Sure, most of the golf world is focused on Tiger and Phil playing together at Quail Hollow this week, but me? This week the center of my golfing universe is the Iberian Peninsula. Why? My favorite golfer of all-time, John Daly, is playing in his first professional tournament this season, the Spanish Open.
Daly shot a 70, (which seems pretty good until you find out he's in 45th place, the players tore the course apart today), but today the score isn't important for Big John, it's more about re-establishing himself in competitive golf (he's still serving a six month suspension from the PGA after spending the night in a North Carolina drunk tank). As the picture in the article linked to above shows, Daly has lost weight, and appears ready to get back to golf.
At 43, Daly will likely never contend in majors again, but that doesn't mean he isn't a ton of fun to watch play. His sand shot in a playoff at the 2004 Buick Invitational was awesome to watch (fast-forward to 1:35 in the video to see it), and win or lose, Daly provides a unique golf experience every time he picks up a club.
The poor Patriots, Max Holt has presented them with so many questions, like "How do you stop Max Holt?" or "How good is Max Holt?" and they haven't given him one answer. The answers are you can't and very good. Holt with a kill, his eighth and the Lions lead 20-14.
Get those buses turned on, cause in about 20-30 minutes, because Mason will be ready to roll back down to the beautiful state of Virginia and clean their wounds. Penn State leads 25-19.
We're still close in the second set with the Lions holding a slip 17-14 advantage. I can't blame Penn State for this lull. They came out with so much intensity a let down was expected at some point, especially after the first set Penn State had and how bad Mason played.
If I'm Mason's coach, I'm stressing defense. A lot of the Lions are just hitting through open space untouched. Not that they could block it either way.
Amazing dig by Del Valle leading to a hitting error by Mason. I'm not sure how he made that play, but he did. He never ceases to amaze me. It sure fired up Will Price who almost fell over one of his teammates celebrating.
Sweitzer with all of the room to work with and he does not fail to deliver. Penn State leads 9-6.
This set is actually close, with Penn State leading 12-11. Give credit to Mason for staying in it after taking the full brunt of Penn State's assault.
Hey all you Penn State men's volleyball fans, it's Tom Kinslow coming to you live from Rec Hall, the site of the EIVA Tournament. After a thrilling match earlier today in which Juniata bested Saint Francis to head to Saturday's final. Penn State will try to join them.
This is the Nittany Lions' and the Patriots' third matchup this season. Penn State went 2-0 against George Mason this season winning all six sets.
The crowd for the first match was insanely intense, let's hope there's a similar atmosphere for this match. It's the postseason people, get excited!
As the laxers get ready to wrap up their season, Crosse Check looks back on the year that was. And who better to do that with than the man who has been on the field for all but seven minutes this year, senior goalie Drew Adams?
In Part 1 of the year-in-review podcast, Adams goes through the season game by game, from the team's rocky 0-3 start to its current five-game winning streak.
For Part 2, Adams hands out awards for things like "Most Valuable Freshman" and "Best Drew Adams Performance."
The only national champion in Central Michigan's history will be coaching Penn State's wrestling team next season.
Casey Cunningham, Cael Sanderson's assistant at Iowa State, will come along with Sanderson to Happy Valley as one of his assistants. The wrestlers met with Cunningham last week in sit-down meetings and at practices, getting to know his wrestling approach and personality.
Now here's your chance to sit down with Cunningham, thanks to FloWrestling:
That'll do it from the Med tonight as the Lions take down the Explorers, 9-3.
Thanks for logging on this season. Check the Collegian for baseball updates, and after Friday, check out our website and look here for more updates as the Lions continue their season and push towards a Big Ten playoff spot.
Lutz will hopefully be the last Lion pitcher of the evening.
Gehman is the fist Explorer to face him. He is set down looking.
Schoch takes the first pitch and grounds out to second.
Umstead is the Explorers last hope. Grounder to third, game over.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left; 9-3 PSU Final
Borden singles to get things started.
Youngblood comes into the box next. A wild pitch will advance Borden to second. Youngblood is struck out swinging.
Wine will come in with two outs. Wine will take the full-count strike out looking.
DeBernardis i next to bat. Another wild pitch advances Borden to third. He strikes out looking.
0 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 9-3 PSU after 8
Drew Palen is the new Lion pitcher after the beating Pierce took in the last inning.
Norton is first to face Palen. He goes down swinging.
Flax is the next Explorer batter. He flies out to left field for the second out.
Malloy will bat with two outs now. He draws a walk.
Chism back up to bat now. Remember, it was this guy who broke up the no hitter last inning (with my help, of course). This one's a towering drive into the warning track at left field, but there's too much air under it and the leftfielder will squeeze it for the out.
DeBernardis will start things off after the seventh inning stretch. Another error on the short stop. Well, they'll score it a single, but the ball bounced out of the short stop's glove.
Deegan is next to bat. He works the count full, and then belts the ball into right field. Deegan gets greedy and tries to take second but is tagged. There's some sloppy baserunning going on here tonight by the Lions.
Heath is back in the box. There's a hit, right over the second base bag. DeBernardis scorees.
Glantz is next to the plate. Fielders choice here, a grounder to third and they'll throw over to second to force Heath out. But Glantz is safe at first.
Picconi is the next batter. Piconni draws a walk.
Lynd is at the plate with runners on second and first and two outs. He grounds out to retire the side.
Mike Pierce is the next Lion pitcher trying to keep this no hitter intact. Of course, just by typing that, lead off hitter Malloy is guaranteed to break up the gem. Well, Malloy draws a walk.
Chism will try to get something started for this La Salle squad. Two quick strikes. There it is. Of course. The no hitter is broken. The ball bounced off of Pierce's leg and hopped into the outfield. I would like to apologize to the Lions for my role in destroying the no hitter.
The next batter grounds out, but the runner on third scores.
Handler hits one to the wall i his next at bat for a double.
Guys on second and third with two outs for Umstead, the new La Salle outfielder. Lynd lays himself out in left center and tries to grab a ball thats smoked, but it drops in and there's another run.
Feierstein is next. He drives the first pitch into left field.
Now Barauskas will get an attempt to keep this rally going. Pierce is getting pelted out there, but this one is high behind second and is caught to retire the side.
There's a slew of new Explorer players out there. I'll announce them as they make plays or bat.
Borden is first up for the Lions. Borden get a lead off single after squirting one past the short stop.
Youngblood gets his first at bat of the night. Borden tries to swipe second, but the toss is perfect and the runner is out.
Wine is next up to bat. He quickly flies out to short stop.
DeBernardis is the next batter. Youngblood tries to swipe second, but its another perfect throw and another out.
0 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors, 0 left; 8-0 PSU after 6
Mike Franklin's night is over, and what a night the hurler had. No hits through five innings. Jesse Alfreno is the new pitcher. Sean Deegan will take over for Boonie in left, and Youngblood will take over for Marlin in right. DeBernardis is in for Sternaka at third.
Feierstein first to test Alfreno. He's set down looking.
Meagher next up for the Explorers. The 1-2 pitch goes behind Meagher. He gets k'd as well on the next pitch.
Norton up with two outs. Norton draws a walk.
Flax up with a runner on first. A third strike out, this one swinging.
Borden is the first Lion batter this half inning. He promptly grounds out.
Boonie comes to the plate while his country line dance music blares through the empty stadium. He goes down 0-2, but the next pitch is high and away. He lines the next pitch to the shallow left field gap. It's deep enough for the big man to snag a double out of it.
Corey Wine will try to bring Boonie home with this at bat. Full count. Wine gets away with one there. It looked to be right down the pipe, but the ump hollers "AH," which translates to "ball," and Wine walks.
Sternaka next up with one away and one out. He pops up behind the third base bag, and the catch is made.
Marlin, who is 2-2 with two doubles, gets the two-out at bat here. Marlin is set down swinging.
0 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors, 2 left; 8-0 PSU after 4
Franklin back out there for Penn State. Flax will get the first look here in the fourth. He quickly grounds out to third base.
Mally (0-1) steps into the batters box. He pops one up high behind short. Glantz retreats and makes the out.
Chism gets the next crack at Franklin. He's set down swinging to retire the side.
The Explorers saw enough out of Schulz already and we have a pitching change before the inning. Schulz posts a 36 ERA tonight. The new pitcher is Kevin Christy.
Picconi is first for the Lions here. Picconi hits one hard to left field and it jumps into the stands for a ground-rule double.
Lynd gets his second crack tonight after a single in his last at bat. Well, that may be the most pathetic play I've seen this season. Lynd hit a low popper right to Meagher at short. He didn't have to move, right to him. The short stop falls down and drops the ball for his second error tonight.
Borden will try to extend the Lions lead now. Borden is set down on strikes.
Boonie gets his second chance tonight next. Boonie hits a blooper to shallow center field and the bases are loaded.
Corey Wine gets a bases-loaded at bat now. Wine hits a fly ball to center fielder. He's out, but a run will score and one runner advances to third.
Steranka up with two out and men on the corners. 1-2 count. He splits the diamond with a single. The runner on third scores.
Marlin up now with two outs and guys on first and second. Marlin doubled in his last at bat. Marlin hits a bases clearing double to the wall in left.
Marlin tries to take third though and is tagged out to retire the side.
4 runs, 4 hits, 1 errors, 0 left; 8-0 PSU after 2
Handler will be first up here in the second. The two-strike pitch is to Glantz, toss to Wine at first, one out.
Schoch is next up. He draws a full-count walk.
Gyles is the third batter of the inning. The ball is hit to Picconi at second. He bobbles it and drops the ball, put picks it back up, tags second and guns the ball over to first for the double play. Inning over.
Blake Lynd to kick things off for the Lions. First pitch is low and away for a ball. Lynd's walk up music is "Calm Like a Bomb" by Rage Against the Machine. After talking to him and his coach earlier this season, Lynd does a lot better at the plate when he is more aggressive. Ironic. Lynd hits one through the 5-6 gap to get himself a lead off single.
Borden up next. Lynd swipes second. Two strikes on Borden. He hits a grounder to Flax at second, but the ball squirts through for an error. Lynd high-tails it around thrid and scores.
Boonie up to the plate. Now Borden safely steals second. Two strikes on Boonie now. He battles back to 2-2 after a pitch low and away. A pitch way inside and Boonie has to back off, but the ump will call it a strike. The crowd goes about as wild as 50 people can get.
Wine's next. Wine flies out to the warning track in right, Borden will tag up and take thrid.
Steranka next with two away. Steranka hits one off the inside of his bat and it bloops into right field, Borden will score as the third baseman pulls into first.
Marlin gets his shot next. Marlin smacks one to the gap in left field for a double. Steranka will score.
Heath is up. He falls back 0-2 after two fouls. Heath hits one through the 5-6 gap and Marlin scores.
Glantz is next in this huge inning. 2-2 is the count. Glantz takes strike three looking, and the side is finally over.
4 runs, 4 hits, 4 errors, 1 left; 4-0 PSU after 1
There's a few more fans now, maybe 50 total.
Negrin to lead off for La Salle. Full count, he draws a walk.
Flax up next. Hit and run, Flax grounds out into a fielders choice but Negrin had a nice jump so he's safe at second.
Malloy pops out on the first pitch to Glantz at short.
Chism flies out to center to retire the side.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 0-0 after .5
Hey there baseball fans, Eddie Gentile here for the final live blog of the year. Today the Nittany Lions (21-19) host the La Salle Explorers (17-21). The sky is overcast and might threaten the game with a little rain, but this one looks promising to get in. It's a little cooler than it has been in the Valley today - it'll be about 60 degrees for the opening pitch. As of right now, there are exactly five people sitting in the stands.
Heres your starting lineups for the evening:
1. Tony Negrin, LF
2. Jeff Flax, 2B
3. John Malloy, CF
4. TJ Chism, 1B
5. Justin Handler, 3B
6. Marc Schoch, DH
7. Jon Gyles, RF
8. Zack Frierstein, C
9. Brian Meagher, SS
SP: Christian Schulz (2-1, 3.89 ERA, 34.2 IP)
1. Blake Lynd, CF
2. Wes Borden, DH
3. Ryan Boonie, LF
4. Cory Wine, 1B
5. Jordan Steranka, 3B
6. Rick Marlin, RF
7. Ben Heath, C
8. Mike Glantz, SS
9. Lou Picconi, 2B
SP: Mike Franklin (0-0, 13.5 ERA, 5.1 IP)
About 15 minutes 'til the opening toss, stay tuned.
Not too much to report on the rankings front this week as the rankings are pretty much meaningless at this point in the season.
There was a little shuffling among the top seven but nothing too drastic as Irvine retains the top spot. The top four teams are the ones still alive in the MPSF tournament. It seems as if two of those teams will make it to the final four in Provo.
Penn State also jumped up one spot this week to No. 5 despite being idle over the weekend.
Who would've thought six points in one game would get someone player of the week honors?
Penn State's dynamic midfielder Chris Hogan was named the ECAC's co-offensive player of the week for his remarkable performance Saturday night against St. Joseph's. The award marked the Nittany Lions' fifth league honor this season, and the first since freshman Matt Mackrides snagged rookie of the week recognition April 14.
On Penn State's senior night, Hogan was everywhere offensively, putting up five goals and adding an assist to his stat sheet. The sophomore from Wyckoff, N.J., had a hat trick in the first period alone.
Hogan shared PoW honors with Loyola's Collin Finnerty, who one-upped Hogan in first-quarter goals with four. Finnerty finished the win against Hobart with four goals and an assist.
It's hard to think otherwise since the Cavaliers' only two losses this season have come at the hands of the Dukies. This time, the blemish came in the ACC semifinals and, just like last time, it bumped Virginia out of the No. 1 spot.
Duke won in convincing fashion, 16-7, to advance to the championship the next day. The Blue Devils defeated even-more-hated North Carolina 15-13 to claim their third straight conference title. In that championship round, the scores were even period-by-period except in the third quarter, where Duke outscored UNC 3-1.
The ACC tournament action did some work to this week's USILA polls. The Dukies shot up from sixth to No. 3, while UVA dropped into a tie for fourth.
All this allowed a familiar face to take the top seed. Yep, it's Syracuse once again. But check out the team in bold, Penn State's only Top-10 opponent this year, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. What more must they do to take over at No. 1?
