Penn State Baseball Drops Opener to Maryland
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.- Penn State baseball fell to Maryland 5-2 on Friday night in the opening game of a weekend series.
Maryland was led by Hunter Parsons, who shined on the mound. Parsons went seven strong innings, giving up five hits, two earned runs, and struck out nine. Penn State countered with southpaw Dante Biasi, and he gave up three earned over six innings, while striking out 11.
“I though Dante gave us a quality effort,” head coach Rob Cooper said. “We have to do more offensively and do better defensively. But, it’s one game and our guys are going to come out tomorrow and we’ve got a chance to still win this series.”
Biasi didn’t have his best stuff, but knew it wasn’t his worst outing either.
“It wasn’t bad I guess,” Biasi said. “They had a couple of good hits, scored a couple of runs. It was not my best, not my worst, but we move onto next week and go from there.”
Penn State’s offense was mostly held in check by Maryland’s pitching, only producing six hits. No Nittany Lions had multiple hits, and Ryan Sloniger had the only RBIs, driving in two on an RBI double. Sloniger made some adjustments from his previous at-bat that helped to lead to that double.
“My AB before, when he had me at two strikes he threw me two front hip two seamers,” Sloniger said. “When it got to two strikes again, I was looking for that. He tried to throw it, and actually left it out over the plate and I put a good swing on it.”
AJ Lee led the way for Maryland with three hits. Lee also scored two runs and was a key cog for Maryland on Friday night. Sean Fisher and John Murphy followed Parsons in relief to shut down the Penn State offense.
For Penn State, Jared Freilich, Hutch Gagnon and Cole Bartels followed up Biasi in relief, combining to give up two runs, both of them surrendered by Freilich.
Parsons got the win, with Biasi getting the loss. The save was recorded by Murphy. It was yet another close loss for Penn State in Big Ten play, something that Cooper said is not weighing down his team.
“The biggest thing is you have to be around us every single day to understand what these guys have gone through,” Cooper said. “What they’ve committed to, how hard they’ve worked.” Adding, “this is one of the most mentally tough groups I’ve had.”
Penn State returns to action Saturday at 2:00 for game one of a doubleheader with Maryland.
Jake Starr is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism, to contact him email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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