It was just a story of too little too late for Indiana in their 5-2 loss to resilient Penn State at Bart Kaufman Field on Friday night. The Hoosiers couldn’t find any answers to Penn State’s pitching at the plate and the Nittany Lions had answers for any little momentum Indiana might have found along the way.
Despite being the heavy favorite coming in to the matchup with Penn State, the Hoosiers looked like the inferior team all night.
Penn State started things off in the third inning when Logan Goodnight scored on a Jonathan Stiever balk after tripling to right center. Conlin Hughes followed that with a solo home run and gave the Nittany Lions an early 2-0 advantage.
Indiana seemingly started to put the pieces together in the fourth both offensively and defensively. Right fielder Logan Sowers ended Penn State’s opportunity to score, completing the double play by throwing out Nick Riotto at first after a Ryan Sloniger fly out. The Hoosiers’ offense responded as Ryan Fineman brought them within a run by singling to right field and bringing home Craig Dedelow. However, Jeremy Houston grounded out to third and left two runners on base to end the inning and Indiana’s opportunity to tie it up.
In the fifth, Penn State distanced themselves a little more when Brett Davis hit a solo home run off of Stiever and gave the Nittany Lions a 3-1 lead.
From there, it became a pitcher’s dual between Stiever and Sal Biasi as each team went scoreless until the eighth inning. In the eighth, it seemed like another prime opportunity for Indiana to get their act together. After Kade Kryzsko replaced Stiever and retired the side, Indiana was able to tack on another run. Matt Lloyd doubled to left center and was subsequently brought home by Luke Miller, who singled up the middle. However, Indiana failed to tie it up once again as, the Hoosiers’ next three batters were sat down by Taylor Lehman and Nick Distario.
In the top of the ninth, Penn State stuck with the story of the game of the Nittany Lions having answers for anything Indiana threw at them. Christian Helsel’s double to left center brought home Riotto and Helsel found his way home after Davis’ rope to right field to secure the 5-2 win.
Despite their struggles at the plate, Indiana did get a nice start from Stiever who went seven innings, giving up six hits, three runs and recording seven strikeouts. However, Penn State’s Biasi was just a little better, going seven innings of his own, while giving up only four hits, one run and recording six strikeouts.
Indiana (27-19-2) will look to bounce back tomorrow night and get revenge on Penn State (16-33) tomorrow at 2:05 PM at Bart Kaufman Field.