1. Syracuse 11-2 (3)
2. Notre Dame 13-0 (T4)
3. Duke 12-3 (6)
T4. Virginia 13-2 (1)
T4. Princeton 11-2 (T4)
6. Cornell 9-3 (2)
7. North Carolina 11-5 (8)
8. Johns Hopkins 7-4 (7)
9. Hofstra 11-2 (9)
10. Brown 12-2 (13)
Readers will notice last week's No. 2 Cornell also fell this week. The Big Red lost to new No. 10 Brown 11-9. Otherwise, they could just as well have been the top dogs this week.
Loyola, Massachusetts and Georgetown all rose one spot in the rankings, to Nos. 13, 15 and 16, respectively. Bucknell dropped to No. 17, and Penn State was left just off the Top-20 board.
Penn State's top scorer and top recruit have been invited to the 2009 USA Basketball Trials. Guard Tyra Grant and incoming freshman Nikki Greene will travel out to Colorado Springs, Colo., from May 14 to 17 for a shot at representing America in international competition.
Grant, the Lady Lions' All-Big Ten representative last season, will try out for the World University Games team. Greene, who was named to the WBCA All-America team in her senior season at Diboll High School in Texas, will play for a spot on the under-19 team.
If they make it, Grant and Greene would get to travel abroad to play against some of the world's best amateur competition. The World University Games will be held July 1-11 in Belgrade, Serbia, while the U-19 championships will be July 2 through Aug. 3 in Bangkok, Thailand.
First hit of the morning for Illinois that isn't a triple as Argo singles between short and third. Parr follows it with another single.
Wine flies out to left, bringing up the pride of Mt. Lebanon High School, Joordan Steranka. He too flies out to left.
After a lengthy at-bat, Marlin draws a full-count walk.
Jacobs is caught looking to end the fourth.
And another triple, this time to lead off the inning. Sacrifice fly brings in Illinois' third run.
Nice diving stop by Wine to rob Dittman of what would have been a sure double.
Cianciolo gets his 2nd K of the morning as he ges Cappetta swinging to end the inning.
Done with 3.5, 3-1 Ill.
Borden leads off for the Lions, he draws a leadoff walk to bring up Picconi. Borden is balked (is that a verb?) over to second and now the Illinois manager is out to argue the call.
That balk comes to haunt the Illini. Picconi bloops a double into right that juuuussstttt gets a piece of the chalk for a fair ball. Borden scores, 2-1.
Lynd bunts the ball up the third base line, moving Picconi to third.
Nakata flies out to shallow right, not deep enough to score Picconi who ends up stranded at third after Boonie grounds out to end the inning.
First pitch, Bonadonna grounds out to third for the first out.
Another groundout to Steranka, two down.
Quick inning, as Cianciolo gets another groundout to end the inning.
2-5 through, 2-0 Illinois
Steranka starts off the bottom of the second by hitting a soft grounder to second. One away.
Marlin K's looking, much to the dismay of the fans.
Jacobs ends the inning by flying out.
Two done, 2-0 Illinois
Cianciolo walks Altobelli on five pitches to start out the second. Here comes Aaron Johnson, he's Canadian. Cianciolo throws a wild pitch to start out the AB. After a nine-pitch AB, Johnson flies oot to center.
Dittman drives it to left and the ball carries all the way to the Nittany Bank Nook in left center, Dittman ends up at third with a triple and Illinois takes a 1-0 lead.
And another triple over the head of Lynd, this time by Cappetta. 2-0 Illini.
Argo hit a hard grounder to short. With an in-between hop, Picconi somehow picks it out of th dirt for the second out.
Done with 1.5 after Cianciolo K's Parr on some really outside pitches.
0-0 end 1
Lynd will lead off things for the Lions here in the home half of the first. Lynd grounds out third, bringing up Nakata.
Chopper to second for the second out, bringing up Boonie.
Not a whole lot of people here today. No students either, which ya know, isn't surprising since it's 11 a.m. start after Blue-White weekend.
Boonie ropes an opposite field double over the head of Dittman at first, it ends up all the way in the right field corner and Boonie has the Lions' first hit with atwo-bagger.
Wine flies out to end the inning.
0-0 after .5
Cianciolo has Bonadonna frozen as the right-hander throws over to first. A rundown ensues, going something like 1-3-6-4-2-6-3 or something like that.
After Cianciolo throws over to a couple of times, Wikoff flies out to Lynd.
McMurray lifts a lazy fly to left field right at Boonie for the first out.
Cianciolo drills Bonadonna with the first pitch.
The reason for this early start: Illinois has a flight to make. So we'll see if the Illini are affected by the early start, after all, it is 10 a.m. for them.
Good morning, I'm Brendan Shorts here at the Med where for some reason Illinois and Penn State are playing baseball at 10 a.m. central time. Anyway, I'll be live-blogging this game even though the backspace button on my laptop won't work -- sorry for any typos.
It's a beautiful, warm day here in State College, so as the grounds ccrew redds up the field, I'll give y'all the lineups.
Although they extended the separation between the top teams in the league, the Massachusetts Minutemen couldn't sweep their week's series.
It's hard to crush them though, because Saturday's loss came against the mighty Syracuse Orange. The 'Cuse knocked off UMass 10-3Â in front of more than 13,000 fans in Amherst, making it just one more notch in the win column against ECAC teams.
The Orange got a hat trick out of Stephen Keogh and three assists from Kenny Nims, while goalie John Galloway made 14 saves. For UMass, Jim Connolly's two goals and Doc Schneider's 17 saves were the only real highlights, apart from a record home crowd.
On the plus side, the Minutemen separated themselves and ECAC No. 1 Loyola from the rest of the pack by beating Fairfield 12-6 on Tuesday. Despite being outshot 40-24, UMass got multi-goal performances by five players, including a hat trick by Evan Blum. Bobby Hayes led all scorers with four points on two goals and two assists.
UMass went 2-for-2 on man-up situations, while the Stags couldn't score on five man-up advantages. Doc Schneider was stalwart once again, making 12 saves and allowing four goals before coming out with a few minutes to go.
So how did the rest of the league's teams fare? Like this:
Fairfield 17, St. John's 5: The Stags ended their season on a very positive note, gunning out to a 5-1 first-quarter lead and an 11-3 cushion at the half. Eleven Stags netted goals, led by Chris Ajemian's four-goal day. Dan Hettler also had three assists, while goalie Charlie Cipriano stopped 12 shots in 51 minutes of action.
Hobart 17, Canisius 6: Just another 17-goal day in the ECAC. On Tuesday, Kevin Curtin and Chris Pedersen recorded two goals and three assists each, and a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period for the Statesmen never left this one in doubt. In all, six Statesmen netted two goals, and Max Silberlicht had a nice day in goal as well, making 11 saves in 53 minutes.
Loyola 16, Hobart 7: Hobart's attack went from 17 goals Tuesday to seven Saturday in Loyola's Senior Day game, falling behind 6-1 in the first quarter. Jeff Colburn had a hat trick for Hobart, while Collin Finnerty, DJ Comer and Eric Lusby each did the same for the Greyhounds (Finnerty actually netted four goals). Loyola outshot the Statesmen 40-28 and won the ground ball battle 44-28.
Georgetown 15, Rutgers 9: It seems like every winner this week had a huge first period. The Hoyas rolled out to a 6-2 lead at the end of the first, and in the end, 12 Hoyas recorded goals. Only two of those 12 (Scott Kocis with three and Jake Samperton with two) recorded more than one goal. Samperton finished with four points, as he added two assists to his stat sheet.
With one week now to go in the regular season, this is how the ECAC standings look. It's become a two-team race for first between UMass and Loyola, but positioning is always a nice thing to look forward to.
1. Loyola (6-1, 9-4) Â Â Â Â Â Â --
2. UMass (5-1, 8-5) Â Â Â Â Â .5
3. Fairfield (4-3, 7-6) Â Â Â Â Â 2
T4. Penn State (3-3, 8-5) Â 2.5
T4. Georgetown (3-3, 7-6) Â 2.5
6. Rutgers (2-4, 4-10) Â Â Â Â 3.5
7. Hobart (2-5, 7-6) Â Â Â Â Â Â 4
8. St. John's (1-6, 5-8) Â Â Â 5
Nittany Lion fans will note the tie for fourth place. Saturday's season finale at Georgetown will decide which team that started slow and came on late can head into the summer with its head held high. Penn State comes in riding a five-game winning streak, while the Hoyas have won five of their last seven games.
Loyola is done with ECAC play, as the Greyhounds travel to Johns Hopkins Saturday. UMass goes to Rutgers for a chance to take home the 2009 league crown. A UMass win would bring the team up to a tie for first place with Loyola, but because UMass beat Loyola earlier this year, a win in Piscataway would give the Minutemen the title.
The other two games this week are non-conference matchups. Hobart heads out to Cornell on Saturday, and St. John's hosts Duke.
Scott Kelley will replace Lorentson. His final line: 4 IP, 6 ER, 9 hits, 0 BB, 0 k
Altobelli is the first Illini batter to test Kelley. Kelley really lights up that radar gun - 94 m.p.h. Altobelli hits one off the tall wall in right field. A stand up double to start the inning.
Johnson is next for the Illini squad. A wild pitch in the dirt and Altobelli moves to third base. Johnson smokes one over the shortstop, a base hit, an RBI, a single.
Dittman comes into the batter's box next. A high pop up drops into left field for another hit.
Guys on first and second with no outs for Cappetta. 3-0 pitch is finally over for a strike. The next is a swinging strike, as is the next for a K. An Illini runner tries for third right away, but Heath throws him out for the double play.
Argo up now with two away after his two-run blast in his last AB. Full count breaking ball finds the dirt for the walk.
Parr's turn to bring in a few more runs. Robbie Wine will come out to remove Kelley from the game. Dave Lutz comes in now.
Lutz's first pitch to Parr is outside for a ball. A high fly ball into center field where the ball finds Lynd's glove to retire the side.
Dittman will start out the fourth. He flies out to Lynd at center for the first out.
Cappeta is up next. He puts the first pitch into shallow center field. Lynd lays out for it, it looked like he had it, but its a double after the drop.
Argo takes the next pitch and belts it over the left field wall, a two run homer.
Parr is next. The second pitch paints the third baseline, its a double.
One out into the fourth. The bullpen remains empty, but pitching coach Jason Bell struts out to calm down Lorentson, who has allowed five runs and seven hits in 3.1 innings.
Bonadonna is up to bat with Parr on second. He squares to bunt, but the pitch is outside. 3-2 after a bunt attempt falls outside of the third baseline. He fouls one behind the plate, but Heath positions himself under it for the out.
Two away for McMurray. McMurray hits one into right field, another Illini run with the single.
Wikoff next with two away and McMurray on first. He flies out to left field to retire the side.
Borden up first this half inning for his first AB. High fly ball into left center, one away.
Picconi up to bat next. Full count pitch finds the dirt and Picconi forces the walk.
Blake Lynd back to the plate for his second try after his first-inning walk. Lynd hits a slow roller to short stop. Picconi slides into second, but the ump says he's out. The crowd erupts, they don't like the call.
Nakata up next with Lynd on first and two outs. Lynd takes off for second, but the throw from the catcher is perfect.
Bonadonna will start the game this afternoon as he approaches the plate. Bonadonna works the count full before hitting a hopper to Wine at first. He'll tag the base, 3 unassisted.
McMurray up next for the blue and orange Illini squad. The third pitch is hit in the SS - 2B hole, and McMurray is on first with one out.
Wikoff up next. The Third pitch is way high and inside and Wikoff has to hit the dirt to keep his head on his shoulders. Wikoff belts one to the gap in right. Wikoff has a stand up triple as Marlin misjudges the play.
Altobelli grounds out, but Wikoff will score.
Two away for Johnson in his first attempt of the afternoon. Swinging strike three, the side is retired.
Just 15 minutes 'til the opening pitch as the crowds move from Beaver Stadium and into The Med.
Hello baseball faithful and welcome to today's Inside the Dugout. I'm Eddie Gentile, and I'm the guy who'll be giving you the play by play for today's match up. If you're stuck indoors reading this today, I honestly feel pain in my heart for you. It's 85 degrees with just a few scenic white clouds over head. Penn State faithful are all over Happy Valley with the annual Blue and White Game going on across the street. The atmosphere in State College, along with the perfect weather, has really made today a perfect day to be venturing throughout the valley.
Illinois ventures to Medlar Field this afternoon after a 7-3 come-from-behind win less than 20 hours ago over PSU. The Nittany Lions looked to be in control early last night, taking a 3-0 lead through three innings, but their offense fell quiet and the team registered just one hit in the final four stanzas. Needless to say, Robbie Wine will be looking for a better outcome this afternoon.
Cappetta up first in the final stanza. Cappetta is hit with an 85 m.p.h. fastball and will take first.
Argo up to bat next. Argo squares to bunt, but pulls back and the pitch is outside for a ball. Cappetta takes too big a lead off of first and Ignas picks him off for the first out.
Parr gets pegged, and he'll take first. Argo on second, Parr on first, one out for Bonadonna. Three straight balls for the center fielder, and Ignas finally puts one over. The next is high inside to draw a walk.
Bases loaded, one out, and Ignas' night is over as Lutz jogs to the mound from right field.
McMurray is the first Illini batter to face Lutz. The first pitch is a strike taken. McMurray hits one to deep center, Lynd records the putout, but one will score on the tag.
Wikoff up with mean on first and second with two outs. Grounder to third where Steranka will step on third to retire the side.
Wikoff up to bat here for the Illini. He runs the count 2-2 before fouling one off over the press box. The next pitch is driven to center field where Lynd is waiting for it, one out.
Altobelli will give it a crack now at the plate. He smokes one up the center of the diamond for a one-out single.
Johnson is next up for the orange and blue squad. Altobelli snags second, but Johnson is called for interference, so Alotbelli has to go back to first. Illinois coach is jawing with the ump now, but it doesn't change his mind. Johnson is out.
Dittman now up to bat with two away. Another PSU balk, and Altobelli will be on second after all. Coach Wine just got thrown out after a little bit of jawing with the ump who called the balk. Now Wine is going wild, screaming, throwing his arms around. The crowd loves it. Wne is being escorted to the dugout by the home plate ump, and Wine periodically turns to scream back at the ump on third.
