Penn State Gets Mid-Week Win Over Binghampton
UNIVERSITY PARK, PA- After a disappointing weekend to open Big Ten play, the Penn State Nittany Lions got back in the win column with a 5-3 victory over the Binghamton Bearcats in a back and forth non-conference affair.
Penn State starting pitcher Cole Bartels worked himself out of a huge jam in the first inning. After striking out leadoff hitter Daniel Franchi, Bartels walked Shane Marshall and gave up a double to designated hitter Andrew Eng. Right fielder Sean Trenholm then reached via the walk to load the bases.
Bartels, however, held strong, striking out the next two hitters to strand the bases loaded and keep the contest scoreless.
Bartels’ control issues resurfaced in the third inning. After Binghamton turned the lineup over, Bartels gave up a single to Franchi, followed by three walks, forcing in the first run of the evening and giving the visiting Bearcats a 1-0 lead.
This ended Bartels’ outing after just over two innings of work. Freshman left-hander Tyler Shingledecker inherited Bartels’ bases-loaded jam, managing to work out of it by retiring the next three hitters, two via the strikeout.
“I kind of had a calm mind during the game,” Shingledecker said. “I was just doing my thing, I was just pitching.”
The Penn State offense was kept relatively in check for the first four innings, only mustering three hits, two of which came off the bat of junior Connor Klemann.
“I didn’t think we swung the bat well early. I thought we gave away too many at-bats,” Penn State head coach Rob Cooper said.
The duo of Luke Dziados and Thomas Babalis were extremely effective for the Bearcats, each pitching two innings.
In the fifth, freshman right-hander Jack Collins entered in relief for Binghamton. This is where the Nittany Lions finally had their breakthrough.
Nine-hole hitter Conlin Hughes turned over the lineup with a one-out single and leadoff man Ryan Ford followed suit. Ford’s hit was booted by Trenholm out in right, putting two men in scoring position.
With two outs, Kris Kremer capitalized, singling up the middle and scoring both runs to put Penn State ahead, 2-1.
Shingledecker offered a great deal of length out of the bullpen for the Nittany Lions. The southpaw pitched nearly five innings, giving up only two hits and striking out seven.
After Shingledecker allowed a pair of baserunners in the seventh, he was removed in favor of sophomore right-hander Jared Freilich, who drew a quick double play ball off the bat of Trenholm to end the frame.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, a familiar face was involved as Penn State tacked onto its lead.
Hughes once again lead off the frame with his second single of the evening. He unconventionally reached third via a wild pitch and balk by Binghamton pitcher Ryan Bryggman. Hughes would come home to score on a sacrifice fly from center fielder Jordan Bowersox, extending the Nittany Lion advantage to 3-1.
Although, this lead was not to last. Five singles in the top of the eighth inning, including four straight with two outs, saw Binghamton tie the game at three.
Not to be outdone, Penn State came right back in the bottom half. After Parker Hendershot was hit by a pitch, Jacob Padilla followed it up with an infield single to third. A throwing error by the Bearcats’ Zac Taylor set the table for Klemann, who stayed hot and drove in both runners with a single up the middle, his third hit of the night.
"That’s a big-time [at bat]," Cooper said. "Back through the middle, letting his barrel work through the baseball… it’s nice."
Frelich closed the door in the ninth to secure the 5-3 win for the Nittany Lions.
“When we get guys going and everything, I think we’ll be really dangerous,” Cooper said.
Penn State improves to 14-6 on the season. The Nittany Lions will now travel to West Lafayette for a weekend series against the Purdue Boilermakers.
Andre Magaro is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.