Penn State returned home for a weekend of play against rival Ohio State after a close loss, 3-2, against Pitt on April 4.
Friday’s game was cancelled due to forecasted temperature and wind chill but that didn’t stop Penn State from bringing down the house on Ohio State as they gained their first Big Ten victory of the season, 6-2.
Christian Helsel and Braxton Giavedoni score Penn State’s first four runs of the game. The Nittany Lions became dominant in the second and third innings, with the trio of Helsel, Giavedoni and Ryan Sloniger highlighting both innings. Helsel and Giavedoni led the second inning with back-to-back singles, Sloniger followed with a sacrifice bunt. As players advanced, an errant throw gained them each an extra base, allowing Helsel to score. Joe Weisenseel brought Giavedoni home with a single and another walk loaded the bases. Buckeye pitcher, Yianni Pavlopoulos, was able to refrain the Lions from scoring. In the third, Helsel and Giavedoni repeated their back-to-back singles followed by a triple from Sloniger.
Ohio State wouldn’t score until the top of the fourth. Dominic Canzone scored both points for the Buckeyes. Penn State scored another two in the sixth after a scoreless fifth inning. Jordan Bowersox brought a man home and scored himself on a failed pickoff attempt. Penn State’s Sal Biasi pitched a season-high of 6 2/3 innings, striking out nine and only one unearned run on three hit and three walks.
Sunday the Lions suffered the loss of the series when the Buckeyes swept both games.
It looked as though Penn State had the first game in the bag, leading the game 2-1 from the third inning until the ninth but Ohio State gained momentum and score four runs at the top of the ninth. The Buckeyes were first to score in the second inning followed by two runs from the Nittany Lions in the third. A wild pitch allowed the first run to come in and Giavedoni would sacrifice a fly ball to bring another man home. Ohio State attempted to score in the seventh but Justin Hagenmann was able to hold them off. He would easily strike out the first two batters in the eighth, give up two men on base and gained the third strikeout. Eric Mock would take Hagenmann’s place on the mound in the ninth, suffering the loss. He allowed four runs on two hits and two walks with one strikeout. Ohio State won 5-2.
In the second game, Conlin Hughes led the Nittany Lions in the first inning with a home run. Ohio State bounced back with two runs in the second but Penn State would tie it up with an RBI from Alex Malinsky after a single from Giavedoni and double from Brett Davis. The scoring would end there for the Nittany Lions, the Buckeyes would go on to score three more in the sixth inning, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to take the win. Overall, Ohio State had nine hits total, taking advantage of four errors and nine walks, winning the game 11-2.
Penn State remains home and will battle Binghamton on Monday, April 10 followed by Bucknell on Tuesday, April 11.