Some guy named Joe just won a Chicken Dance competition for a free hot dog. Way to go, Joe. You enjoy that frank.
Argo first up for the Illini. Another homer for the Illini to the deepest part of center, that one over the 410 marker.
Wine back out to talk to Macy. The ace started perfect -- literally -- but has unraveled here in the last three innings. And that's a night for him as Ryan Ignas comes to the mound.
Macy's final line. 6 IP, 6 ER, 6 hits, 6 K, 0 BB
Parr will be the first orange player to face the new PSU hurler. Ignas drops an 88 m.p.h. heater over for the first strike, but beans Parr with the next pitch.
Bonadonna up now with a guy on first and no outs. Bonadonna grounds to second and Parr is forced out, but the play develops too slowly to turn a double play.
Bonadonna on first with one out now as McMurray comes to the plate. Bonadonna takes off for second, and it really looked like he was there, but the ump says otherwise. The home crowd is happy with the call, two down now. A grounder to second will retire the side.
Marlin up to try and get things going for the Lions. After putting up eight hits in the first three innings, they've been held to two in the last two innings with no runs. Marlin grounds out to third for the first out of the inning.
Heath up to bat now with one down. 2-2 count. A slow bouncer back to Haig, two outs now.
Jacobs will try to start some two out rallying. Three straight strikes, the side is retired.
Macy is back out after an eventful fifth inning. Altobelli flies out to right for the first out.
Johnson up to bat now for the Illini. First pitch home run, just over the left field wall.
One out, none on for Bittman. Bittman ground to Nakata for an easy second out.
Cappetta up to bat now to try his luck against Macy. A hard liner to Picconi, fly out, side is retired.
1 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors, 0 left, 5-3 after 5.5
The Lions will now try to regain the lead here in the latter half of the fifth. Nakata up to bat to lead it off. The pitcher is behind 3-0 quickly, and Nakata will let him put one over for the first strike. The nest pitch is a hard fly ball to the warning track in right field.
Boonie up to bat. He hits one to the 5-6 gap, the second baseman lunges for it but if hops out of his glove and Boonie is aboard with a single.
Wine has a chance to regain the lead for the Lions now. He puts the first pitch in the exact spot Boonie did, and men are on first and second with one away.
Steranka is up now with a great opportunity to regain the lead for his team. Bouncer to second, over to first, double play, side retired.
They're doing Penn State Idol between innings, and let me tell you, some people just shouldn't sing. If Simon was here, he would probably become physically ill.
Anyway, back to the game. Altobelli breaks up Macy's perfect game with a hit with the first pitch of the fifth.
Johnson is up to bat. Macy is charged with a balk and Altobelli get second base for free. Johnson is getting some heat from the fans -- they sing "O Canada" for the New Brunswick native. Johnson hits one just out of Nakata's reach. Marlin throws to home, but the ball goes off of Jacobs glove. Johnson will take second and Altobelli will score on the error.
Dittman up with a man on second and no outs. Dittman flies out to Boonie for the first out of the inning.
Cappeta is up to bat now. He goes 1-1 before taking a pitch high. The next is outside, 3-1 now. The count goes full, but Macy walks him two pitches later.
One out, men on first and second for Argo. Wine comes out to have a word with Macy first. Argo hits a tripple to the gap in right field. Two will score, and we're tied.
Parr up to bat with Argo on thrid and just one out. Parr hits a grounder that ricochets off of Macy's ankle. It's a single, and Argo scores.
Bonadonna up with Parr on first and one away. With 1-1 count, Bonadonna pulls down for the bunt, but it goes foul. The 1-2 pitch is a pitch out, but Parr wasn't going anywhere. Two fouls later, a pitch finds the dirt to work the count full. What an at-bat -- nine pitches now. The tenth pitch is a swinging strike, but Parr will steal second.
McMurray up with a guy on second and two away. Ful count after a curve finds the dirt. He draws a walk.
Guys on first and second with two away for Wikoff. Wikoff flies to Lynd in center to finally retire the side.
Jacobs will start the inning with a first pitch single into center field.
Picconi up to bat next with Jacobs on first. Picconi flies to right field for the first out og the half inning.
Lynd will try to get aboard with one man on. Jacobs tries to steal second but the play isn't even close and he is tug out. No need to slide as Parr was waiting for him, but he does anyway. Lynd's at bat is now with two outs. Lynd check swings on the full count pitch. It was high, and the third base ump says he didn;t go around, so Lynd is on first with a walk. He tries to steal second but is tug out.
1 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left, 3-0 PSU after 4
Let's see if Macy can get through the lineup unscathed for a second time.
Bonadonna will get his crack at it first to start the fourth. The first pitch is a hgih foul into the left field stands, but Boonie leaps high into the stands and pulls it down for the out. The crowd goes insane on what would have been a SportsCenter top-10 play.
McMurray's first pitch is a foul ball that bounces inside the broadcast booth. That's right, inside the booth. He eventually works the count full before flying out to Marlin in right field.
Wikoff will try to solve Macy now. He pops to center on the first pitch to become Macy's 12th straight out.
Nakata will lead off the third for the Lions. 3-2 count, and he pops one up really high to third base.
Boonie is up to bat with one out. Boonie smokes a grounder over the mound to get himself aboard.
Wine up to attempt to lengthen this Lion lead. Wine battles the count to three balls and a strike. Wine hits one over the shortstops glove as the ball takes a hard bounce. Boonie advances to third.
Men on the corners for Steranka. He quickly flies out to second base and the runners are frozen.
Marlin will try to get himself an RBI or two with two outs. He bloops one to the shallow left, and Boonie will score.
Heath up with two out and men on the first two bases. Heath was down 0-2, but gets the count to even. Three pitches later he bounces out to first.
The Lions are really smacking Haig around -- seven hits and three runs through 3 innings.
1 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left, 3-0 after 3
Cappeta first to bat this half for the Illini. People scramble after a foul ball behind the plate. It's funny to watch, usually there's enough foul balls for everyone in attendance to at least get one. But the stands are pretty packed tonight. Cappeta draws the count full, fouls off another behind the plate, and then is set down swinging with a fastball.
Argo to bat now with one away. 2-2 now, and Argo is set down swinging on a low curve.
Parr is up to try to start something with two down. Two swinging strikes, a low breaking ball, and then a strike looking, and Macy strikes out the side.
Macy wracks up 5 k's the first time through the order, while not allowing a base runner yet.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left, 2-0 after 2.5
The slugging Jordan Steranka - leading the Lions with a .388 average - Gets himself aboard with a sharp grounder that splits the 5-6 gap.
Rick Marlin flies out immediately on the next pitch.
Ben Heath, with one man on and one out, comes to the plate. Steranka steals second after a pitch goes to the dirt. It's a close play, but the ump says he's in there. Ben Heath cranks -- I mean cranks, it went over the big screen -- a home run, his first career.
Jacobs grounds out on his first pitch of his at bat.
Two down as Picconi looks to start some two-out magic. He hits a blooper just over the first baseman's head. Picconi rounds first, but thinks better of it and comes back to first.
Lynd up, but he bounces one to the pitcher with the first pitch to retire the side.
Heath gets the Lions an early lead with his rocket though, so it's a productive half-inning.
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left, 2-0 PSU after 2
Altobelli up first for the Illini. He gets ahead fast, 2-0. The count is full after a breaker falls low. Macy paints the outside black with a change up to sit the third baseman down.
Johnson now up to bat. He hits a bouncer right to Picconi at short. Two outs.
Dittman grounds out immediately after, on the very next pitch.
Six up, six down for Macy so far.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left, 0-0 after 1.5
Let's see if Haig can respond to Macy's fast half inning.
Lynd is up first. He's batting an impressive .371, but has an outrageous .451 on-base percentage (which leads the Lions, needless to say). First pitch is a low heater, one ball, no strikes. 1-1 pitch is in the dirt in front of third, toss to first, one down.
Nakata into the box. He takes the second pitch and puts it over the second baseman's head to get himself a one out single.
Boonie is up with a man on first and one out. He flies to mid-right field for the second out.
Corey Wine will now try to keep this inning alive. He drills the first pitch into shallow center field, but Bonadonna is there to retire the side.
0 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors, 1 left, 0-0 after 1
T.J. Macy jogs to the mound, pauses for the singing on The Anthem, tosses a few practice pitches, and now is ready to start this weekend's series.
The first pitch to Bonadonna (.354 BA) is a breaking ball low for a ball. The 2-1 pitch is an infield fly to Nakata, one away.
McMurray to the plate. A sharp grounder to Steranka at third, a toss to Wine at first, two away.
Wikoff up with two outs. Wikoff watches a 1-2 fastball go over the plate, and the side is retired.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left, 0-0 after .5
A large home crowd is expected this weekend as Lion fans flock to State College for tomorrow's spring football game. Still about half-an-hour until the first pitch, but the crowd isn't that impressive yet -- maybe 1/4 of the stands have been filled. It's nice to see shorts and shades replacing the usual blankets and umbrellas that surround the diamond.
Here's tonight's starting lineups:
1. CF Joe Bonadonna
2. LF Casey McMurray
3. SS Brandon Wikoff
4. 3B Dominic Altobelli
5. C Aaron Johnson
6. 1B Matt Dittman
7. RF Pete Cappetta
8. DH Willie Argo
9. 2B Josh Parr
SP: Phil Haig
1. CF Blake Lynd
2. 2B Landon Nakata
3. RF Ryan Boonie
4. 1B Corey Wine
5. 3B Jordan Steranka
6. RF Rick Marlin
7. DH Ben Heath
8. C Bobby Jacobs
9. SS Lou Picconi
SP: T.J. Macy
Opening pitch in five minutes.
Welcome baseball fans to today's chapter of Inside the Dugout. Eddie here to take you through nine innings of baseball.
Today, the Fightin' Illini make their way into Happy Valley. The Illini sit third in the conference with a 8-4 Big Ten record. It's been all pitching for the blue and orange squad this season, with three pitchers with ERA's in the twos. Tonight, the Nittany Lions get a look at Phil Haig, who has 27 K's in 45.1 innings pitched.
T.J. Macy will be on the mound for the Lions tonight. Macy finally got above .500 last weekend in Indiana when he recorded his third win on the year. He's been the ace for the Penn State squad with a 3.43 ERA while eating up a team-high 57.2 innings on the mound.
The sun's shining, its 77 degrees out, spots of green are popping all over Mt. Nittany as spring has finally arrived. It's baseball weather.
Well, tomorrow is the big day, the NFL Draft. It is the day many football fans look forward too. Who will your team pick? Who will drop? Who will be drafted as a reach? So many questions. It's an exciting two-day event. In the spirit of things, and because everyone else does it, I've decided to compile a mock draft. Enjoy.
Brands, a current assistant coach for Iowa under his twin brother Tom, was rumored to be one of the coaches who could possibly take over the Penn State position.
Gable coached the Cyclones before he went on to Iowa, known as one of the biggest coaching moves in history. Gable went on to coach Iowa to nine consecutive national titles, such a ridiculous feat.
Brands said he had not been contacted by Iowa State and wouldn't comment further, according to the article.
If Brands did go to Iowa State, it'd be so ridiculous. First of all, you can't tell the two apart. When I was sitting at the press row at the Big Ten Tournament at the BJC, it was a game me and some of the reporters were playing to see if we could pick out Tom from Terry. The one day they wore the same color shirt, it was so unfair!
Second, Iowa State and Iowa are such rivals and this would be crazy for recruiting. Take your pick of a brother. If I was a recruit, I'd make my decision based on if I liked the color red or black-and-gold.
Third, they'd coach against each other, giving great entertainment for the sport of wrestling. They are both tremendous competitors -- yelling at opposing coaches as their wrestlers are wrestling against each other. Imagine yelling at each other?
Some real childhood insults would surely come out.
Today the All-EIVA 1st, 2nd and All-Academic teams were announced today, and as expected, Penn State was all over it. Below is which Nittany Lions made the lists and their credentials. Also, don't forget to check Friday's paper where Mike will have reaction from the Lions on their All-EIVA selections.
For this Senior Week podcast, we check in with attackman Mike Toner, who discusses his favorite places in downtown State College, the best and worst Halo players on the team and how his post-graduation plans will take him to Australia.
Add Edgardo Goas to the list of Nittany Lions named EIVA Player of the Week this season.
The redshirt freshman setter has been named Player of the Week for his efforts against Ball State and Ohio State last weekend. Goas tallied 80 assists in the two matches and led an offense that hit .395 against Ball State and .500 against Ohio State.
Goas has settled into an offense that leads the country in hitting percentage and is firing on all cylinders right now.
The honor is the first of Goas' career. He joins Max Holt, Max Lipsitz, Will Price and Dennis Del Valle on the list of Lions to win the award this year.
Expect many of those names to pop up again when the All-EIVA team is announced Wednesday.
Hard to believe the regular season is over already but these are the final regular seasons rankings.
Not too much changed this week as Irvine maintains control of the top spot. Penn State was able to move up one spot as the voters reward the Nittany Lions for sweeping 10 straight matches, including victories over Ball State and Ohio State last weekend.
Of course, in three weeks these rankings could look completely different. Bring on the postseason.
So apparently the MLB asked each team to send three jerseys worn in its home opener to league offices. No problemo! The Washington Nationals sent the shirts worn by Adam Dunn, Ryan Zimmerman and Elijah Dukes.
A new batch of jerseys were sent back to the team. Just one problem here. Two of those three jerseys spelled out "Natinals" on the front rather than "Nationals."
Clubhouse manager Mike Wallace said he and his crew checked the back of the jerseys. Why would they think to check the front anyways?
Well it was into the fourth inning when the goof was noticed, and both Dunn and Zimmerman switched into their appropriate jerseys.
Of course this doesn't happen to the Phillies or Orioles. It can only happen to the newcomer of the family - the Washington Natinals
Leading up to Senior Night for the lacrosse team, we here at Crosse Check thought we'd let the team's seniors talk about their memories at Penn State. We'll keep them rolling throughout the week and try to hit all the players who will be recognized at 7:30 Saturday night at Jeffrey Field.
We start things off by chatting with faceoff midfielder Jordan Kolb, who recalls some of the good and bad moments in the Penn State-Georgetown rivalry.
This is without a doubt, the biggest press conference I've ever been to.
