IU Falls in Slugfest at Penn State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - To say that the wind was blowing out Friday afternoon at Beaver Field in State College, Pa., is an understatement. In a game that saw nine home runs leave the park (5 for PSU, 4 for IU), the Indiana baseball team fell to Penn State, 15-12. Through one game of the four-game series, the Nittany Lions broke the fourth-place tie with Indiana and improved to 11-10 in Big Ten play and 19-21 overall. The Hoosiers are 27-16 overall and 10-11 in league games.
Though Penn State would score first, the Hoosiers wouldn't take long to respond. The Nittany Lions plated a run in the bottom of the first. Senior Adam Warchal hit a two-out single, moved to second on a wild pitch and then scored on designated hitter Lance Thompson's base hit to shallow center field.
Senior third baseman Vasili Spanos led off the top of the second for Indiana with a single to center field. Junior first baseman Kevin Mahar reached on a fielder's choice as Spanos was called out at second. Senior designated hitter Nick Evans hit a chopper up the middle to put runners on first and second. That brought junior shortstop Seth Bynum to the plate.
Bynum blasted his fifth home run of the season over the wall in left, giving IU a 3-1 advantage.
After holding the Nittany Lions, the Hoosiers put two more runs on the scoreboard in their next trip to the plate. Senior rightfielder Kenny Marrs started things off with a single through the left side and senior leftfielder Mark Calkins drew a walk. Marrs then scored on sophomore second baseman Corby Heckman's base hit to left. Spanos reached base on a fielder's choice that saw Heckman out at second base and moved Calkikns up to third. Mahar walked to load the bases and Evans plated Calkins with a sacrifice fly to left.
Penn State used four runs to tie the game bottom of the frame. Warchal collected his second hit of the game and drove in centerfielder Zack Smithlin, who had hit a leadoff single. Thompson then followed with a single before senior second baseman Mike DeRenzo nailed a three-run homer to left. That shot tied the game at five runs apiece and freshman Chris Hynes replaced IU starter Jacob Cary.
The Nittany Lions continued their offensive surge in the fourth inning with four more runs to take a 9-5 lead. Third baseman Mike Milliron reached base on balls to start the frame and Smithlin followed with a double to the wall in center field. Milliron scored from third in the next bat freshman rightfielder Derrick Barr lined a hard hit ball back at the pitcher.
Then Warchal stepped up and collected his third hit of the game, a three-run homer to right. Smithlin and Barr scored ahead of Warchal.
The Hoosiers got one run back in the top of five, courtesy of a long ball by Spanos. The home run was his ninth of the season and his sixth in Big Ten play.
PSU added its 10th run of the game in the fifth as Milliron came home on Barr's single to left-center field.
In the sixth, DeRenzo launched his second homer of the game out of the yard in right to make it 11-6, Penn State.
The Cream and Crimson rallied back in the seventh with six runs on the strength of two more home runs. Heckman led off with a double to deep left and then crossed home plate on Spanos' single to left. Penn State then brought in freshman Sean Stidfole to replace starter Clayton Hamilton. After Mahar walked, Spanos scored on Evans' base hit to left. Evans and Mahar both advanced on a wild pitch and then Mahar scored on an errant throw to third by the PSU catcher. Bynum then launched his second long ball of the game and sixth of the season to pull the Hoosiers within, 12-11. Redshirt freshman Ryan Parker was inserted to pinch hit and promptly blasted the first homer of his IU career out of the yard in left center.
But Penn State wasn't finished. Smithlin led off with a triple and scored a ground out to tie the game. In the next two at bats, the Nittany Lions got solo home runs from Wes Roehr and Warchal. Senior Ryan Smith came in to finish the game on the mound.
Penn State was able to score one more run in the eight for the 15-12 final score. Indiana got two runners on in the top of the ninth, but was unable to muster a run.
PSU's 19 hits are the most given up by an IU team this season and the most since May 24, 2002, when they allowed 19 to Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament.
Bynum went 3-for-4 at the plate, scored two runs and registered career-best five RBI. His two home runs tie the IU record for long balls in a Big Ten game. Spanos also had three hits, scored two runs and drove in two more. Mahar, Evans and Heckman all had a pair of hits.
Clint Eury worked the final 2.2 innings for PSU to pick up the win, his third of the season. Eury allowed just one hit and walked two while striking out three. Hynes took the loss for Indiana, slipping to 2-2. He pitched three innings, gave up seven hits and five runs while walking just one and fanning two batters.
The Hoosiers and the Nittany Lions continue their series on Saturday with a doubleheader. The first pitch of game one is set for Noon (EST). The live radio broadcast can be accessed on Penn State's web site at www.gopsusports.com beginning at 2 p.m.
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