Brrr-illiant All-Around Performance Leads Penn State to Victory
MORGANTOWN, W.V. – Penn State took to the country roads to take on the West Virginia Mountaineers for the second time this season.
The NIttany Lions rode resilient pitching and hitting along with one of their best defensive performances of the season to get their revenge against the Mountaineers in a 8-4 victory.
The surprise chilly late-April weather didn’t slow down either squad as both teams came out hot, with West Virginia pulling out to an early three run lead.
Penn State clawed its way back however, sparked by an RBI single from Josh Spiegel and an RBI double from Johnny Piacentino. The tying run came off a fielding error from the third baseman JJ Wetherholt on a failed pickoff attempt.
Jay Harry gave the Nittany Lions the lead on a single that brought Tayven Kelly around to score in the top of the fourth.
Spiegel continued to shine tonight like he has all of this month, belting a solo shot in the top of the fifth to extend the lead to 5-3. Penn State added another insurance run later in the inning via a Billy Gerlot triple.
After that, it was the defense’s turn to shine, with stellar plays by the likes of Harry and Piacentino to keep West Virginia off the bases. This was just the eighth time this season the NIttany Lions were errorless, and it played a major factor on the scoreboard.
Things got dicey in the bottom of the eighth, as the Mountaineers loaded the bases twice. Yet head coach Rob Cooper kept faith in Kellan Tulio and left him in for the remainder of the inning.
His gamble proved to be an exceptional one, as Tulio held West Virginia to just one run.
The top of the ninth took all the life out of the Mountaineers, as Piacentino hit his second double of the night and brought home the final two runs of the game to cap off a three RBI night for the junior outfielder. Matt Wood extended his hit streak to 21-games in the inning as well, just for good measure.
Resiliency was the theme of the night for the Nittany Lions, coming back from down in counts on offense, and overcoming early hitter-friendly counts on the bump en route to the victory.
Sitting on the bubble of the Big Ten tournament, Penn State will aim to carry this momentum into the final portion of the season and make the postseason for the first time in 10 years.
Next up, the Nittany Lions return home to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to take on Omaha, with first pitch slated for Friday, April 29 at 6 p.m.
Joshua Bartosik is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.