PSU Baseball at Rutgers This Weekend; Softball at Iowa

GregGuersPSU
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Winners of its last four conference games, Penn State will open a three-game Big Ten baseball series at Rutgers Friday at 2 p.m.

The opening game was originally scheduled for 3 p.m., but was moved up due to the threat of inclement weather.

Essentials

Live Video: BTN Plus

Live Audio: GoPSUsports.com

Live Stats: GoPSUsports.com

TV: N/A

Radio: ESPN Radio 1450 AM (Brian Tripp/Ryan Stevens)

Series History: 40-27 (1939)

Last Series: 3-0(W, 8-1; W, 12-10; W, 8-5) 5/1-3/15)

Streak: W1

Friday Probables

PSU LHP Taylor Lehman (1-6, 4.58 ERA)

RU LHP Howie Brey (4-3, 2.98 ERA)

Saturday Probables

PSU RHP Sal Biasi (4-4. 3.64 ERA)

RU RHP John O’Reilly (0-3, 5.09 ERA)

Sunday Probables

PSU RHP Justin Hagenman (5-1, 2.48 ERA)

RU TBA

Guers Named NCBWA National Hitter of the Week

One of the hottest hitters in the country, Guers batted .765 for the week, making just four outs in four games going 13-for-17 with eight RBIs, a home run, two doubles and five stolen bases. He also added two walks for a .789 on-base percentage. Burger returned from injury to bat .467 (7-for-15) with a home run and five RBIs for the week in his first action since March 26.

Guers, Burger Draw Weekly Big Ten Baseball Accolades

Greg Guers and Willie Burger were both recognized for outstanding performances at the plate for Penn State, as Guers became the third different Nittany Lion to be named the Big Ten Baseball Player of the Week this season and Burger earned his second freshman accolade. The five weekly Big Ten accolades this season are the most for the Nittany Lions since they earned seven in 2007.

Guers Heating Up

Guers was batting just .189 through his first 24 games dating to the April 1 game against Purdue, but he has hit at a .482 clip over the last 13 to raise his season average 126 points to .315. He has posted hits in 12 of the last 13 games, including nine multi-hit games, and is on a seven-game hitting streak, of which the first six were multi-hit games. For his last seven, he is batting .600 with five extra base hits and 11 RBIs.

Diamond Lions Improving

At 23-15, Penn State owns its best record through 36 games since 2011. Penn State’s 22 wins are its most since winning 29 in 2012. The most noticeable gain has been in pitching, as the Lions’ 3.30 team ERA is almost two runs lower than last season’s and ranks 29th nationally and fifth in the Big Ten entering the weekend. Penn State is also 6-3 in one run games after going just 1-7 in games decided by one run last year, and already has more wins away from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park than it did all of last season.

Anderson One Save Shy of Record

Senior closer Jack Anderson earned his Big Ten-leading ninth save of the season Tuesday against Bucknell, which was also his 21st career save. He needs just one more to tie Penn State’s record of 22.

Return to the Road

Penn State is in the midst of a stretch in which seven of eight games are on the road.

Penn State has started the stretch 4-1 and is 7-9 in road games this season.

The sweep of Northwestern was Penn State’s first since 2004.

Following this weekend’s series at Rutgers, Penn State will open a seven-game homestand with Kent State.

Dealing on the Mound

Penn State enters the weekend with a 3.30 team ERA, which ranks 29th in the country and fifth in the Big Ten.

Justin Hagenman (2.48) leads the rotation and ranks ninth in the Big Ten in ERA.

Getting Offensive

Since getting one hit in the second game of its series at Illinois, Penn State is batting .310 as a team over the last 17 games to raise its season average to .270 and post a 14-3 record.

The Nittany Lions batted just .235 in the first 21 games of the season, going 9-12
In the month of April, Penn State is batting .324 with double digit hits in all but three of the 14 games played so far.

The Lions are batting .346 over their last seven games with double-digit hits in each.

