Wright State takes game two from Nittany Lions
The Penn State baseball team took on the Wright State Raiders this afternoon at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. It was the middle game of a three game series, the first meeting between the two schools in each program's history.
Wright State took the first game of the series with a 7-4 extra inning win on Friday night.
Steven Hill got the start for the Nittany Lions, his seventh start of the season. Penn State lost their twelfth straight game Saturday, falling to the Raiders 6-2.
"We went through something similar last year, but we turned a corner in the series last year against Canisius, and if we get a win tomorrow we can build some confidence in some guys,” said Hill after the game.
Wright State’s bats were alive early, as Hill walked leadoff man Kieston Green, followed by consecutive RBI doubles by Kody Kritzman and Michael Timm.
Penn State’s offense responded in the second, as catcher Alex Farkes drove in James Coates on a two out RBI single to put the Nittany Lions on the board.
Hill’s struggles against the top of Wright State’s order continued in the third, as Michael Timm recorded his second RBI of the day on a groundout, and Kody Kritzman scored from third on a Taylor Skerpon error.
In the bottom of the fourth, Penn State threatened with runners on first and third with one out after a Luis Montesinos walk and an Aaron Novak single. They were not able to take advantage however, as Ryky Smith fouled out and Alex Farkes flew out to right field to leave two runners stranded.
It was the same story in the fifth, as Steve Snyder reached first on an infield single and Elliot Searer drew a walk with one out. JJ White followed, and he grounded out into a double play to leave two runners stranded for the second inning in a row.
“Offensively, we’re struggling no doubt about it,” said head coach Robbie Wine.
Steven Hill and the defense kept Penn State within striking distance however, as Wright State was held scoreless between the fourth and seventh innings. The defensive struggle ended in the eighth inning, when Justin Kopale batted Garrett Gray in on an infield single.
The next batter was Beau Phillips who grounded to the shortstop Skerpon. Skerpon was not able to get a handle on the ball however, which gave Wright State an unearned run. The error was one of Skerpon’s three on the day.
After the eighth inning, Hill was pulled as his record dropped to 1-5 on the season. Hill allowed 10 hits on four earned runs in eight innings pitched.
“You can’t get down on yourself or else you’ll go crazy you know, you just gotta be yourself and keep it as light as possible," Hill said about his numbers.
The Nittany Lions will look to end the 13 game losing streak at home tomorrow at noon in the final game of the series against Wright State. Greg Welsh will try to get his first win of the season as he will start on the mound.
Michael Katz is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.