Hoosiers Fall at Penn State in Finale, Split Series
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Home runs No. 12 and 13 of the weekend were not enough for the Indiana baseball team to win on Sunday as the Hoosiers fell to Penn State, 7-3, at Beaver Field in State College, Pa. With the victory, the Nittany Lions salvaged a series split and both teams remained tied in the Big Ten race with a 12-12 record. IU is now 29-17 overall and Penn State's record rests at 20-23.
Penn State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first on the strength of a single and a pair of doubles.
Indiana recovered one of those runs in the top of the second when senior third baseman Vasili Spanos launched the Hoosiers' 12th home run of the weekend out of the park in left-center. The solo shot was Spanos' 11th of the season and third of the series with Penn State.
In the third, Penn State used a three-run homer from designated hitter Lance Thompson to extend its lead. Wes Roehr and Adam Warchal both singled to get on base and scored ahead of Thompson. After Mike DeRenzo became the fourth straight Nittany Lion to get a hit, sophomore Brian Lortz
came on to pitch for IU starter Austin Rhoads with no outs. Despite walking two batters, Lortz was able to get out of the inning without another run scoring. Lortzsetled in and did not give up a run over the next four innings.
IU cut into Penn State's lead in the top of the sixth with yet another home run. After senior leftfielder Mark Calkins singled up the middle, sophomore second baseman Corby Heckman belted his third dinger of the series and fourth of the season, making it 6-3.
Penn State tacked on another run in the eighth. With one out, the Nittany Lions hit three straight singles and Warchal scored on DeRenzo's single. The Hoosiers threw DeRenzo out as he tried move up to second for out number two and junior Ryan Donley made a diving catch in rightfield in the next at bat to end the inning.
Freshman Chris Hynes entered to pitch for IU in the bottom of the eighth and allowed three hits and one run while fanning one Nittany Lion batter. Rhoads took the loss for the Hoosiers, falling to 2-2 on the season. He scattered eight hits and allowed five earned runs in two innings. He struck out one and did not issue a walk.
Lortz pitched the middle five innings for the Hoosiers. The righthander gave up four hits and walked three while striking out three.
Penn State defeated Indiana on Friday, 15-12, and the Hoosiers swept Saturday's doubleheader, winning game one, 13-9, and taking the nightcap, 8-4.
Indiana will not play a midweek game this week due to final exams. The Hoosiers will return to action against archrival Purdue next weekend in Bloomington. The four-game series begins on Saturday, May 10, at 3 p.m. The two teams will engage in a doubleheader on Su day, May 11, beginning at 1 p.m. Monday's finale is set for a 1 p.m. start. All four contests will be played at Sembower Field on the IU campus.
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