PENN STATE TRAVELS TO IOWA FOR FINAL ROAD SERIES OF 2016

The Penn State softball team will travel for the final time in the 2016 regular season when it heads to Iowa City, Iowa for a three-game Big Ten Conference series with the Hawkeyes, Apr. 22-24. First pitch of game one is slated for 7 p.m. ET Friday, Apr. 22. Game two of the series is set for 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Apr. 23 and the two team’s will close out the series Sunday, Apr. 24 at 2 p.m. ET.

SERIES HISTORY WITH THE HAWKEYES

In the history of the two squads, Iowa holds the 20-game advantage over Penn State with a 39-19 all-time record since the two teams first met up in the 1992 season. The Nittany Lions and the Hawkeyes last met up in the 2013 campaign with PSU earning the series victory with two wins before being shut out 5-0 in game three. Prior to 2013, Penn State and Iowa split the 2011 series with each team earning one win.

The last time the two teams met on the field the current Penn State senior class were freshman with Reina Furuya,Macy Jones and Lexi Knief making starts in all three contests. Knief paced the then-freshman with three hits in the series with one in game one and a multi-hit game in game two, while both Jones and Furuya tallied hits in game one of the series against the Hawkeyes.

SCOUTING IOWA

The Hawkeyes have struggled this season with a 12-27 overall record and a 2-11 record in conference play. However, Iowa recently took one game over Wisconsin, who ranks sixth in the Big Ten Conference standings.

As a team, Iowa is hitting .256 with two players batting .300 or better, including redshirt-senior Holly Hoffman who has a team-high .343 batting average with 34 hits and a .586 slugging percentage. Starting first baseman and two-hitter Kaitlyn Mullarkey leads the Hawkeyes with 35 hits, 29 RBI and eight home runs with a .617 slugging percentage and a .443 on-base percentage. Mullarkey also has speed on the base path, swiping a team-high 12 bases on 14 attempts. Angela Schmiederer has also driven in over 20 runs for the Hawkeyes with 23 in the five spot, while Sammy Gyerman and Hoffman have brought in 22 runs apiece.

Opposing teams are batting .287 against the Hawkeye pitching staff with its two starters posting 3.74 and 5.16 ERA’s. Junior Elizabeth Wiegand has made a team-high 23 appearances with 18 starts and carries a 3.74 ERA, while Shayla Starkenburg has made 22 appearances with 11 starts and a 5.16 ERA. Wiegand has tossed a team-high 106.2 innings with 64 strikeouts and has given up 57 eanred runs in nine complete game for Iowa.

BEST CONFERENCE START IN PROGRAM HISTORY

Penn State softball is off to its best start in conference action in the history of the program with an 11-3 record and tying for second overall in the highly competitive Big Ten Conference. The Nittany Lions have won five of its last six games in B1G action, including its most recent sweep of the Terrapins of Maryland. The Blue and White has won four of its five conference series, falling twice to Ohio State to drop the mid-week doubleheader series against the Buckyes. Despite its loss against Indiana, the Nittany Lions still picked up the series win taking the first two games against the Hoosiers.

THREE B1G SWEEPS IN 2016

In its first five conference series, Penn State has won three by way of the sweep. The Nittany Lions kicked off the 2016 Big Ten Conference season with a sweep of Rutgers on the road and followed it up with a home sweep of Michigan State. After falling twice at Ohio State and earning the series win at Indiana, Penn State returned to Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field to sweep Maryland in front of record breaking crowds.

Furthermore, the sweep of UMD is just the first time in program history that the Blue and White has swept three three-game series in Big Ten Conference play. Finally, the last time that Penn State swept three conference series was in the 2006 campaign when the Nittany Lions earned three sweeps in two-game conference series.

NITTANY LIONS SECURE 10 CONFERENCE WINS

For just the eighth time in program history, Penn State has secured at least 10 wins in Big Ten Conference play. The 2016 Blue and White squad reached its 10 victories in fewer games than any other team as it took just 13 conference contests. The 2002 Nittany Lions reached the 10-win mark in 15 games which was the fewest amount of games prior to the 2016 campaign.

GOING FOR FIVE SERIES VICTORIES

Penn State is in search of its fifth series victory of the 2016 season, which would mark the first time in the history of the program that the Nittany Lions have won five Big Ten Conference series in a season.

