Penn State Edges Michigan State 7-6
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State Nittany Lions defeated the Michigan State Spartans 7-6 Friday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
Michigan State kept the game close throughout its entirety despite Penn State’s offensive success.
Penn State dominated the game in several statistical categories. Most notably in doubles, walks and strikeouts.
The Nittany Lions took advantage of their opportunities offensively, accomplishing their statistics on 29 at bats and eight hits compared to 37 at bats and 10 hits for the Spartans.
Michigan State recorded one triple, but no doubles, whereas Penn State recorded five doubles, but no triples. Penn State found the soft spots in Michigan State’s defense, which gave it time to move quickly through the bases.
Another trend was that Michigan State had made mistakes in several instances, which created yet more obstacles for it.
Penn State was walked six times and struck out only four times compared to Michigan State’s two walks and nine strikeouts. Penn State was not flawless, but it got help from Michigan State.
The Spartans did not only give the Nittany Lions a base, three times as much as they received, but they also allowed two stolen bases. The Spartans did not have any stolen bases.
Head coach Rob Cooper explained that he believes his team did earn its victory and that it did enough offensively to win.
“We were really trying to see what the defense was giving us,” Cooper said. “You’re just trying to do what the defense gives you and what the game is telling you. Those guys did their job, they didn’t try to get too much.”
Both teams were mostly even in all other areas of play. Each team had only one error and in some situations, it was the slightest difference that gave the other squad the edge in the end.
Penn State had six RBIs and Michigan State had five. The Spartans had nine left on base while the Nittany Lions had seven. Nothing significant, but the statistics were close much like the final score.
“It’s something we preach,” Cooper said. “They score, we got to answer right back.”
Cooper explained that if Penn State scores, it needs to be a dominant inning as a whole in order to succeed and win.
Penn State improved to 10-18 overall this season while Michigan State fell to 12-18. This was the second win in a row for Penn State and the second loss in a row for Michigan State.
The all-time series record moved to 50-39 in favor of the Spartans with the Nittany Lions victory.
The two teams will meet again at Medlar Field on Saturday, May 1 for the second game of the three-game series between the Nittany Lions and Spartans.
Neil Conley is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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