I've sat at a Joe Paterno press conference last season and asked him a question, I've even been to a New York Yankees press conference.
But these won't touch the today's press conference at 2 p.m. in Rec Hall to introduce Cael Sanderson as Penn State's new wrestling coach.
From what I can gather, this press conference will have the feel of a pep rally. It is open to the public, and even though it is in the middle of the afternoon on a weekday, I have a feeling many Central Pa. fans will be in attendance.
Today, Penn State wrestling becomes legitimate and scary again. Scary because Sanderson's reputation is intimidating, but scary to picture how this could jolt the Penn State athletic program to big heights.
I'll be the reporter sitting with the rest of the press, taking everything in.
Just when Georgetown seems down for the count, it pulls a stunt like it did Saturday in Amherst.
The Hoyas knocked off the No. 12 Massachusetts Minutemen, 10-7. Doing so gave UMass its first conference loss of the year.
Georgetown got three goals apiece from Scott Kocis and Jake Samperton. The Hoyas won 13 of 20 faceoffs, outshot UMass 47-35 and scooped up 37 ground balls (16 in the fourth period) to the Minutemen's 26.
UMass did get 18 saves from Doc Schneider, but the Hoyas' Jack Davis saved 14 of his own.
With the top dog going down, here's how the rest of the league fared this week:
Loyola 12, Fairfield 7: The Greyhounds jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Shane Koppens notched five points on three goals and two assists, while Collin Finnerty recorded a hat trick of his own plus one assist. Loyola fired 42 shots to Fairfield's 29, too much for Stag goalie Charlie Cipriano, although he did make 17 saves.
Hobart 10, St. John's 9: Behind a 3-for-7 day in man-up situations, Hobart held off the Red Storm in an otherwise even game. The only period that wasn't tied was the second, in which the Statesmen one-upped St. John's 3-2. Eight Statesmen netted goals, and Matt Smalley, in addition to scoring a pair of goals, broke Hobart's career mark in ground balls with 256 in his time as a Statesman.
Notre Dame 12, St. John's 2: St. John's weekend didn't improve as it ran into undefeated Notre Dame on Sunday. Although the Red Storm did have a 2-1 lead in the first quarter, the Irish scored the next 11 goals. Grant Krebs and Ryan Hoff led the charge with three goals each, while Neal Hicks dished out three assists.
So with UMass bailing out of first place, there is a new leader atop the ECAC: Loyola. And look who's steadily moving up the food chain, it's the Penn State Nittany Lions.
1. Loyola (5-1, 8-4) Â Â Â Â Â Â --
2. UMass (4-1, 7-4) Â Â Â Â Â Â .5
3. Fairfield (3-2, 6-5) Â Â Â Â Â 1.5
4. Penn State (3-3, 7-5) Â Â Â 2
T5. Georgetown (2-3, 6-6) Â 2.5
T5. Rutgers (2-3, 4-9) Â Â Â Â 2.5
7. Hobart (2-4, 6-5) Â Â Â Â Â Â 3
8. St. John's (1-5, 5-7) Â Â Â Â 4
This week's action starts Tuesday, with Hobart hosting Canisius and Massachusetts traveling to Fairfield in a battle for No. 2 in the league.
All three teams play again Saturday. Fairfield and Hobart play conference games with St. John's and Loyola, respectively. UMass gets to play host to Syracuse.
Rounding out league play for the week are Rutgers and Georgetown, while Penn State holds its Senior Night at Jeffrey Field against St. Joseph's.
Serving, serving, serving. Penn State used 15 service aces in only three sets to power past Ball State Friday night. The Nittany Lions have been serving well for the past month or so, making them nearly impossible to beat.
The story could be the same tonight against Ohio State. The Lions have already swept the Buckeyes twice this season and if Ohio State can't stop the service game, the Lions should cruise again.
Coming off a dominant victory last night, it's hard to see Penn State dropping a set today as the Lions wrap up the regular season.
What to Look for: Max Holt's ace total climbing. With six last night, he has 69 on the season, adding to his school record.
Player of the Match: Edgardo Goas. We seemed to have overlooked the talented setter in recent weeks but Goas seems very comfortable with his hitters now and running an efficient offense.
What a long strange journey it's been. I honestly can't believe this is the last regular season match of the year. But alas, it is. Penn State will take on the Buckeyes tonight to wrap up the regular season for their third meeting of the season. Penn State is 2-0 this season against Ohio State and with the roll Penn State is on, it will be a tough task for Ohio State to knock the Nittany Lions off.
The offense is crisp, the serving is impeccable, and the blocking is top notch right now for Penn State and it's happening at the right time.
Penn State's a buzzsaw right now and Ohio State could end up suffering the same fate as Ball State.
What to Look For: Let's see if the Lions can put forth yet another dominant service performance.
Player of the Match: Will Price. We haven't talked about how good he's been on the defensive end this season and led Penn State in kills last night. Price told us he was fired up for this weekend and so far it's shown.
Score: Penn State 3-0 (30-24, 30-26, 30-25)
Penn State and Rutgers have quite the history, as the two have been playing since 1949.
Overall, the Scarlet Knights hold a substantial lead in the series, 41-18. Rutgers has also won the last two games against the Nittany Lions, and the last Penn State win came in 2006 in State College.
Last year, Penn State mustered only four goals in State College en route to its final loss of the season. Hunter Burnard led the way with two goals and two assists, while goalie William Olin recorded 12 saves.
Rutgers ranks seventh in the ECAC in goals per game this year and sixth in goals against. The Scarlet Knights do have the top faceoff squad in the league, winning 59.4 percent of their faceoffs. They also have netted 13 man-up goals to lead the ECAC.
Kory Kelly leads the way for Rutgers with 25 points (24 coming from goals). Justin Pennington has contributed 10 goals and 13 assists. In all, Rutgers has seven players with double-digit points.
To kick off one of the more challenging recent weekends, Penn State faces Ball State tonight on the road.
Ball State has a quality team as we saw earlier this season in Rec Hall, but the Nittany Lions have swept eight straight matches. The Lions seem to be playing their best volleyball of the season right now, evidenced by their comeback against George Mason last week.
It's hard to see Penn State losing right now. The sweep streak may end but the Lions should take this one.
What to Look for: Volleyball on TV! Sort of, the match will be streamed online for free for the viewing pleasure of those stuck in central PA.
Player of the Match: Ryan Sweitzer. "Sweitz" has stepped up in almost every road match this season and I expect that to continue.
Score: Penn State 3-1 (30-25, 27-30, 30-23, 30-25)
Sanderson is considered one of the top college wrestlers in the history of collegiate wrestling. He went undefeated in his career, going 159-0 throughout his four years. Sanderson won an ESPY in 2002 for the Best Male College Athlete.
Iowa State has been at the top of collegiate wrestling under Sanderson, finishing third at nationals this year and second in 2007. This would be a huge move in the collegiate wrestling circle, as his younger brother is actually a Cyclone wrestler, and Cael's older brother is on his coaching staff.
Well I'm back for the second time today with yet another reporter roundup. We talked to The Lantern's Molly Gray about her thoughts on this weekend's match against Ohio State and what she thought of the Buckeyes' postseason chances.
As always, we're very thankful that reporters take the time to humor us and put together some good stuff.
On to the questions....
1. What does Ohio State have to do to avoid the same result as the previous two matchups?
Ohio State is really going to have to work as a unit to beat Penn State. If you look at the beginning of OSU's season, typically in each match there was one player that scored a great amount of points, and everyone else came in with 6-7 for a three-game match. That obviously didn't work for them when they played high-level teams like the Nittany Lions. However, later in the season when OSU really started playing well and sealing the conference title, there were a couple guys to step it up and we saw three or four players all around 15 point and higher. When the team is communicating and thinking as a whole rather than relying on their top guy, they can play really well. They've been doing that consistently lately, so it should be a good matchup this weekend.
2. What kind of atmosphere do you expect in the gym Saturday night?
I'm expecting a great crowd this Saturday. This past weekend, when we played Fort Wayne to wrap up conference play and seal the conference title, there was a huge turnout. Penn State of all schools understands how seriously we take sports down here and this is the sort of rivalry that the students will definitely show up. It's also going to be senior night for the team so I'm expecting a great turnout and a great atmosphere in St. John Arena.
3. Who should Penn State and its fans be looking for on Ohio State's side of the net?
Well all of our seniors have been huge contributers this season: Robbie Klein, Ben Spurlock and John Albertson. Junior Ted Schoenfeldt has really exploded lately, so I'm expected a big performance out of him.
4. What do you think of Ohio State's chances in the MIVA tournament?
Ohio State shouldn't have a problem with the MIVA tournament. Like I said earlier, they have won the outright title with the best record in the conference. That means that we've got a bye in the first round and will be hosting the quarter-finals and final game. We just beat Lewis on the road with a very strong performance, so we should be able to handle anyone from the conference at home.
Here we are, back again with our second installment of the Reporter Roundup. Today we have Vinnie Lopes of the Ball State Daily News. I must say, I've been quite grateful about the level of cooperation we've gotten from the writers around the country and would just like to give a public shoutout and a tip of my cap to them for taking time to do this for us.
1. What does Ball State have to do to avoid the same results as January's match?
Ball State coach Joel Walton said Wednesday that one of the biggest problem's in its last match against Penn State was serving.
During the four-game loss, the Cardinals had 21 serving errors -- two more than the Nittany Lions.
Ball State had fewer service errors than its opponents in three of its last five matches. Setter Ethan Pheister and outside attacker Dominic Spadavecchio are also in the top three for aces per game in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.
In addition, good serving is necessary, Walton said, to keep Penn State's All-American middle attackers Max Holt and Max Lipsitz from getting an offensive rhythm in the offense.
2. How excited does Ball State get for a matchup like this, especially with Penn State being the defending national champs?
The buildup to playing the defending national champions has become bigger throughout this week.
The athletics department announced Tuesday that the match a will be televised on WIPB -- the East Central Indiana public access station.
This the first time in more than two years a Ball State men's volleyball home match has been televised. The Cardinals are undefeated in the three matches when a home match is broadcasted, including rallying from a two-game deficit to defeat then-No. 9 Pacific in March 2007 on their last televised home match.
In addition, the match will also be available to view for free on the Ball State athletics department's Web site, ballstatesports.com.
Along with match being televised, the Ball State pep band will be in attendance for the second time this season.
Averaging more than 1,200 people in attendance per home match, most people associated with the team said they expect to have Friday's match exceed its season average.
3. Matt McCarthy missed the last match with a shoulder injury. What's his status and if he's playing/not playing what will his impact be?
Ball State coach Joel Walton said Wednesday that middle attacker Matt McCarthy will be a game-time decision because of a stress fracture in his back. The all-conference senior has missed all but three matches this season, including Ball State's previous match against Penn State.
If McCarthy is unable to play, the Cardinals two probably middle attacker starters will be J.D. Gasparovic and Andy Nelson.
Gasparovic, the 2008 MIVA Freshman of the Year, is leading conference with a .472 attack percent and 120 blocks. Nelson, a transfer from the University of Minnesota and in his first season at the Division I level, has started in McCarthy's place for the of the season. The middle attacker is in the top 10 in the conference with a .412 attack percentage and a 1.26 blocks per game average.
4. What are Ball State's chances in the MIVA tournament?
Despite most likely entering the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed, Ball State was a 14 points away from having an undefeated MIVA regular season.
The Cardinals lost four matches in five-game, including three of those losses coming in a span of four days in March. In Ball State's most recent conference loss, the team blew a two-game lead to loss in five games to No. 11 Ohio State on March 27.
Following that loss, though, middle attacker J.D. Gasparovic said that he expects Ball State to win the MIVA Tournament
"This one loss doesn't mean anything," Gasparovic said after the match. "We can still come out and rise to the top, which we will."
As the No. 3 seed, Ball State will have a home match in the quarterfinals against last-place Quincy University and would play the No. 2 seed Lewis in the semifinals at Columbus, Ohio. Ball State and Lewis split their two matches this season, with both teams winning at home.
I really like the way Penn State has played this season with a new setter and replacing All-American outside attacker Matt Anderson.
Minus those two matches on the West Coast and that weird match at Loyola -- which has the greatest home advantage with how ridiculously small its gym is -- Penn State has at times played flawless. I have them No. 3 in my ballot for this week's media poll, and I think they will be the EIVA's representative in the NCAA Final Four.
However, I just have a hunch Ball State, especially senior outside attacker Todd Chamberlain, has one more outstanding home match left in it before the regular season ends.
With Jack Forster on the shelf for the rest of the season, Penn State will need to find someone else to account for his 3.09 points per game.
This will be no easy task. Forster led the team in points (34), goals (22) and assists (12). But here are a list of Penn State's offensive weapons that will try to fill in for him these last three weeks.
Rob Forster: Jack's elder brother has been the most efficient attackman on the Nittany Lions this season. The senior's .327 shooting percentage is the best on the team for all players taking at least 10 shots. He also puts most of his shots on the net, as his .709 shots-on-goal percentage can attest. Plus, his 25 points are second only to little brother.
Chris Hogan: Penn State's goal-scorer extraordinaire will likely be looked to for the offensive spark lost by Forster's absence. The sophomore midfielder is quick on his feet and knows how to make shots for himself. Hogan's shown he's not afraid to shoot, as his 105 shots easily lead the team. He also leads the team in man-up goals with four, and he along with Rob Forster have notched two game-winning goals this season.
Matt Mackrides: Fresh off an ECAC rookie of the week performance, Mackrides will now be the lone freshman attackman on the field. Chewie was expected to step in and produce right away, and so far he has. HIs 20 points are fourth on the team and his eight assists are second, with only his classmate Forster above him. Also, his 23 ground balls are tied for second on the team for non-defensemen, showing Mackrides knows how to use his stick. Which leads us to...
Brian Shea: The junior midfielder's 36 ground balls lead the team. But that's not all he can do. Shea has 11 points this season and a .636 shots-on-goal percentage, second on the team Â among players with at least 10 shots. Not to mention he's one of the only upperclassmen on Penn State's attack.
Colton Vosburgh: The sophomore midfielder rounds out the list of "Lions with Double-Digit Points." Vosburgh's 11 points have come off a .250 shooting percentage, third among players with at least 10 shots.
