walks in four innings of work. Nick Hedge, who came in relief for Jann in the fifth inning, gave up three runs and three hits in three innings of work.
Despite the disappointing outing by the Penn State pitching staff, head coach Robbie Wine was pleased with one his pitchers.
“Nick Hedge did a good job,” Wine said. “He threw strikes, had one walk, he did his job.”
Purdue would tack on an insurance run in the top half of the eight inning after a Jake Hansen RBI double, putting the Boilermakers up 5-1. Kyle Johnson would add an RBI single in the ninth to make it 6-1.
Purdue starter Jordan Minch was lights out for Boilermakers all game long. Minch finished the game giving up only five hits over eight innings of work. Minch is quick worker and after his brief struggles in the first inning he looked comfortable all game long.
Coach Wine overall was not happy with his team’s performance especially their hitting.
“Offensively it was just pathetic today, a pathetic offensive showing,” Wine said. “No adjustments, no fight, no drive, no desire, but we’ll find it tomorrow hopefully.”
Penn State returns to action tomorrow afternoon against Purdue at 2:05 p.m. as Steven Hill (1-4, 3.48 ERA) takes to the mound for the Nittany Lions opposite Robert Ramer (2-2, 4.82 ERA) for the Boilermaker’s.
Tom Zulewski is senior majoring in journalism. You can contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.