Guers Helps Penn State Baseball Beat Bucknell; Sloniger Drives in a Run

Ryan Sloniger 3 PSU
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Five Penn State pitchers limited Bucknell to three hits and Greg Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) reached in all five plate appearances to lead the Nittany Lions to an 8-1 victory over the Bison in non-conference baseball action Wednesday evening at Medar Field in Lubrano Park.

(Photo courtesy of Penn State Athletics)

Penn State improved to 19-14 overall for its most wins since winning 29 in 2012 and its most under head coach Rob Cooper, who is in his third season at the helm of the Nittany Lions. Bucknell fell to 14-21.

Guers went 4-for-4, setting a new career high for hits, while adding a season-high four RBIs, two runs and a walk. Right fielder Nick Riotto (Washington, Pa.), the reigning Big Ten Player of the Week, extended his hitting streak to 10 games, going 2-for-4 with two runs and a walk. First baseman Tyler Kendall (Boynton Beach, Fla.) posted an identical stat line and shortstop Jim Haley (Upper Darby, Pa.) posted a similar one going 2-for-4 with a double, two runs and a hit by pitch. Designated hitter Willie Burger (Lancaster, Pa.) tallied an RBI in his first game back from injury since March 26, while second baseman Connor Klemann (Royersford, Pa.), third baseman Christian Helsel (Altoona, Pa.) and catcher Ryan Sloniger (Punxsutawney, Pa.) also tallied an RBI-each.

LHP Nick Hedge (Winnetka, Ill.) (4-1) started and earned the win in a planned short start, lowering his ERA to 2.10. He yielded just two hits over four innings while striking out two. RHP Dakota Forsyth (Bethel Park, Pa.), RHP Nick Distasio (Oley, Pa.) and RHP Tom Mullin (Springfield, Pa.) all worked a hitless and scoreless inning each.

Penn State took control of the game with a four-run third inning and three-run fourth inning. Riotto and Haley led the third off with base hits and both moved into scoring position for Guers, who singled through the right side to score both. A walk and hit-by-pitch loaded the bases and moved Guers to third, and he scored on an infield single by Helsel. Sloniger added sacrifice fly for a 4-0 advantage.

Riotto led the fourth off with a single and advanced to third on a wild pitch and fly out, allowing Guers to plate him again with a single to shallow center. Kendall followed with a single, and he and Guers executed a double steal to move into scoring position. Burger and Klemann followed with back-to-back singles for an RBI each.

Bucknell got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning with a sacrifice fly by Spencer Stokes.

Haley doubled to lead-off the eighth and scored on a Guers’ base knock for the final margin.

Starting RHP Christian Tailor (1-2) suffered the loss, allowing three runs on three hits a walk and two hit batsmen.

Penn State will return to Big Ten play this weekend, travelling to Evanston, Ill. to face Northwestern in a three-game series starting Friday at 4 p.m.Eastern Time.

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