And that'll do it as the Lions take down the Mountaineers tonight, 8-3. Check back soon and often for more on Nittany Lions baseball.
Let's see if the Mount can lengthen this one. Eyler will give it his best shot. Eyler is set down on strikes.
Winter is up to bat now. 2-2 count, check swing, ump says he went around.
Last chance here. Ground out to thrid, game over.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 errors, 0 left; 8-3 PSU final
Jacobs up to bat following his triple just two innings ago. A slow roller to short, but Jacobs doesn't have the speed to get himself aboard.
One away and Glantz is up. Glants hits a hopper to third base, a sprawling grab but the throw is late.
One on first as Lynd tries to make it aboard for his fifth time tonight. A single makes Lynd 3-3 with two walks and three stolen bases on the night. If I had the power to give a player-of-the-game award, he'd win tonight.
Men on the corners for Nakata with one out. There's Lynd's fourth stolen base of the night. Talk about video game statistics, sheesh, this guy is having himself a game. Nakata flies out to center, but Glantz will tag and score.
Deese up with Lynd on second and two outs. Deese hits one to the gap between short and third and gets himself on.
Guys on the corners, two outs, Wine to bat. Wine hits one so hard I heard the ping but couldn't see the ball until the first baseman jogged to first for the put-out.
1 run, 3 hit, 0 errors, 2 left; 8-3 PSU into the seventh
Drew Palen will take over pitching duties for Cianciolo. And what a night the grad student had.
Cianciolo's final line: 0 runs, 0 hits, 4k, 0 BB, 13 batters faced, 4.0 IP
Tommy Flynn will try to get The Mount back into this one. Palen sits him down swinging on five pitches.
Jake Darr up with one away. 1-1 pitch gets turned into a high pop-up right to Lynd, and two are down.
Statso up to bat. The count goes 3-0, but a strike looking and another swinging draws it full. Full count pitch is a ball, and one man is on.
Kane up to bat. Strike three looking.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 7-3 PSU into the bottom half of 8
Mike Matta is the new pitcher for The Mount.
Lynd to start off the offensive half for the Lions. Lynd walks on five pitches.
Nakata will try to get the speedster around to double-up the Mount. Lynd takes his thrid stolen base of the night on a close play. Nakata grounds to second and is thrown out, but Lynd bolts for third and is safe.
Lynd is 90 feet from putting the sixth run on the board for the Lions as the Mountaineers put Deese on first intentionally.
Wine flies out deep to left, but Lynd tags up and scores and Deese moves to second.
Steranka up, and another first-pitch single for the freshman. Deese will score.
Youngblood will get a shot now as he pinch hits for Boonie. Youngblood draws a two out walk.
Guys on first and second as Marlin walks onto the diamond. Marlin grounds out, and the side is retired, but not before the damage is done.
2 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 7-3 PSU into the eight
Helman to bat. Full count breaking ball popped up to Wine and one is away.
Andrews into the box. Another full count out, this time it's a swinging strike.
Quaranta up to bat. A bullet is hit right to Cianciolo, but he snags out of the air Karate Kid style.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left; 5-3 PSU into the stretch.
Jordan Steranka, already with two RBI tonight, is ready for his lead-off at bat. Some first pitch swinging, and Sternaka is on first with a blooper into left.
Boonie is up to bat. Boonie hits one right at the center fielder, and there is one out.
Rick Marlin steps into the box. Passes ball on Andrews for The Mount, and Sternaka moves to second. Pops up to second, two away.
Jacobs will now attempt to lengthen this Lions lead. Jacobs takes a full count fast ball and blasts it into the gap in left-center for an RBI tripple.
None on and two away as Glantz steps to the diamond. Glantz is set down looking to retire the side.
1 run, 2 hit, 0 errors, 0 left; 5-3 PSU into the seventh
Kane first to bat this half-inning. Second-pitch hopper to Steranka at third, throw to first, one down.
Eyler up. Strike three looking, two away.
Winter to the plate. Second-pitch fly out to right, inning over.
Kent Worthington will take over hurling duties for The Mount.
Michael Glantz will start the inning at the plate for the Lions. Glantz strikes out looking.
Lynd up to bat. Full count walk, and the speedster is on board.
Nakata will see if he can break this tie. Nakat strikes out swinging.
Deese up to the plate. Lynd steals second uncontested for his second SB of the night. Deese pops a high one straight up to the pitching mound. First baseman Josh Winter calls "mine, mine!" but misses the pop-up completely. Lynd was running the whole time and he scores.
Deese on second as Wine steps up to bat. Wine strikes out looking, but the tie has been broken.
1 run, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 left; 4-3 PSU after 5
First-pitch ground out for Flynn, and one is away for Jake Darr.
Darr takes the 1-0 pitch and grounds out to short.
Statso up to try to start something here midway through tonight's game. Statso is set down looking, and we have another fast half inning -- seven pitches again.
0 runs 0 hits 0 errors 0 left; 3-3 after 4.5
State College native Ryan Boonie comes to the plate and his ho-down walk-up tune blares through the nearly-deserted stands. Boonie crushes the second pitch but gets a little too underneath of it and flies out to deep left field.
Marlin to bat. Marlin does the exact same thing -- crushes the second pitch but gets a little too underneath of it, and flies out to deep right field instead.
Two away now for Jacobs. And Jacobs takes the third pitch and flies out to second.
Fast seven-pitch inning for The Mount.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 left; 3-3 after 4
Matt Statso steps into the box. Statso hits a liner right up the middle of the diamond, and lead-off man is aboard.
Kane is up to bat with a guy on first. Statso takes off for second, Jacobs' throw is high, and Statso is in scoring position at second base easily. Kane hits a liner in t he exact fashion Statso did, and Statso is around to score.
Eyler up with Kane on first and none out. And this ones outta here! Home run Eyler, and the game is tied. The rest of The Mount players come out of the dugout to congratulate Eyler.
Pitching coach Bell comes out to have a word with Kelley. Winter up with none out, but not before we see a PSU pitching change. Paul Cianciolo in for Kelley.
Kelley's final line - 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 k
Winter up to bat. A second pitch fly out, and one is away.
Helman steps to the plate. The 2-2 fastball is grounded to Steranka, and two are away.
Andrews up to bat. 2-1 breaking ball is in the dirt, but its a throwing error (it was no where near Wine at first) on Glantz.
Quaranta up with one on and two away. 1-2 curve ball sits Quaranta down swinging, and the busy inning is over.
3 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 left; 3-3 after 3.5
Wayne's having a few tech issues at the moment, so this is Eddie for the time being.
Landon Nakata reaches base with a single and Lynd flys around the bases to third.
Deese up with men on the corners and no outs. Deese takes a 2-2 breaking ball and pops high into mid left field. Deese is out, but the pop-up is deep enough for Lynd to tag and score.
Wine up with Nakata at first and one away. Wine hits one to the gap in left-center field about as hard as he could without getting a home run. Instead, it's anohter fly out.
Steranka will try to work some two-out magic now. Mount catcher Andrews lets one bounce off of him, and Nakata advances to second uncontested. Steranka is set down, and the side is retired.
1 run, 2 hits, 1 left; 3-0 PSU after 3
Andrews grounds out right to Nakata for the first out.
Quaranta singles with a well hit ball for the one-out single.
Flynn Ks for Kelley's second strikeout of the game.
Kelley continues to hit the high 80s and low 90s on the radar gun.
Lynd gets PSU started tonight. Of his 44 hits, all but one has been a single.
He adds to that total with a single through the left side. Both teams are now 1-for-1 in terms of leadoff batters reaching base.
Lynd gets a great jump and is able to slide in easily for the steal. That's his 15 SB of the year.
Nakata reaches as well with a walk.
That brings up Deese, who's had some very hot and cold stretches this season. He earns a hitters count at 2-0 so Mudgett should be very careful here. Deese can't take advantage of it, however, as he flies out to LF. Neither baserunner can advance, either.
Wine almost places one on the line to score at least one, but the ball is just foul. He gets caught with a check swing. Mudgett looks to second to see if he can start a DP, but just tosses the ball to first for the second out.
Steranka is up now. At .395 and 32 RBI, he's been the best offensive weapon for the Lions this season. He continues that with a double crushed to right center to score two. 2-0 PSU
Boonie can't continue the inning as he grounds out.
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 2-0 PSU after 1
Not a solid start for the Lions, as Glantz commits and error. He was in front of the ball but unable to corral it. That means Flynn reaches first with no one out.
Wine reaches up high for the grounder and handles it before stepping on first for the first out of the game. Flynn moves to second and into scoring position.
Staso flies out to Marlin and Flynn can't tag up. Kelley is now one out away from getting out of this little jam.
Kelley gets ahead 0-2 on Kane, who ranks second on the team with 22 RBI. He then gets his first K of the night with a swing and a miss.
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 left; 0-0 after 1/2
Finally, no rain.
After yesterday's game was rained out, Penn State finally gets a mid-week game as it plays Mt. St. Mary's tonight.
It had been raining for most of late morning and early afternoon, but the weather finally turns good for the game.
The field looks to be in excellent shape from up here, from the baselines to the infield and outfield.
Game-time is only 15 minutes away, so the lineups should be handed out shortly.
I know that for a lot of you, the Masters are old news by now, and that's ok, but I wanted to have a few days to process what happened down at Augusta before I recorded them. And now that I have reflected upon the tournament that was I am ready to make a few observations.
1. What will this year's defining moment be? After Kenny Perry's tee shot at the 16th I thought that would be the defining moment, but obviously Perry didn't win, so that shot will be more a reminder of his collapse than anything else. The defining moment was really Angel Cabrera's par save on the first playoff hole, which was remarkable, despite not being very pretty to watch. As someone who plays from the woods a lot, and who doesn't save par from there very often, I really respect what Cabrera did there. The punchout, approach shot and putt were all perfect, and under pressure too.
2. What will we ultimately remember about this tournament, however, is yet to be determined. If Phil Mickelson never wins another major, we will remember how his putter betrayed him on the back nine. If Phil had swung the flat stick decently on the back, he could have easily been -13, and the outright winner. Likewise, if Tiger never completes a final-round comeback to win a major, we will remember this Masters as a time when he squandered a chance to do so. I honestly thought Tiger would nail his eagle putt on 15, and carry that momentum to the final three holes to cap a miraculous comeback. Tiger is still the best player in the world, and is still almost a mortal lock in my opinion to surpass Jack Nicklaus as the all-time major winner, but right now I think it's fair to question his ability to win a major when he's not dominating, and to score when he's behind. Tiger needed a low number on Sunday, and he was playing well enough to do so, he just didn't come through, and until he does, there will be a hole in his resume.
3. My final impression is that Augusta is still Augusta. It has been beaten to death that since being "Tiger-proofed", Augusta no longer rewards risk-taking and creativity, the traits that made it famous, and allowed players like Seve Ballesteros to showcase their games. I think Sunday should debunk that notion. If Mickelson hadn't putted like an amateur on the back nine, he could have easily broken the scoring record for a major. Woods was a few putts away from posting an extremely low round too. And although people will always maintain that Angel Cabrera didn't win the Masters, Kenny Perry lost it, the Argentine made three birdies on the back nine to keep the pressure on Perry. In all, it was the best Masters I've watched since Tiger's famous chip-in in 2005, which is hands down the best golf shot I have ever seen. What makes Augusta great is that it rewards players for making great shots, and the course did that this week.
Not much to really talk about here, to be honest. With Irvine topping Pepperdine this weekend, it was to be expected that they would vault into the top spot. Not much action in the rest of the poll either.
Penn State plays No. 15 Ball State and maybe that win, combined with a couple losses up top might swing it in the Nittany Lions' favor.
Sorry folks. If you stuck around, thanks for your loyalty. Use tonight to get some work done, and tune in tomorrow for (hopefully) some more Inside the Dugout against Mount Saint Marys.
Wine waltzed out and is having a word with Pitt's coach. Tonight's game isn't looking too promising. The 7 p.m. pitch-time has come and gone with no word yet on what's going on.
The grounds crew has painted the diamond and placed the bases. It's raining harder at the moment than at any point yet tonight. The flags at the dead-center field wall are rigid and swirling first into the field, then from right to left.
The crew has the field ready, and the Lion players have come back out from the dugout to recover the diamond.
Any news on the game, and I'll give it to you.
The tarp is coming off as the Penn State players come out of the dugout in their dark-blue wind breaking jackets. But the rain is still coming down just as hard.
The PA announcer just notified the maybe six people in attendance of the rain delay. I just took a walk down to the main level and there are definitely more Medlar Field employees here than fans.
"Rain Rain Go Away" keeps scrolling across the scoreboard in bright yellow lights. 40 minutes until we get word of whats going to happen with this game.
We are in a rain delay -- expected start time: 7 p.m.
But nonetheless, here are the starting lineups for the evening.
1. 2b Chris Sedon (batting an astounding .383 while leading his team in at-bats)
2. LF John Schultz
3. 1b Morgan Kielty
4. 3b Joe Leonard
5. DH Chris Warner
6. RF Matt Litzinger
7. SS Danny Lopez
8. C Kevin Smith
9. CF Zach Duggan
SP: Matt Iannazzo 6.82 ERA, 2-2
1. CF Blake Lynd
2. 2b Landon Nakata
3. DH Mike Deese
4. 1b Cory Wine
5. 3b Jordan Steranka
6. LF Ryan Boonie
7. RF Rick Marlin
8. C Bobby Jacobs
9. SS Mike Glantz
SP: Scott Kelley 4.86 ERA, 4-4
Rumor floating through the press box - strong possibility of delay. Nothing official yet.
Hello baseball fans, and welcome to today's Inside the Dugout. Eddie Gentile here to take you through nine innings of our national past time.
The Pittsburgh Panthers (17-13) make their way into a rainy State College this evening. Tonight's game is a makeup from last Tuesday when officials decided the impending snow was enough to move the game to today. And, of course, it's about 44 degrees out with a steady rain at the moment.
Scott Kelley gets the start on the mound tonight for the Nittany Lions. Kelley started the season as the team's ace, then was moved into the No. 2 starting role, then moved into a closing role, and now he's back to start a game. He struggled as a closer and finally saw it all come crashing down around him Sunday when he gave up 2 earned runs without recording an out -- that's an infinity ERA on the afternoon. Yesterday head coach Robbie Wine wouldn't say we've seen the last of Kelley in a closers role, but he hoped giving him more substantial time on the mound would straighten the hurler out. We shall see tonight.
