College Baseball Roundup: PSU Holds Off Rutgers; Pitt Sweeps Miami (Ohio)

Tyler Kendall PSU
PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Penn State scored four runs in the seventh inning and nearly had twice as many hits for the game, but Rutgers was able to weather the Nittany Lions rally to regain the lead and win, 6-4, in Big Ten baseball action Saturday afternoon at Bainton Field.

Penn State (23-17, 8-6 Big Ten) rallied from a 4-0 deficit in the top of the seventh to tie the game, scoring all four runs with two outs, but Rutgers 20-19 (5-6 Big Ten) went back ahead in the bottom half on a two-RBI double by freshman pinch-hitter Mike Martinez.

The Nittany Lions outhit the Scarlet Knights, 11-6, but stranded 12 base runners to Rutgers’ seven and walked seven to Rutgers’ four. Designated hitter Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) second baseman Connor Klemann (Royersford, Pa.) and centerfielder Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) all had two-hit games for Penn State, with Kendall driving in the first two runs of the seventh, Klemann walking three times to reach in all five plate appearances and Bowersox doubling to lead off the seventh.

To lead Rutgers, left fielder Mike Carter played well defensively and went 2-for-4 with two runs, while right fielder Tom Marcinczyk reached three times with a two-RBI double and two runs scored.

Rutgers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning on a pair of doubles. Marcinczyk hit a ground-rule double in a 3-0 count to dead center to drive in two runs, and centerfielder Jawuan Harris followed with a double to the left gap to plate him.

The Nittany Lions appeared poised to at least reduce the disadvantage in the top of the second inning, loading the bases with one out, but a double play ended the inning. Four walks and an error on a stolen base attempt allowed Rutgers to extend its lead to 4-0 in the fifth.

The Lions came through though the next time the bases were loaded in the seventh. Kendall battled back from a 0-2 count and singled to left to drive in two runs. First baseman Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) followed with a double to the right corner to drive in one more, and an error on the throw home on the play allowed Kendall to score from third.

However, Rutgers was able to regain the lead with two runs in the bottom half. RHP Jack Anderson (Evanston, Ill.) took the mound with two runners on and one out and was able to strike out one, but Martinez battled with two strikes and hit a ground-rule double to left to score both.

RHP Dakota Forsyth (1-2) suffered the loss, working 1 2/3 innings and allowing a hit and three walks while being charged with the two go-ahead runs. RHP Sal Biasi worked the first 4 2/3 innings for Penn State, allowing four runs on three hits and four walks with three strikeouts.

RHP Ryan Fleming (2-0) earned the win in relief, getting Rutgers out of the seventh and pitching through the eighth inning, surrendering only a single and a walk. RHP Max Herman picked up the save in a scoreless ninth. RHP John O’Reilly started and went 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks with six strikeouts.

Penn State and Rutgers will conclude the series Sunday afternoon starting at 1 p.m.


PITTSBURGH – The University of Pittsburgh baseball team swept the series-opening doubleheader against Miami (OH) Saturday afternoon at Charles L. Cost Field.

Behind junior right-hander T.J. Zeuch, the Panthers defeated the RedHawks 5-0 in game one and took down Miami 4-3 in game two with another solid pitching performance from Aaron Sandefur.

Topping out at 97 MPH, Zeuch didn’t allow a run over his eight innings of work, striking out nine, scattering just four hits and not surrendering a walk. After a bumpy first inning, Zeuch settled in, retiring the side in order in the second inning.

After being held scoreless through the opening two frames, Pitt got on the board in the third, when centerfielder Aaron Schnurbusch led off the inning with a double.

After a bunt single by Matt Johnson, Jacob Wright grounded out to second, scoring Schnurbusch in the process.

Zeuch worked around a hit in the third inning, before running into a bit of trouble in the fourth, when Miami advanced Ross Haffey into scoring position with two outs.

The next batter, Tyler Harris singled up the middle, and Schnurbusch was able to throw Haffey out at the plate.

The single by Harris was the final hit Zeuch would allow on the afternoon. In the fifth, the righty was able to work around an error to record another scoreless frame.

At the plate, Pitt was able to string together some clutch hits, especially in the sixth and seventh innings.

The Panthers offense went back to work in the sixth inning, when Wright singled to open up the inning. After a fielder’s choice, LeBlanc singled to set up first and second for Alex Kowalczyk.

After Maldonado was picked off at second base, Kowalczyk and Yanni contributed back-to-back doubles, scoring a pair of runs in the process.

In the bottom half of the seventh, the Panthers recorded back-to-back singles and a pair of stolen bases to set up runners on second and third with nobody out.

After the RedHawks recorded a strikeout, the Panthers plated a run on a wild pitch. Pitt recorded their fifth and final run of the afternoon, on a Jacob Wright sacrifice-fly.

In the ninth, Pitt summoned reliever to record the final three outs of the ballgame. Jextin Pugh allowed a leadoff single, but quickly erased the runner on a double-play. The third and final out of the ball game was recorded on a beautiful catch in foul territory by Frank Maldonado.

In the end, Zeuch retired 11 out of the last 12 batters he faced, with the lone exception coming on a throwing error by Johnson.

Zeuch improves to 5-0 on the year in six appearances. The eight scoreless innings lowed the juniors ERA to 2.63 on the season.

Schnurbusch went 2-of-2 on the afternoon with a pair of runs scored and a walk while Wright went 1-of-3 with two RBIs.

In the second game of the doubleheader, Pitt started off quickly, scoring a pair of runs in the first frame to jump out to the early lead.

After Wright tripled off the very top of the wall, Charles Leblanc doubled him home, giving the Panthers an early 1-0 advantage. Alex Kowalczyk was hit by pitch, setting up runners on first and second with just one out. The next batter David Yanni hit a ground ball to the shortstop, Chad Sedio, who stepped on second to force out Kowalczyk, but his throw to first base was errant, allowing LeBlanc to score the Panthers’ second run of the game.

Senior Aaron Sandefur retired the first four batters on the afternoon, before walking Steve Sada. After the walk, Harris sent a one-out 2-1 pitch deep over the right field wall, giving Miami a 3-2 lead.

Neither team was able to produce a run until the top half of the fourth, when Miami took its first lead of the game.

Haffey led off the top of the fourth with a single to right field. He then advanced to second on a passed ball, moving to third on a fly out. Haffey would score the third and final Miami run of the afternoon on a Sada single.

The Panthers reclaimed the lead in the sixth as Schnurbusch reached base on a walk, chasing the Miami starter. Another walk to Manny Pazos would put a pair on and a triple from Leblanc would clear the bases and give Pitt the 4-3 lead, which they would maintain for the remainder of the day.

In game two, Sandefur claimed the win, moving to 3-3 on the year. Yaya Chentouf earned the save, his fourth of the season. Sandefur went 6.0 innings, allowing just two earned runs off of three hits and two walks, fanning six.

Offensively, Leblanc went 2-of-5 with a run scored and three RBIs while Wright, Yarnall and Maldonado each posted two-hit performances.

With the wins, Pitt improves to 20-14-0 on the season and can earn its second sweep of the season with a victory in the finale. Game three is set for 1 p.m. Sunday at Charles L. Cost Field.

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