Justin Hagenman Shines in Loss to Ohio State
University Park, Pa. – Despite a fantastic showing in 6.1 innings on the mound by Justin Hagenman, the Penn State Nittany Lions fell to 7-20 on the season with a 1-0 loss to the Ohio State Buckeyes.
A classic pitcher’s duel, Hagenman and his counterpart Connor Curlis kept the game scoreless until the fifth inning. Hagenman with runners on first and second and two outs tried to pick off the runner at first. Hagenman’s throw got past Shea Sbranti at first and rolled all the way to the Penn State bullpen allowing both runners to steal two bases each and a run to score.
The unearned run on Hagenman's error was the only run that would cross the plate in the game. Kyle Michalik, who replaced Curlis the frame before, was given the win with the error.
Apart from the error, Hagenman allowed only four hits, two walks and one hit batsman combatted by seven strikeouts.
Batting was a struggle for both teams, especially with runners on the bases. Penn State batters reached first base eight times under their own power, while Ohio State batters only earned six hits. With runners on the bases, both teams went 2-for-15.
Penn State loaded the bases on two occasions, including in the bottom of the ninth inning, and had runners in scoring position in all but three innings and yet didn’t manage a hit in nine opportunities. Ohio State didn’t fare any better, failing to make safe contact in any of their six opportunities.
Despite not picking up many hits on either side, both teams stranded double-digit runners. Even after hitting into two double plays to end innings, the Nittany Lions stranded 11 runners, many of which were in scoring position.
Ohio State left 13 runners on the bases. Hagenman and Marko Boricich, who replaced Hagenman in the top of the seventh inning, both pitched their way out of tough spots. Coming into the game, Ohio State’s batters had one of the highest team batting averages in the NCAA.
“If I’m a professional scout, I’m drafting Justin Hagenman,” said head coach Rob Cooper. “He’s just super competitive. Obviously, I wish for the team that we can give him more run support but also for him because you have really got to look at his numbers to really know what kind of pitcher he is.”
The defense behind the pitchers in blue and white also played well, especially from the left side of the diamond.
Connor Klemann at third and Logan Goodnight at shortstop both made multiple impressive plays to get runners out at first. A few of the plays could have been remembered as game-saving if the offense had managed any run support.
One of the few bright spots offensively for the Nittany Lions was Jordan Bowersox. Bowersox went 3-for-3 with a double, a walk, and two stolen bases. Goodnight also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a strikeout and a clutch hit in the ninth with two outs to keep Penn State’s dream alive for another batter.
With the loss Penn State’s losing streak increased to nine games in a row. They’ll finish the series with Ohio State in a doubleheader on Saturday. First pitch of game one is set for 2 p.m.
Tommy Butler is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.