The tarp is still on the field, covered by puddles of cold rain water. About 45 minutes until the first pitch now. Stay tuned for starting lineups and more.
BIG time shake-up in this week's rankings, as No. 1 and undefeated Virginia is not No. 1 and undefeated anymore.
The Cavaliers went into Duke and took a beating, losing 15-10 for their first loss in 13 games. With the win, the Dukies earned a share of the ACC regular-season title with Maryland and the afore-mentioned Cavaliers.
The win itself was nothing new for the Blue Devils, as it was their sixth straight victory over Virginia. Ned Crotty led the way for Duke with eight points (two goals, six assists), while Max Quinzani netted four goals.
Maybe the most amazing stat from this upset was this one: UVA fired up 43 shots, fairly average for one of the best offenses in the country. Duke, meanwhile, shot 28 times. And scored 15 goals. Unbelievable.
So with that, the USILA welcomes a new No. 1: Princeton. Here's the rest of the Top-10.
1. Princeton 10-1 (2)
2. Virginia 12-1 (1)
3. Notre Dame 10-0 (4)
T4. Syracuse 9-2 (6)
T4. Cornell 8-2 (3)
6. UMBC 9-2 (7)
7. Hofstra 8-1 (5)
8. Duke 9-3 (8)
9. Johns Hopkins 5-5 (9)
10. North Carolina 9-4 (10)
Yes, you read that right: For knocking off the undefeated top-ranked Wahoos, Duke moved nowhere in the polls. Maybe even more odd is that Notre Dame, the last unbeaten team in the nation, is still behind Virginia and did not receive a single first-place vote.
As for Penn State's opponents, Loyola and Massachusetts are tied for 15th this week, and Bucknell and Villanova -- bursting back into the polls after a few weeks off -- sit at Nos. 18 and 19.
A week after crawling back into the Top-20, Georgetown is on the outside looking in again. Ohio State and Penn State both received votes as well.
For notching the game-winning goal in Penn State's win Saturday, freshman Matt Mackrides was named the ECAC's rookie of the week.
Mackrides' recognition makes it four ECAC player of the week awards for Penn State. Jack Forster won rookie of the week honors twice and goalie Drew Adams received the ECAC defensive player of the week award when he made 24 saves against Hobart.
The attackman from Newtown Square netted two goals and three assists in the Nittany Lions' 12-11 overtime win against St. John's. Mackrides also tallied two goals and two assists in Tuesday's victory at Bucknell.
So that means for the week, the ECAC preseason rookie of the year recorded nine points. Not too shabby for Chewie.
The city of Philadelphia lost its most recognizable voice today, when legendary announcer Harry Kalas passed away at the relatively young age of 73.
Kalas, known as "Harry the K," was famous for his gravelly voice and his trademark "Watch this baby...OUTTA HERE!" home run call, words that saluted thousands of Phillies homers as they sailed into warm summer nights across America.
Kalas began calling Phillies games in 1971, and his trademark voice raised generations of Phillies fans, including myself. I know that I probably heard more of Harry's voice during the summer than I did of my friends or family.
It's cliched to say he felt like part of the family, but for thousands of Phils fans across the Philadelphia region hearing Harry Kalas call a Phillies game was an instant slice of home. His presence was as much of a part of Philadelphia as a cheesesteak from your favorite local sub shop or a stroll down Broad Street.
And as brutal as Joe Buck's call of the final out of the 2008 World Series was, Kalas' was equally great. There was no voice I would rather have had call the greatest Philadelphia sports moment in a quarter of a century.
But don't take it from me, because I'm not the only one shocked and saddened by Harry's death. Leslie Gudel could barely hold back tears before the Phils' game today on Comcast SportsNet, John Kruk broke down on the phone on ESPN and Larry Andersen was apparently sobbing during the radio broadcast.
Amazingly, Kalas' TV broadcast partners (Scott Franzke, Gary Matthews and Chris Wheeler) were able to hold it together when I was watching the beginning portion of today's game.
This is what Mike Schmidt, arguably the greatest Phillie ever and one of Kalas' favorite players, had to say on Harry's passing:
He gave me my sports name. People all over the country refer to me by the name that Harry actually gave me ... 'Michael Jack.' Every time I hear it now for the rest of my life, his face and his smile will resonate.
Also, check out what NFL Films President Steve Sabol had to say on Kalas' passing. Harry was the voice of NFL Films for many years, and some of the greatest plays in NFL history are set to his voice in the NFL Films archives.
His substance was his style. There was no shtick, just a steady blend of crisp articulation and resonance. In many ways, Harry is the narrator of our memories. His voice lives on not only on film, but inside the heads of everyone who has watched and listened to NFL Films.
Phillies president David Montgomery was able to say this about Kalas earlier today as he choked back tears:
We lost our voice today. He knows the game and made a tremendous contribution to the sport and to our organization ... Anybody who has played for us, it's an immediate point of connection with the club. He is the Phillies.
It's going to be a long season for the Phillies without Harry the K, and I know it'll be awful hard to turn on the Phightins and not hear his voice. Even Adam Eaton was almost watchable with Harry calling the action.
Rest in peace, Harry Kalas. You'll be forever in our memories.
Freshman sensation Jack Forster is now playing the waiting game on his status for the rest of the season.
Forster went down late in the fourth period of Saturday's game against St. John's with a knee injury. He returned in overtime but didn't look quite his usual self.
The freshman attackman from Jenkintown went to the doctor today for preliminary testing on his knee. Forster said he got an X-ray and goes in for an MRI Tuesday morning. The results of the MRI -- and the fate of Penn State's leading point-scorer -- come in later this week, Forster said.
Forster said his knee is sore and he's walking around with a knee brace and crutches. The freshman is already wearing a brace on his right knee from the ACL tear he suffered last season that kept him from playing.
Forster said the doctor would wait for the MRI test to say whether or not the attackman will play again this season, but he did say Forster would likely be out for Sunday's game at Rutgers.
On paper the matchup had the makings of one of the best matches of the year. No. 1 versus No.2 and a battle for the top spot in the MPSF.
But UC Irvine and Pepperdine turned into a sweep, a rarity for West Coast volleyball.
No. 2 UC Irvine swept No. 1 Pepperdine (31-29, 30-24, 30-22) Saturday night. Both teams now have records of 17-3 in conference play. Irvine would have the tiebreaker if both teams win their two remaining conference matches.
Judging by the stat sheet, it just seems like a solid match overall for the Anteaters. Irvine outblocked Pepperdine 16-6 and hit .352 as a team.
When the newest poll comes out Monday, expect the Anteaters to once again take over the top spot.
Iowa had four players leave at the end of its season. Now, Minnesota has two of its own players departing.
Guards Travis Busch and Kevin Payton won't be returning, Gophers coach Tubby Smith said in a press release.
Both would have been eligible for their senior seasons. The Minnesota Pioneer Press, however, reports that Busch would not have been offered a scholarship for his senior season because of the Gophers' incoming class of 2009.
Busch was named Minnesota's Mr. Basketball in 2005.
Nit fans can't exactly breathe easy though. He averaged just two points per game against PSU this season, while Payton didn't score in his only game against the Lions.
Purdue takes the series 2-1... thanks for following along. Back Tuesday night as PSU hosts Pittsburgh.
Purdue pitcher Matt Morgan is looking for a complete game -- the Boilers' second of the weekend. He gets two quick outs as Rick Marlin and Ben Heath are retired.
An error by Nick Overmyer on a Louie Picconi grounder keeps the game alive for the Lions. Penn State is down to its final strike with Blake Lynd facing a 2-2 count. Apparently Morgan has thrown 143 pitches so far. The 2-2 pitch is in the dirt and the count is full.
Lynd grounds out and this game is final.
Right-hander Jesse Alfreno is the new pitcher for Penn State, replacing David Lutz. He strikes out Nick Overmyer to start off the inning. Ben Wolgamot flies out to Marlin in right and Alfreno gets 2 quick outs with Alex Jaffee coming to bat.
Jaffee singles to right field and the inning stays alive for the Boilers as No. 9 hitter Eric Nielsen steps up. He rips a single into left, and Purdue has runners on 1st and 2nd with 2 outs for Brandon Haveman.
Haveman picks up an infield single to short as Picconi had to make an off-balance throw to 1st. Bases loaded, 2 outs for Eric Charles. Charles grounds out to Nakata and Alfreno gets out of the jam.
0 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB
Purdue 9, Penn State 3 mid 9
Blake Lynd starts off the bottom of the 8th with a base hit for Penn State. He's a no-out base runner for Landon Nakata.
Nakata draws a 4-pitch walk and that brings up Mike Deese and prompts a Purdue mound visit. The Boilers have a righty and lefty warming up in the bullpen, but no change will be made with starter Matt Morgan still out there.
Deese grounds out to Black at 3rd, but it moves both runners up for Cory Wine. For the second time today Wine thinks he has a walk and tosses the bat toward the dugout. Again, he's called back except he gets another shot at it with the count full now. The payoff pitch gets away, Wine has a walk, Lynd scores and Nakata advances to 3rd. 9-3 Purdue, runners on the corners and 1 out for Steranka.
Steranka pops out to 3rd -- although the wind made it an adventure for Dan Black. It's up to Ryan Boonie to keep the inning alive. He hits a grounder to short, and Overmyer flips to Charles at 2nd for out No. 3.
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errrors, 2 LOB
Purdue 9, Penn State 3 after 8
New pitcher for Penn State as Scott Kelley replaces Mike Lorentson. A good outing for Lorentson, allowing 3 earned runs and seven hits in seven innings of work. Unfortunately for him it cannot end in a win, only a loss or no-decision.
Pinch hitter for Purdue with Tyler Spillner taking the place of cleanup hitter David Blount. He draws a lead-off walk to bring up 1B John Cummins. Spillner steals 2nd and we have a 1-2 count as Cummins has tried to bunt. Will it continue? Finally, no. Cummins fouls off a couple pitches but then Kelley tosses a wild pitch. Spillner advances to 3rd.
That does it for Scott Kelley, as he walks both batters he faced. Robbie Wine comes out to the mound and calls for right-hander Ryan Ignas.
Nick Overmyer welcomes Ignas to the game by almost taking his head off. Ignas recovered and made the throw, but Wine can't handle it at first. Overmyer heads to second, Cummins moves to 3rd and Spillner scores. 5-2 Boilermakers and Ben Wolgamot draws an intentional walk.
Bases loaded, nobody out for Alex Jaffee. Base hit to right field, one run scores and everyone advances a base. 6-2 Purdue.
Nielsen smokes a pitch back up the middle for another single. Two runs score this time, and Purdue has broken this one open 8-2. Runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out, top of the order and another new pitcher. Scott Kelley and Ryan Ignas combine to retire 0 batters as David Lutz comes out of the bullpen and takes the ball. Let's see if he can stop the bleeding.
He starts off by walking Haveman, and the Boilers once again have the bases loaded with nobody out. The first seven batters of the inning have no reached base.
Make that 8 as we have an unhappy Robbie Wine. Eric Charles hit a fly ball to center, Blake Lynd caught it but then dropped it. The umpire ruled he didn't make the catch, but Wine and Lynd disagree.
OK now after listening to Wine's argument, the umpires meet and actually change the ball. A run still scores but Penn State at least gets an out. 2nd and 3rd, 1 out for Dan Black... who gets a free pass.
Spillner hits a grounder to Wine at 1st, he throws home and gets the lead runner. Spillner is safe on a fielder's choice, 2 outs, bases loaded for John Cummins. Cummins lines out to Nakata and that finally retires the side.
5 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 3 LOB
Purdue 9, Penn State 2 mid 8
Cory Wine skies a 2-0 pitch into right field. It looked routine at first, but the wind blew it around everywhere before David Blount made the catch.
Steranka its a deep fly ball into center field just over the ahead of Jaffee. That extends his hit streak to 16 games as he gets a double. Ryan Boonie follows it up with a double of his own into left to score Steranka and cut the lead to 4-2.
Boonie on 2nd, 1 out for Rick Marlin. We have a mound visit for Purdue but there is literally no one even in the Purdue bullpen. Marlin draws a four pitch walk, bringing up Ben Heath. Now a few Purdue players quickly jog out to the bullpen from the dugout. Heath hits a fly ball to opposite field in right but it's caught at the front of the warning track. Boonie advances to 3rd.
Runners on the corners, 2 outs for Picconi. Picconi grounds out to Eric Charles and that ends the short PSU rally.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Purdue 4, Penn State 2
LF Ben Wolgamot batting for Purdue with Lorentson still on the hill. Wolgamot grounds out back to Lorentson for the first out. Nobody warming up in the pen for the Lions.
Alex Jaffee draws a walk -- just the second of the game allowed by Lorentson. Nielsen flies out to Lynd in center, 2 away for the top of the order and Brandon Haveman.
Haveman picks up his first hit of the game with a line drive base hit to right center, moving Jaffee up to 3rd. Runners on the corners, 2 outs for Eric Charles.
This is an out Lorentson must get with the dangerous Dan Black waiting on deck. Not that Charles is bad... he came into the game hitting .425. A pair of arms are up in the Penn State bullpen now for the first time.
Base hit for Charles, that scores 2 runs as Haveman had already advanced to 2nd. Just like that, we have a 4-1 Purdue lead and Dan Black at the plate. Black works a full count after it looked like he should have been rung up on the 1-2 pitch. Nice make-up call by umpire Michael Schultz as he calls Black on a pitch the was more inside than the 1-2 pitch.
Stretch time here at Medlar Field.
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 4, Penn State 1 mid 7
Picconi rips a single into right and it turns into 3 bases as Blount makes an error in right and Picconi gets to 3rd out of it. Simply a fundamental mistake out there as it was a routine play.
And Picconi scores on another mistake by the Boilers as Morgan throws a wild pitch. That defines unearned run right there. 2-1 Purdue.
With the poor play in the field, CF Alex Jaffee decides to step up and make a terrific play as he dives and catches a Blake Lynd fly ball.
Almost another error as Deese hits a grounder to Black at 3rd. Black bobbles it but picks up the ball and tosses to 1st for the final out.