The Nittany Lions have earned four Big Ten Conference series victories in one season just one time since the Big Ten adopted the three-game format and three times overall since the Nittany Lions joined the league in 1991. Last season, Penn State took four conference victories with at least two wins against Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State and Rutgers. However, the Blue and White swept only two series in the 2015 campaign.

11 B1G WINS RANKS THIRD ALL-TIME FOR NITTANY LIONS

Penn State’s 11 Big Ten Conference wins ranks third all-time in program history as the most B1G wins in a single season. The 1999 team secured 15 wins to rank first, while the 2000 team followed it up with 12 conference wins. The 2016 Nittany Lions are 11-3 in conference action and still have nine games left in the season.

TOP FIVE INDIVIDUALS IN CONFERENCE PLAY

Seniors Lexi Knief and Macy Jones are amongst the best in the Big Ten Conference when it comes to league games.

Knief currently has the hottest bat in the Big Ten Conference action as she is batting a conference-best .520 through the first 14 games of league play. Knief leads the B1G in batting average (.520), hits (26), doubles (7) and total bases (37), while tying for third in triples (2), and fourth in runs scored (19). The senior outfielder is hitting .369 overall on the season with 45 hits and 23 RBI batting in the five-spot for the Blue and White. Knief has tallied 15 multi-hit games and six multi-RBI games in the 2016 season.

Jones ranks third in the Big Ten in league games with a .476 batting average, while being the hardest batter in the B1G to get out with a league-best .639 on-base percentage. Jones also leads the Big Ten in walks (18), ties for first in runs scored (21), ties for third in home runs (5) and stolen bases (5), ranks seventh in hits (20), ties for seventh in RBI (15) and ties for eighth in doubles (4). Jones leads the Nittany Lions with a .409 batting average, tallying 52 hits and 35 RBI on the season while carrying a .748 slugging percentage and a .525 on-base percentage.

THREE DRIVING IN 30 RBI

As a team, Penn State softball has driven in 218 RBI this year with Macy Jones, Shelby Miller and Alyssa VanDerveeraccounting for half of the team’s RBI with 108 combined. The three’s total combined with Lexi Knief, who has driven in 23 RBI of her own accounts for 60 percent of Penn State’s RBI on the season making them a dangerous combination in the top half of the order. Recently, head coach Amanda Lehotak moved Knief to the two spot putting Penn State’s top four hitters in order and the first four batters the opposing team faces.

VanDerveer has driven in a team-best 40 runs hitting clean up which ranks 10th in the Big Ten Conference. Jones is just five RBI behind VanDerveer with 35 in the lead off spot of the lineup, while Miller has brought in 33 runs on the season for the Blue and White in the three-hole.

PSU SWEEPS UMD IN FRONT OF RECORD CROWDS

For the first time in Penn State softball history, the Nittany Lions soldout Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field Saturday, Apr. 16 with attendance coming in at 1,146 in their 4-0 shutout of the Terrapins. The Blue and White followed it up with its second-straight sellout Sunday, Apr. 17, this time securing its third Big Ten Conference sweep with a 5-3 victory in front of 1,101 fans.

GOOD CONTINUES TO BE CLUTCH IN PINCH HITTING ROLE

Senior Shannon Good was called upon yet again as a pinch hitter for the eighth time this season. The senior came up huge for the Blue and White with bases juiced as she laced a single up the middle to bring in the game-winning run and allow Penn State to earn the 5-3 sweep victory over Maryland.

ON DECK

Penn State returns to Nittany Lion Softball Park and Beard Field for the remainder of the 2016 camapign, starting with a mid-week doubleheader against non-conference in-state foe Saint Francis. The Nittany Lions and the Red Flash meet on the field Wednesday, Apr. 27 with game one scheduled to start at 6 p.m.


Copyright © 2021 EYT Media Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Any copying, redistribution or retransmission of the contents of this service without the express written consent of EYT Media Group, Inc. is expressly prohibited.

Comments are temporarily closed. A new and improved comments section will be added soon.