It pays to have connections – After winning against the West Virginia Wolverines in their home territory, Monongalia County Park, both teams faced off at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Both teams happen to have alumni connections to PNC Park. Pittsburgh Pirates president, Frank Coonelly, is a Penn State alumnus while Bob Nutting is the Ogden Newspapers, the largest newspaper in the state of West Virginia, vice president and was on the university’s board of governors from 2008-16. Nutting also currently sits on the Reed College of Media’s visiting committee and his father, Ogden, was the general manager and remains the publisher of Ogden Newspapers, and he has received several honors and has served numerous roles at the university.
West Virginia started with an early lead of 3-0 starting in the second inning. The Mountaineers scored a run in the second, third and fourth inning. Penn State didn’t score their first run until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Ryan Sloniger brought Christian Helsel home from second base with an RBI-single. The Mountaineers quickly gained the three-point lead with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth. Penn State would score again in the eighth inning and loaded the bases but their efforts were not enough. Nick Riotto Willie Burger both hit back-to-back followed by a double down from Helsel to dig the team out of a 4-1 hole. West Virginia held onto their lead and took the 4-2 victory.
While the aimed crowd for the game was five thousand, only 2,475 fans attended. Penn State will continue their away streak as they head to Indiana for the first time since 2013. After playing a three game weekend series in Indiana, the Diamond Lions will return to Medlar Field at Lubrano Park to play their last set of home games of the 2017 season.