1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 0 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 1 after 6
Purdue star Dan Black steps in. Coming into the game, he boasted an incredible .758 slugging percentage with 11 homers and 8 doubles. This time, he pops out in foul territory.
David Blount grounds out to Picconi at short, 2 away. John Cummins walks to keep the inning alive and we have a mound visit for Lorentson with a pitch count of 83. Nobody is warming up in the bullpen though. Purdue goes with the hit-and-run as Cummins takes off and Overmyer swings, but he flies out to Lynd in center to end the inning.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0
Ryan Boonie hits a hard grounder back at Morgan, but Morgan grabs it and throws Boonie out.
Rick Marlin lines a pitch to 3rd, but Dan Black doesn't have to move and he makes the catch. Ben Heath flies out to center and we're quickly through five innings here at Medlar Field.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0 after 5
Alex Jaffee leading off for the Boilermakers, and he singles out of the reach of Picconi at shortstop.
Eric Nielsen showing bunt as he tries for the sacrifice, but the count moves to 1-2. Of course, we've learned this weekend that Purdue has no problem unsuccessfully bunting with 2 strikes. I guess they learned their lesson though as Nielsen is no longer showing bunt. WAIT. Never mind. Nielsen bunts with a full count, he fouls it off and is therefore out. That just isn't good baseball.
For the first time today, lead-off hitter Brandon Haveman doesn't strike out, but he grounds out. Jaffee advances to 2nd with two outs now.
Eric Charles quickly falls behind 0-2, and on the 1-2 pitch he hits a sharp grounder back at Lorentson. Lorentson makes the play to end the inning.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0 mid 5
We're on the lookout for Snuggies today after having sightings Friday and Saturday. Nothing so far. I wish the guy clapping loudly was wearing one, because with a regular blanket, he wouldn't be able to do that.
Mike Deese back up at the plate after Nakata was caught stealing last inning. Deese hits a slow grounder back to Morgan on the mound for out No. 1.
On a 3-2 pitch, Cory Wine thinks he draws a walk as he sends his bat toward the dugout and heads to 1st, but umpire Michael Schultz has a different idea and calls strike three for the second out.
Steranka grounds out to 1st to end the inning.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0 after 4
John Cummins grounds out to Picconi at short to start the 3rd, bringing up Nick Overmyer.
There is a guy sitting in the first row with the absolute loudest clapping I have ever heard. Every out, every play, this clapping takes over the ballpark and actually sounds louder than the music from our seats inside the press box.
Overmyer grounds out to short, and our cheerleader claps for 45 seconds or so. Inning over as Wolgamot grounds out to first.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0 mid 4
C Ben Heath starts things off for the Lions with a single back up the middle to bring up Louie Picconi with a man on, nobody out.
Picconi taps a bunt down the 1st base line and is tagged out, but it gets the job done as Heath advances to 2nd. Blake Lynd steps up with Heath in scoring position. Morgan tosses a wild pitch and Heath easily moves over to 3rd base. Full count to Lynd, and he hits a hard grounder to Eric Charles at 2nd. He steps on 1st and Heath can't score.
It's up to Landon Nakata now to keep the inning alive. He gets ahead in the count 3-0 before taking a strike. The 3-1 pitch is in the dirt and Nakata walks. 2 on, 2 out for Mike Deese.
A questionable decision as Nakata takes off from 1st and is gunned down by Eric Nielsen at 2nd. I'm not sure why they would try that with 2 outs and Heath sitting on 3rd.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0
Back to the top of the order for Purdue with DH Brandon Haveman. And Lorentson gets him to strike out for the second time today. Lorentson plunks Eric Charles, and with a 2-2 count to Dan Black, Charles swipes 2nd. Actually, he looked out and everyone but umpire Paul Landcaster seemed to think the same.
It turns out to be a huge call as Black singles to center and Charles comes around to score. 2-0 Boilers.
Blount lines out and Black is doubled up at 1st to end the inning, but Purdue gets a run in the inning as a result of the questionable call on the stolen base.
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 2, Penn State 0 mid 3
1B Cory Wine leading off for PSU after he hit two homers into right-center. He walks but gets picked off at 1st. A Jordan Steranka strikeout puts two quick outs on the board as he searches to extend his hit streak to 16 games.
Ryan Boonie steps up and rips a pitch deep into the left-center gap. He rounds 2nd and slides into 3rd for the first career triple for the 235-pound senior. But Rick Marlin strikes out and Boonie is left stranded.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 1, Penn State 0 after 2
1B John Cummins leads off the 2nd with a single back up he middle off Lorentson. Overmyer hits a high chopper over to Steranka at 3rd, no play at 2nd and he throws Overmyer out.
Wolgamot rips a pitch down the right field line. It's too much for Cory Wine to handle at 1st, Wolgamot is safe and Cummins scores from 2nd. 1-0 Boilermakers and that will be scored an error.
Lorentson blows an 85 mph fastball past Alex Jaffee on the inside corner, and he's rung up for out No. 2, bringing up ninth hitter Eric Nielsen. Nielsen (.225) and Wolgamot (.239) are the only two players in the Purdue lineup today not hitting at least .300. Wolgamot takes off from 1st and Heath's throw gets away from Nakata at 2nd. Wolgamot advances to 3rd, but Nielsen flies out on the next pitch to end the inning.
1 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 LOB
Purdue 1, Penn State 0 mid 2nd
Blake Lynd leads things off for a Penn State offense that saw all nine players get at least one hit yesterday. The No. 4-9 hitters each had multi-hit games, while 4-7 each had 3 hits. Lynd goes down swinging for the first out of the inning.
Landon Nakata grounds out to short, 2 quick outs as Mike Deese steps to the plate. Deese pops up to right and that retires the side.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Penn State 0, Purdue 0
A nice start for Mike Lorentson as Purdue lead-off man Brandon Haveman goes down looking on three pitchers for out No. 1. But 2B Eric Charles responds with a single through the right side for the first hit of the ballgame.
3B Dan Black steps up to the plate after a monster game yesterday in which he launched two home runs over the right field wall. He's hitting .343 and now has 11 homers and 36 RBI for the season. He rips a single into right field and Purdue has two on with one out for RF David Blount.
Lorentson gets out of the jam as Blount grounds into a double play to end the inning.
0 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Purdue 0, Penn State coming to bat mid 1st
An important stat to watch today:
-Today's starting pitchers Mike Lorentson and Matt Morgan have each pitched 33.0 innings this season. Lorentson has walked 25 batters, while Morgan has walked just 7.
Welcome back to our third live blog of the weekend from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. Matt Brown here to bring you through today's game as Penn State and Purdue square off in the rubber match of their three-game series.
In the rain Friday night, Purdue's Kyle Bischoff tossed a complete game to lead the Boilermakers to a 6-4 victory. Saturday, Penn State put 20 hits on the board as Rick Marlin and Cory Wine led a comeback effort in an 11-9 win.
Today, lefty Mike Lorentson (1-3, 6.82) takes the mound for the Nittany Lions against Purdue right-hander Matt Morgan (2-2, 4.09) on a beautiful day at the ballpark. There's not a cloud in the sky, although the wind will almost certainly have an impact on today's game.
1. 24 Brandon Haveman, DH
2. 2 Eric Charles, 2B
3. 19 Dan Black, 3B
4. 15 David Blount, RF
5. 5 John Cummins, 1B
6. 11 Nick Overmyer, SS
7. 20 Ben Wolgamot, LF
8. 8 Alex Jaffee, CF
9. 26 Eric Nielsen, C
1. 8 Blake Lynd, CF
2. 3 Landon Nakata, 2B
3. 34 Mike Deese, DH
4. 13 Cory Wine, 1B
5. 25 Jordan Steranka, 3B
6. 22 Ryan Boonie, LF
7. 12 Rick Marlin, RF
8. 33 Ben Heath, C
9. 9 Louie Picconi, SS
First pitch is set for 1:05, so we're about 20 minutes away.
A win Saturday would have thrust Georgetown back into the
ECAC picture. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, Loyola had other plans.
Behind five goals by Cooper MacDonnell, the Greyhounds edged
out the Hoyas 8-7 in Washington, D.C. MacDonnell added an assist to his
outstanding performance for Loyola.
Even though Loyola didn't take more than eight shots in any
period, it did win 13 of 19 faceoffs and got 10 saves from Jake Hagelin.
The Greyhound defense prevented Georgetown from running its
offense. Andrew Brancaccio netted a hat trick, but Craig Dowd was the only Hoya
to record an assist.
There weren't too many other games this week in the ECAC,
but here's how they went:
Yale 18, Fairfield 10: The Stags are glad this one doesn't count for the league standings. The Bulldogs had eight players score goals and seven notch assists, all while throwing 27 shots on goal. Three Bulldogs finished with hat tricks, led by Michael Karwoski's five-goal effort
His only goal Saturday came a minute and 23 seconds into overtime. UMass
dominated the extra session, scooping up all three ground balls and recording
both shots. Tim Balise had a hat trick, while goalies Doc Schneider and Max
Silberlicht put on a defensive show, recording 21 and 18 saves, respectively.
Syracuse 10, Rutgers 3: The Orange held Rutgers scoreless in the first half and outshot the Scarlet Knights 39-27. On the bright side, Rutgers held Syracuse to one of its lowest scoring outputs of the season. Still, hat tricks by Chris Daniello and Stephen Keogh made this one not a contest.
So with another week of ECAC play in the books, here's how the standings shape up. Notice Penn State's slow but steady movement up the rankings. We're also including how many games teams are behind league-leader UMass as the season winds down.
1. UMass (4-0, 7-3) Â Â Â Â Â Â --
2. Loyola (4-1, 7-4) Â Â Â Â Â Â 0.5
3. Fairfield (3-1, 6-4) Â Â Â Â Â Â 1
4. Rutgers (2-2, 4-8) Â Â Â Â Â Â 2
5. Penn State (2-3, 6-5) Â Â Â 2.5
6. Georgetown (1-3, 5-6) Â Â Â 3
T7. Hobart (1-4, 5-5) Â Â Â Â Â 3.5
T7. St. John's (1-4, 5-5) Â Â Â 3.5
It's all intra-conference action next week. Hobart and St. John's kick things off Friday in New York in a battle for last place.
Then on Saturday, Georgetown heads up to Massachusetts and Fairfield travels to Loyola. Penn State and Rutgers wrap up the action Sunday in Piscataway.
Ryan Ignas will be in trying to close out the win and get his third save of the season.
Black sends one deep over the wall in right field to bring the Boilers only two runs back. It's his second home run of the day, joining Wine as the two players to do so.11-9 PSU
Pinch hitter Tyler Spillner walks to bring the tying run to the plate.
Deese settles under a flyball and makes the catch for the first out of the inning.
Overmyer is now batting. he hits one fairly deep and Marlin makes the catch over his head for the out.
Spillner gets caught running and Marlin throws a rifle back to first to double off Spiller and end the game.
1 run, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 left; 11-9 PSU final
That wraps up Penn State's win today. Be sure to check our Web site for a Web update and we'll be blogging tomorrow as Penn State and Purdue play in the series' rubber game Sunday at 1:05 p.m.
Ryan Baker will be the Boilermakers' new pitcher.
Wine gets ahead 2-0 and 3-1 before he crushes one to right center for a leadoff home run to tie the game. It was almost a replay of the previous homer he hit. It's the first two-home run game for the Lions since Wine did it himself last April against Illinois.8-8 tie
It's a brand new ballgame as Steranka steps in.
He knocks in a single to reach base as the leading run stands at first with nobody out. That ends Baker's night as Joe Haase will come in.
Boonie shows bunt but pulls back twice to make it a 1-1 count. He does it again to go ahead 2-1. He fouls back his first real attempt. He should be swinging normally here and Boonie hits one to left to make it first and second, still zero out.
Marlin steps in and a hit could give the Lions the lead. He hits done to the wall to drive in two runs as the Lions do take the lead again. That ball reached the bottom of the wall and just stuck there to allow Marlin to get in easily at second. 10-8 PSU
Heath almost reaches on a bobble but is still thrown out as Purdue finally gets the first out of the inning.
Picconi sends one deep and it makes Blount retreat back. The ball just seemed to carry and Blount kept changing his body position as Picconi gets the triple. That's the 20th hit of the day for Penn State, the third time that's happened this year. 11-8 PSU
Haase is done for the night as Blake Mascarello goes to the mound.
Lynd can't bring Picconi home on a bunt as he's thrown out for the second out. Picconi remains at third for Nakata.
Heath hits one to the left side for a leadoff single. That brings the leading run to the plate.
Picconi gets a 3-2 count, so this next pitch could decide how productive this inning will be. Picconi finds room under Black's glove for another single to make it first and second with no out.
Lynd is up as PSU has a serious threat building here in the 7th. It's clear Lynd wants to put down a sac bunt, but he's unable to get down the first attempt. On his second attempt, Lynd pops up the bunt for an out. Luckily for PSU, the runners got back to their bags to avoid being doubled up.
Nakata hits one to the SS and Overmyer flips to second for the second out. That makes it runners on the corners with two out for Deese.
Deese missed an opportunity earlier in the game to make a dent in the scoreboard as he hit into an inning-ending DP with the bases loaded. Here, Deese gets out again as he grounds out to Black to end the threat.
Wine hits one deep and over the right field wall for a very rare home run for the Lions here at the Med. That's just the second HR for PSU this season at home, as Bobby Jacobs has the other. 7-4 Purdue
Steranka hits one hard up the middle to reach first. Penn State has gotten a couple of great swings already this inning, so it seems like some of the hitters may have solved Jansen here in their third at-bats.
Boonie gets a single to the right side as Steranka goes from first to third. Still no out as Marlin steps up representing the tying run.
Boonie steals second without a throw as Penn State continues to do what it wants to offensively both at the plate and on the base paths this inning.
Marlin hits one to the left side that loops down for a hit as two more Lions score. Marlin is in easily with a double and there are still no outs. 7-6 Purdue
That ends Jansen's night as Kevin Cahill will try to limit the damage.
Heath falls behind 0-2 as he tries to tie the game with a well-placed hit. He rallies to make it 3-2 before he goes down swinging. That's the start Cahill was looking for.
Picconi gets a walk on four pitchers as the leading run reaches base.
