Nittany Lions Defeat Wright State, Snap Long Losing Skid
After losing the first two games of the weekend series, Penn State (6-21, 0-6 Big Ten) jumped out to an early lead on Sunday afternoon and never looked back, defeating the Wright State Raiders (12-16, 4-5 Horizon League) 11-3 at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. The win snaps Penn State’s 13-game losing streak that dated back to early March.
Penn State wasted no time getting on the board, opening up a 3-0 lead in the bottom half of the 1st inning. After James Coates led off with an infield single, J.C. Coban plated the Nittany Lions first run with a bloop single to center field. J.J. White would follow with a double, and Luis Montesinos would bring Coban and White home with a bloop single to left field.
Wright State would get one run back in its half of the 2nd inning. Kody Krizman led off with a single and would eventually make it over to third base after a single from Cody Gardner. Penn State’s Aaron Novak attempted to throw Krizman out at third, but his throw was off target and the error allowed Krizman to advance home.
Penn State responded in the bottom half of the 2nd inning, as RBI singles from Elliot Searer and Coban would bring the Penn State lead to 5-1.
Head Coach Robbie Wine attributed the early outpouring of runs to the comfort level that he saw from his team before the game.
“They came in relaxed,” Wine said. “We showed up late and they didn’t take [batting practice]. They just came in with a great attitude.”
The early run support was all starter Greg Welsh would need on the mound. The lefty went eight strong innings, striking out eight and giving up only six hits. Despite the Raiders scoring two more runs later in the 5th inning, Welsh was able to orchestrate his way through the Wright State lineup and did not surrender an earned run.
“I had command of my slider and fastball the whole game,” he said. “I had good command and continued to mix it up to the hitters in different parts of the lineup.”
Penn State would add two more runs in the 5th inning, courtesy of a two-run double from Aaron Novak. They would stretch the lead to 10-3 in the 7th, following RBI singles from Tyler Kendall and James Coates.
Coates was solid in the leadoff spot today, notching two hits and a walk while scoring two runs. Wine, who had batted Coates in every spot this season except the leadoff spot, said he liked what he saw from the freshman.
“He did a good job up there,” he said. “He’s hit in every spot except the leadoff spot, so today I figured let’s let him lead off.”
Although it was his first time batting leadoff this season, Coates said nothing about his preparation changing leading up to the game.
“I’ve been leadoff most of my life, besides this year,” Coates said. “Nothing really changes, you just got to try to get on base and do your job.”
All nine of the Nittany Lions in the lineup recorded a hit in the game. Of those nine, five had multi-hit games.
Penn State will be home next week for two games, when they host Kent State on Tuesday night and Bucknell on Wednesday night. Next weekend, they will travel to Ann Arbor, Michigan for a three game series against conference foe Michigan.
Troy Weller is a senior majoring in Broadcast Journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.