Penn State baseball upsets Iowa, captures first Big Ten Tournament win since 2008

Story posted May 26, 2022 in Sports, CommRadio by Alex Rocco

For the first time since 2012, No. 6 Penn State appeared in the Big Ten tournament, and it had a tough challenge facing No. 3 Iowa on Thursday morning.

The Nittany Lions continued to make history during the 2022 campaign capturing a 5-2 victory over the Hawkeyes for their first win in the tournament since 2008.

The blue and white struggled to end its season, losing its last five contests, while Iowa swept Indiana, scoring 44 runs across the three-game series.

Ace Adam Mazur was starting on the mound for the Hawkeyes, who struck out two Nittany Lions to begin the game.

Tyler Shingledecker got the start for Penn State, and it was just his fourth this year. Shingledecker made quick work of the Hawkeyes in the first inning, striking out two batters.

After a scoreless second inning, the Nittany Lions loaded the bases in the third for designated hitter Anthony Steele, and he delivered with a two-run single.

In the bottom of the inning, Iowa cut the deficit to one after a sacrifice fly from Kyle Huckstorf. The next two innings proved to be a pitcher's duel, with both teams struggling to generate any offense.

Iowa coach Rick Heller decided to go to his bullpen to begin the sixth, ending the day for Mazur.

Mazur entered the game with a 7-2 record and a 3.05 ERA, pitched well, striking out eight and surrendering two runs over five innings.

Coming in for Mazur was Duncan Davitt, and after recording the first two outs of the inning, he allowed two players to reach base, bringing up catcher Matt Wood.

Wood was the conference batting champion and was the first Penn Stater named to the first-team All-Big Ten since 2012.

The star catcher came through in a major way for the blue and white, blasting a three-run home run to deep right field, giving Penn State a 5-1 lead.

Shingledecker continued his domination in the bottom of the inning, getting the first two hitters out before allowing a walk that ended his afternoon.

Coach Rob Cooper called on Travis Luensmann to help close out the contest, but Iowa scored a run after an error from the third baseman Kyle Hannon.

The Nittany Lions threatened to extend their lead in the seventh, having runners on the corners, but Davitt recorded three straight strikeouts to end the frame.

Once again, Penn State had an opportunity to add to its lead by loading the bases in the eighth, but it failed to capitalize.

Despite stranding five runners over the final three innings, the blue and white came away with a 5-2 victory.

Shingledecker and Luensmann were excellent all game long, as they struck out 15 hitters and allowed just two hits.

Shingledecker was masterful, throwing a career-high five and two-thirds innings and striking out eight Hawkeyes, including four straight between the fifth and sixth innings. The Huntersville, North Carolina, native allowed just one hit in his first start since May 8.

Luensmann was one of Penn State’s best strikeout pitchers during the regular season, tallying 71 in 64 and one-third innings. He struck out seven, including the side in the eighth inning, and allowed just one hit.

The Nittany Lions' quest for a title lives for another day as they will either take on Rutgers or Purdue on Friday at 6 p.m.

Alex Rocco is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email afr5646@psu.edu.