Penn State Baseball vs. Northwestern Series Preview

Story posted April 7, 2022 in CommRadio, Sports by Austin Groft

After defeating in-state foe Bucknell, Penn State will head on the road for its  second straight road series in conference play against Northwestern.

Falling down early 5-3 in the first inning against the Bison, the Nittany Lions fought back without hesitation tying it up 5-5 after the second.

Freshman Anthony Steele made his first start as pitcher, but struggled giving up five runs off of two hits and two walks. Carson Kohls stepped up off the bench going a career high 3.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts.

Penn State’s offense displayed one of their best performances all season tallying a season high 16 hits and two walks. Jay Harry and Matt Wood led the team having three hits each combining for three RBI’s.

Wood sits at fourth in the Big Ten with a .409 batting average. In the last four games, he has had at least two hits.

As a team, Penn State had eight total players record a hit. C.J. Pittaro hit a single in the third that would send Josh Spiegel home to give Penn State the lead.

The Nittany Lions would score one more run in the fourth leading to a 7-6 victory over the Bison. Their record improves to 11-15 overall with their eyes set on another conference opponent.

Northwestern sits right in the middle of the pack with Penn State inside the Big Ten standings. This marks the Wildcats’ second conference series of the season.

While it is on the road, the Nittany Lions have already played in six conference games with one resulting in an upset victory over No. 23 Maryland. This was their first road win over a ranked opponent since 2017.

In Northwestern’s last Big Ten showdown, they overcame Indiana winning two of the three games. In the victories over the Hoosiers, they combined for a total of 20 runs.

Ethan O’Donnell was on fire in that series with nine hits and six RBI’s. Anthony Calarco stepped up in the final game of the series with two hits and three RBI’s leading to the seven-run victory.

The Wildcat’s relief pitching hasn’t been the best this season. In the first two games against Indiana, the first runs were not scored until beyond the seventh inning.

Starting pitchers Sean Sullivan and Michael Farinelli rank inside the top-20 in the Big Ten conference for ERA. Sullivan struck out 11 batters in six innings holding Indiana to zero runs in the first game.

Farinelli continued Northwestern’s starting pitcher domination, tossing 7.1 scoreless innings. Indiana scored all its runs in the final inning in this game.

The Wildcats are coming off a 13-3 win over UIC in nonconference play.

Penn State and Northwestern will play their first game of the series starting at 3:30 p.m. on Friday. Last year the two teams split the series 2-2.


Austin Groft is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, please email