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Monday Pepper Likes The Other End Of The Spectrum

The weekend before this past one was a brutal experience, softened slightly by everyone expecting it to be so.  Texas swept the Nittany Lions, and although there were some great individual performances against the Longhorns, the no-hitter put an end to the sweep and the team was forced to regroup.

And on that note the schedule couldn't have turned out to be any better.  While then #8 now #2* Texas went on to beat Texas State and take two of three on the road against nationally ranked Stanford, Penn State had a chance to break from the elite and earn some wins the old fashion way.

*Or #3 or #4, baseball is fun this way.

A three game weekend against (now) 2-11 Akron, 3-11 Lehigh, and 1-6 St. Joseph's was just what the doctor ordered.

3/7/09 - Penn State 10, Akron 4

For five innings on Friday domination was spelled M-A-C-Y.  Look at this statline:


His YTD stats?  An ERA of .90, BA against .145, and an SO/BB of 24 (!) / 7. 

Andrew Brown went an equal number of innings for Akron, but gave up eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits.

The first three batters; Lynd, Youngblood and Deese; combined for four hits on eight at bats, three walks, five runs and five RBIs.  Things are a lot easier when you get to the other teams early, and seven runs in the first two frames allowed Macy to get out of the game and some bench players to get extra work.

It was a good rebound from the no hitter and a sign of things to come for the offense over the weekend.

GoPSUsports | GoZips

3/8/09 - Penn State 15, Lehigh 5

This one got out of hand quickly.  Lehigh starter Ken Longernecker made it through just two innings, giving up five runs on five hits, SO/BB of 2/2.

"They hit the ball hard pretty much the whole game," Lehigh head coach Sean Leary said.

Yes, they did.  After Longernecker (can you imagine how many nick-names this guy has?) left the game, his relief pitchers didn't fair much better.  Penn State finished with 20 hits.

And while Macy is a turning into a legit Rocknrolla, Scott Kelley is becoming a very dependable pitcher himself.  He made it through seven innings and gave up just one earned run.  His overall BA against is down to .255.

But just to add: the errors are getting ri-gosh-darn-diculous (baseball is a family sport, people).  The team had three more in this one, although I guess scoring 15 is a good way to make that an irrelevant stat.  If they want to run this with this strategy I'm okay with it.

 GoPSUsports | lehighsports

3/8/09 - Penn State 8, St. Joseph's 7

 Another fun one: the team at one point trailed 6-1 after starter Mike Lorentson lost control in the third.  Tripped up by his own throwing error plus a hit batter, the offense found itself down but not out with six frames to go.  They hit themselves back into it, scoring two in the sixth and three in the third, and then regained their early lead with two clutch hits from slugger Mike Deese and previously struggling Wes Borden (he was previously batting .100 before going 3 for 4 on Sunday).

Lutz, who had come in in the 7th, got off to a rocky start and was further setback by (you guessed it) another error, but eventually got out of the inning and sealed the win.  Lutz's current BA against is a proud .108.  He has 9 SO and just 1 BB. | Collegian

The 10th Inning.

  • The three wins get the team back to .500 for the year.
  • Illinois went to #1 ranked LSU and took two of three over the weekend.  IBR likes the two wins but was left trying to figure out the 22-11 loss that separated the two.
  • Penn State will take on Florida Gulf Coast (8-5) during the week and then face Rutgers (4-5) for a four game set over the weekend.