Nittany Lions Split Maryland Doubleheader
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Penn State Nittany Lions (19-20, 2-15) defeated the Maryland Terrapins (22-22, 8-7) by a score of 10-7 after suffering a 6-4 defeat in the first game.
The Nittany Lions struggled to hit the ball consistently in game one, as they only recorded four total hits as a team. Although the pitching in game one was not a problem it also wasn’t clutch.
After Penn State battled back from 5-2 to cut the lead to 5-4, in the top of the ninth Maryland third baseman Taylor Wright crushed one to right field for a home run to make it a 6-4 lead. This was a lead that the Nittany Lions would not be able to come back from.
The biggest news from game one was the injury to Gavin Homer. In the eighth, Maryland first baseman Maxwell Costas drilled one to left that got down at the wall, but as Gavin Homer tried to catch it, he came crashing into to the wall. He remained down for a good amount of time as he appeared to be in some pain. He left the game and did not return and didn’t play in game two.
Afterward coach Rob Cooper gave an update on the Nittany Lion outfielder.
“I’m not sure if he’ll miss anytime” Cooper said, “He’s fine, he’s healthy, and we’ll deal with it from there.”
Game two on the other hand was a totally different story, as the Nittany Lions exploded for 13 hits and 10 runs in a game where pitching was a struggle for both sides.
“Our pitching has been good all year and I thought that all three of those guys scuffled today,” said Coach Cooper. “It was good to see our hitters help them out and come through.”
The hitters for Penn State did indeed come through, highlighted by the big-time game by shortstop Conlin Hughes. He finished the game 2-for-4 with an RBI.
“It feels pretty good, I do like winning,” Hughes said. “Anyway I can help with that I feel great about it”
Not only was the bat of Hughes crucial but so was his glove as well.
In the top of the ninth inning with one runner on, a ball was hit drifting towards foul territory when Hughes cam sprinting from his shorth stop position to make a sliding catch. A catch that very well may have saved the game for the Nittany Lions.
“That play was one of the best I’ve ever seen,” Cooper said. “That might be the ball game right there, for him making that play, getting our second out…he’s a grinder."
Another player who stepped up for Penn State was outfielder Derek Orndorff, who had to play for the injured Gavin Homer.
“When he got his opportunity today he just played and that shows you what kind of character Derek has,” Cooper said. “I’m happy for him, I really am…when we needed him he came up.”
Orndorff came into game two with only two at-bats for the entire season
“It feels really good to be able to get in there and help the team win,” Orndroff said. “A lot of it is just staying ready…just being ready to go whenever that is.”
The Nittany Lions will get the week off before taking on Rutgers next weekend in a three-game series.
Mitch Broder is a freshman majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. Contact him at email@example.com.