Series Preview: Penn State Baseball vs. Michigan State/Purdue
It’s a big weekend coming up for Penn State baseball as the Nittany Lions look to capitalize off their first series win since 2018.
The Nittany Lions won the first two games of last weekend’s series against Rutgers with a 1-0 shutout of the Scarlet Knights in the first game, Justin Williams’ homer being the game’s only run. Game 2 saw a little more offense with five runs crossing the plate and Conor Larkin pitching a gem in the win.
In Game 3, the Nittany Lions had a chance at the sweep and for a good portion of the game, and it seemed as though they could pull it off. The Nittany Lions led 4-0 until the bottom of the eighth inning when the Scarlet Knights rallied for six runs. That included a grand slam by cleanup hitter Jordan Sweeney to give the Scarlet Knights a 6-4 win.
Even with the Game 3 loss, the series was a successful one for Penn State, and the Nittany Lions will look to continue that success this weekend. They’ll travel to East Lansing to play two different teams, each in a two-game series.
First, they will face Michigan State for the first time this year. The Spartans come into the matchup sitting at 9-9 on the year and fresh off a series win against Minnesota. All three games were decided by three runs or fewer with Game 1 being the closest win the team had in the series. The Spartans won the game as they scored a run in both the eighth and ninth innings to take the lead.
Game 2 could’ve easily gone the Spartans way, but the Golden Gophers scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. The rubber match of the series saw a majority of the Spartans runs come late; they scored 10 straight runs after being down 7-0 in the sixth inning to win the series.
After those two games are over, the Nittany Lions will stay in East Lansing to play against the Purdue Boilermakers. The two-game series will start immediately after the second Michigan State game and will be the first action for the Boilermakers in the three-team pod.
The Boilermakers come into this game as one of two teams behind Penn State in the Big Ten standings. They have a 4-13 record on the year and are coming off a series loss against Iowa at home. The first game would require extra innings as the Hawkeyes scored two in the extra frame on a two-RBI single from Brett McCleary, giving Iowa the 4-2 win.
Purdue would bounce back in Game 2 in a game that saw much more offense. A six-run sixth inning would be enough for the Boilermakers to get the 10-8 win and set up the rubber match. Iowa would win that one late, however, with seven runs in the eighth inning, none via the home run.
This Penn State team has started to figure it out over these past couple series and can really put it together with a good performance in the three-team pod.
Logan Bourandas is a sophomore majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Contributors
Third-Year / Broadcast Journalism