Pitching paves the way: Penn State takes down Indiana 7-2

Story posted April 1, 2023 in CommRadio, Sports by Anthony Desher

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - In Saturday’s midday matinee, the Penn State Nittany Lions looked to continue their winning ways against an Indiana Hoosier team that has won nine straight games.

The last time Penn State was able to walk away victorious from a matchup with the Hoosiers was back in April 2019.

Coming into this game, the Nittany Lions were winless in Big Ten play, suffering a sweep in their last inter-conference series.

On a beautiful morning at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park, the Nittany Lions hoped to carry over the offensive performance they had against Pitt to their game against the surging Hoosiers.

Facing off against an extremely hot team can be challenging, especially when Indiana has outscored opponents 49-25 in its last five contests, but teams can’t stay hot forever and the Nittany Lions would hand them a 7-2 loss to open up the series.

Penn State had another impressive day at the plate, recording another game with double-digit hits. Several players had one or more hits, two of those players relying on the long ball, Tayen Kelley and Billy Gerlott.

Along with his solo home run, Gerlott tallied three hits in four at-bats. Kelley’s home run was also a solo shot, but the offense didn’t stop there.

Upperclassmen Grant Norris and Johnny Piacentino both went 1-for-4 picking up three RBIs between them. Junior Jay Harry also had an RBI of his own.

On the Hoosiers, Brock Tibbitts had himself a day despite the loss, going 4-for-4 with a double, a walk and two RBIs.

What really stood out was the pitching. Penn State only used two pitchers this outing, Jaden Henline and Travis Luensmann.

Henline was given the win after finishing the game with 5.0 IP, six hits, and two strikeouts. After the fifth inning, Head Coach Rob Cooper decided to put Travis Luensmann on the mound to help reserve some arms.

Luensmann hit two batters to start his appearance, but locked in and silenced the Hoosiers. In the course of four innings, he tallied a career-high 10 strikeouts.

Luensmann was on the mound for a save opportunity, and since he was the only pitcher after Henline, he was responsible for a 12-out save.

He did exactly that, blowing strike after strike past Hoosier batters. He finished the day with an impressive 4 IP, 10 K and only allowed two hits.

With Saturday’s win, the Nittany Lions improve to 14-8 on the season and keep up in the tight Big Ten race.

Penn State continues its home-field success getting its fifth win in five home games, and the team remains undefeated in their “We Are” uniforms.

The second half of the doubleheader was postponed due to weather conditions and moved to Sunday, April 2.

Anthony Desher is a second-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email acd5698@psu.edu.