The Penn State baseball team’s offense went cold with the temperature yesterday.
A snow delay, a cancellation and another lost series led to a disappointing weekend for the Nittany Lions (5-11). They dropped both games in a double header against Temple (6-9), 4-2 in the first match up and 3-2 in game two in extra innings.
The two-hour weather delay pushed back the series that was supposed to be played on Saturday and led to the cancellation of Sunday’s scheduled game against St. Joe’s.
“It’s really not something we can harp on, we have to be ready no matter what,” junior pitcher Greg Welsh said. “Overall, as a team, we don’t want to make excuses in that type of situation.”
The Lions hit a combined .159 (9-of-57) in the two games. The poor hitting was the key point of concern for the Lions after success against Houston Baptist last week, in which the Lions produced 28 runs during the three-game series.
Sophomore Taylor Skerpon, the Lions most productive hitter so far this season with a .347 batting average, did not get a hit in either game and pointed to a lack of patience at the plate as his team’s main issue.
“I feel like [Temple’s] pitching staff did a good job of executing pitches,” Skerpon said. “We were a little anxious at the plate I felt, not grinding out as many at-bats as we did against Houston Baptist. Just kind of a rough day for us offensively.”
Despite the offensive struggles, pitching was a positive for the Lions, especially off of the bench.
In the second game, Welsh entered in the fourth inning with Penn State trailing 2-0. In 4.1 innings, Welsh gave up zero runs and just three hits.
Cody Lewis entered the game in the ninth, but picked up the loss when he allowed a double in the 10th. After a fielding error allowed the runner to advance, Temple’s Heitzman drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly.
“I think as a pitching staff, what coach [Robbie] Wine said before is that the main concern this weekend was starting to see goals defined as a pitching staff and see what players are good in certain situations,” Welsh said. “I think we did a good job this weekend and defined some roles.”
The Lions travel to take on Pittsburgh on Tuesday, then play at home for the first time this season Wednesday against Akron. After another tough road trip and with Big Ten play on the horizon, assistant coach Eric Folmar spoke on the team putting the loss behind it and getting prepared for the next phase of the season.
“It was two tight games obviously…There [were] good things and bad things,” Folmar said. “There’s a lot of things that we still need to work on for when we get back at home and get ready for conference play. We just have to come home do work and get better.”