In steps Lynd, the leadoff hitter. He hits one that takes an unusual bounce and goes over Overmyer's head. The ball goes into the OF and Marlin scores. A very strange play but it ties the game regardless.7-7 tie
Nakata grounds out but actually reaches first as a bad throw and error by Overmyer causes Madia to take his foot off the bag. That makes it bases loaded for Deese with only one out.
Cahill gets the huge out as he gets a DP to finally end the inning.
4 runs, 5 hits, 1 error, 2 left; 7-7 after 5
Paul Cianciolo is the new pitcher for the Lions.
First batter he sees is an out as Madia grounds out to first.
Overmyer lines one on the first pitch into CF. The ball hops into Lynd's glove as the Boilers have a threat.
Very next batter is almost an inning-ending DP as Nakata tries to start it by throwing to second. But Wolgamot beats the throw back to first by half a step.
Wolgamot advances to second when Heath can't handle Cianciolo's pitch. That allows Purdue to perhaps socre another run with a hit.
Jaffee almost ends the inning with a grounder to third but Steranka instead has a throwing error as the ball goes to the side. That allows Jaffee to go to second. 7-3 Purdue
Nielsen walks on a full count and Jaffee is able to steal third as he got a good jump on the pitch. Now it's first and third for Haveman who grounds out to Nakata to end the inning.
Heath earns a leadoff walk as Penn State tries to start a rally to get back in this game.
Blount makes another defensive out as he gets a flyball from Picconi.
Heath almost gets caught in a pickle as Nielsen throws to first. If Nielsen didn't stutter step, Heath would have been out.
Lynd thinks he gets a walk but instead gets a strike. On the next pitch, Lynd almost beats out a grounder to the right side, but he's thrown out. Heath does advance to second on the play.
Nakata gets a big two-out RBI on a 1-2 count to score Heath. No shot for Purdue to have a play at the plate as the Lions gets a little closer. 6-3 Purdue
Blount is again on the run defensively as he makes the catch against Deese to end the inning.
1 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 1 left; 6-3 Purdue after 4
Jaffee reaches to start the inning with a leadoff single.
Nielsen sends one deep and forces Lynd to backpedal before making the catch on the warning track.
Haveman sends one deep and over the right field fence for just his second home run of the season. The ball just seems to carry out to right, and it certainly helped that one get out in a hurry. 5-2 Purdue
Charles reaches on an infield single, but Picconi gives a nice effort as he tried to make a bare-handed throw. He just missed the out by a step.
Charles advances to second as he takes advantage of a bobble by Heath.
Black hits one down the left side but the ball is called foul. A couple of pitches later, Black grounds out softly. He does advance Charles to third as another run is only one hit away for the Boilers.
Blount hits one hard to right field to score Charles but Blount is gunned down trying to stretch his hit into a double to end the inning.
Steranka continues to just rake. He hits one up the middle to stretch his hitting streak to 15 games.
Boonie puts down a successful sacrifice to advance Steranka into scoring position.
Marlin, who was one of the top offensive stars for the Lions last night, can give his team the lead with a hit into the outfield here.
He does just that, but he hits it a little too hard to allow Steranka to come in, as Blount rifles it back in quickly. Still, it's runners on the corners with only one out.
Heath hits one right between the LF and CF as the ball drops in safely for a hit. That scores Steranka as the Lions grab the lead. 1-0 PSU
Picconi hits one relatively well but Blount is able to track it down to make the catch. Marlin tags up and goes to third with two out.
Lynd works a walk to make it bases loaded. Nakata is up for the biggest at-bat of the game so far.
Nakata sends one to the warning track to right. The ball just seemed to carry but Blount still makes the play. He had some trouble with his footing at the end, but that's a big out.
1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 left; 1-0 PSU after 2
Madia goes down looking for Grumley's first strikeout.
Grumley is in a groove right now, as Overmyer grounds out to short.
Grumley Ks Wolgamot swinging to end the inning. Grumley is controlling the tempo right now, as he isn't giving the hitters much time between pitches.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left; 0-0 after 1 1/2
Lynd flies out to Black for the first out. Black falls over making the catch, but the ump makes the call and Lynd is retired.
Nakata hits one to deep right-center for a double. He thought about stretching it into a triple, but retraced his steps after making a small turn.
Deese flies out to RF as Nakata remains at second and in scoring position.
Wine hits one softly into the shift as he grounds out to end the inning.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 0-0 after 1
Two pitches and already one out as Haveman flies out to Marlin.
Grumley is working very quickly as he gets ahead 0-2.Charles hits one hard but right at Wine for another out.
Black continues to be a major threat at the plate as he lines one back up the middle to keep the inning alive. Nakata gave a good effort by trying to get as close as he could for a dive, but no one could've gotten that one.
Blount can't keep the inning going as he grounds out to Picconi to end the inning.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 0-0 after 1/2
What a difference.
Last night, the rain poured for half the game as most of the fans took cover under the overhang. But here we are a little more than 12 hours later and the weather gods are smiling down over State College.
Penn State is taking fielding practice right now, so the game's lineups shouldn't be too far away.
The Nittany Lions come in at 18-13 with a 3-4 Big Ten record. Penn State has been hovering around .500 in the conference as of late, so today's game will see if it can pull even again.
Meanwhile, Purdue climbed back to .500 overall with a 6-4 win last night as Matt Bischoff threw a complete game.
A clip of the movie Gridiron Gang is shown to pump everyone up I guess. I have to say, I thought that movie was terrible.
Grant Youngblood pinch hitting for Bobby Jacobs to get a lefty-righty matchup. Bischoff is going for the complete game and he strikes out Youngblood. Sean Deegan now pinch hits for Louie Picconi as Robbie Wine sends another right-handed bat out there.
Deegan also strikes out, and that's eight strikeouts for Bischoff now. Pinch count up to 133 now for Bischoff, but he's one out away and just hit 90 on the radar gun.
Blake Lynd keeps things alive for Penn State as he rips a pitch opposite way down the left field line for a single. Nakata steps up representing the tying run for the Lions. Lynd swipes second with no throw. A walk for Nakata and that might do it for Bischoff. Never mind... despite a mound visit, Bischoff stays out there.
1st and 2nd, 2 outs, Mike Deese at the plate... 2-2 count and Deese is called out on strikes.
What a game for Bischoff as he finishes the complete game.
Drew Madia leads off against Alfreno in the top of the 9th. Madia grounds out to Alfreno for the first out. A quick second out as Barrett Arthur grounds out to Wine.
Overmyer lines out to 1st to end the inning.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 6, Penn State 4 mid 9th
No. 28 Barrett Arthur comes in to play left field for Purdue. Amazingly, Bischoff is still on the mound with a pitch count of 116 (80 strikes).
Steranka to lead off the inning for the Lions. He grounds out to short and helps out Bischoff by adding just one pitch to the count.
Rick Marlin strikes out and we have 2 quick outs. Make that 3 as Borden grounds out on the first pitch. Great inning for Bischoff as his pitch total barely rises.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 6, Penn State 4 after 8
And we have a lead-off double for Purdue's David Blount... he pinch hit for Tyler Spillner and his three strikeouts. Nick Overmyer quickly drives him in with a single and Purdue retakes the lead, 5-4.
For the second time, Purdue has struck out while trying to bunt with 2 strikes. This time it's Jonathan Lilly. Odd strategy to put it kind of nicely.
Alex Jaffee flies out to left and one of the student section members shouts "You should've bunted." Well played.
Eric Nielsen hits a hard grounder at Picconi. He can't handle it and Nielsen is safe at 1st. It'll be ruled a single. 1st and 2nd, 2 outs for the top of the order... and by that I mean a pinch hitter. Ben Wolgamot replaces Brandon Haveman, and he draws a walk.
Lutz in some trouble as the bases are loaded for 2B Eric Charles. And that will be the end of the night for Lutz as he's replaced by Jesse Alfreno (0-0, 4.50).
Alfreno walks Eric Charles on five pitches, 6-4 Boilers and No. 3 hitter Dan Black steps up with the bases still loaded. Alfreno rebounds to strikeout Black on three pitches to end the inning.
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 3 LOB
Purdue 6, Penn State 4 mid 8th
Purdue leaves Matt Bischoff out there for the seventh. I'm informed that he's thrown 107 pitches thus far. Landon Nakata leading things off for the Lions, and he strikes out on three pitches for out No. 1.
Mike Deese smashes one to deep left-center but Alex Jaffee gets a good jump and makes the catch at the warning track for the second out.
A mound visit for Purdue as someone in the 10-15 person student section breaks out a cowbell. Apparently it intimidated Bischoff as he throws a fastball several feet over the catcher's head on the first pitch to Cory Wine.
Wine grounds out, and that's it here in the 7th.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Penn State 4, Purdue 4 after 7
For the first time all day lead-off man Brandon Haveman doesn't strikeout. Instead, he just misses a home run as he hits one off the new Penn State baseball sign on the high wall in right for a double.
Macy is still out there has he's over 120 pitches now. Eric Charles singles and Purdue has 1st and 3rd with nobody out and the middle of the order up. Robbie Wine is out at the moud now with no signal to the bullpen. The Lions have 2 relievers warming up. OK now that's it for Macy as he's done after 7+ innings. I know there aren't many fans here, but you'd think Macy would get some cheers after a terrific 12 strikeout performance.
Lefty David Lutz (4-0, 2.84 ERA) enters the game. He's easily been the most effective reliever for the Lions lately. Tough situation to enter into with no one out and two on.
No. 3 hitter Dan Black grounds into a 6-4-3 double play right away, but a run comes across to tie the game.
Another great Macy outing, and another no-decision for the staff ace.
Lutz gets Madia to chase a breaking ball and miss. Great job by Lutz to get out of the inning, although Purdue has tied it up. It's stretch time here at Medlar Field.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Penn State 4, Purdue 4 mid 7
Rick Marlin leads off the 6th for Penn State with a single for his second hit of the night. Wes Borden gets hit with a pitch on the foot and the Lions have 2 aboard with nobody out. There's a lot of action in the Purdue bullpen but it looks like Bischoff is staying out there for now to face Jacobs. Jacobs lays down a bunt, but it turns into a fielder's choice as Marlin is thrown out at 3rd.
Now Picconi is trying for the sacrifice but he quickly falls behind 0-2 and then strikes out. 2 outs and back to the top of the order with Blake Lynd.
Another half swing grounder for Lynd. This time he's easily thrown out to end the inning.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Penn State 4, Purdue 3 after 6
11 strikeouts now for Macy as he gets Lilly. It's the first double digit strikeout performance by a Penn State pitcher since 2005. But his pitch count is up to 110 now though, so I can't imagine he'll pitch past this inning.
Strikeout No. 12. Alex Jaffee is the victim this time, his 2nd.
Nielsen hits a shallow fly ball to center and Lynd gets under it for the final out.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Penn State 4, Purdue 3 mid 6
Picconi starts off the bottom of the 5th by roping one down the right field line out of the reach of Lilly. That'll be a stand up double for Picconi.
Lynd with a swinging bunt as he reaches base, the throw gets away, he advances to 2nd and Picconi scores. Tie ballgame and Nakata grounds out to short. 1 out, Lynd on 2nd and Mike Deese batting with the scored tied up at 3.
Deese rips a pitch into left for a single, easily scoring Lynd from 2nd and Penn State now has its first lead at 4-3. 2 outs now as Wine pops out to 3rd.
Steranka flies out to center, but the damage has been done here in the 5th as PSU gets 2 runs to take the lead
2 runs, 3 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB
Penn State 4, Purdue 3 after 5
Amazingly we don't start the inning with a strikeout as Dan Black draws a lead-off walk. Clean-up hitter Drew Madia actually does lay down a sacrifice bunt this time, and it's successful. Black to 2nd, 1 out.
Strikeout No. 10 for Macy as Spiller goes down for the 3rd time in 5 innings.
Overmyer hits a single just out of the reach of Nakata at 2nd, but Rick Marlin guns down Dan Black at the plate for the final out.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Purdue 3, Penn State 2 mid 5
Good start to the inning for PSU as Cory Wine singles into right to bring up Jordan Steranka -- who extended his hit streak to 14 games in the 2nd inning.
Steranka hits one deep down the left field line but it is caught by Spillner. Didn't look like too tough of a catch, but Spillner decided to dive anyway and make it look difficult. He won't fool me
Penn State cuts the lead to 3-2 as Marlin drives a double deep into right-center and Wine comes around to score easily.
Wes Borden inside-outs a 2-2 fastball into foul territory for an easy out for 3B Dan Black. 2 outs, Marlin on 2nd, Bobby Jacobs at the plate. Jacobs hits a hard grounder down the 3rd base line, just foul. The umpire decided to yell it multiple times. Why? I don't know. Back at the plate, Jacobs pops up a 0-2 pitch to center to end the inning.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 3, Penn State 2 after 4
Strikeout No. 6 already for Macy as Alex Jaffee goes down swinging. Eric Nielsen strikes out but reaches first as a throw from Jacobs to Wine gets away.
And yet another strikeout, Brandon Haveman also goes down swinging.
We have a huge rarity here at Medlar Field as T.J. Macy gets his fourth strikeout of the inning, getting Eric Charles on an 0-2 pitch.
The 4 4th-inning strikeouts give Macy 9 strikeouts for the game already. Wow.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 3, Penn State 1
The ump is showing a pretty wide strike zone so far, and Picconi is rung up for out No. 1.
Lynd hits a ground ball over to Black at 3rd, but he bobbles it and has no chance to get the speedy Lynd at 1st. That'll be an E-5.
PSU goes for a hit and run but Nakata swings and misses. Lynd beats the throw at 2nd for his 14th stolen base of the year. Nakata taps one back to Bischoff on the mound for an easy out. Lynd is stuck at 2nd. 2 outs for Mike Deese.
Deese grounds out to short, that retires the side.
0 runs, 0 hits, 1 error, 1 LOB
Purdue 3, Penn State 1 after 3
A steady rain continues to fall here at Medlar Field as the grounds crew scatters fresh dirt around the infield. No. 2 hitter Eric Charles draws a lead-off walk for the Boilermakers.
And another walk, not a great start to the inning for Macy as 3B Dan Black takes a free pass to 1st. Clean-up hitter Drew Madia squares around to bunt on the first pitch, but he rips the second pitch to right for a single. Charles is held at 3rd and the bases are loaded with nobody out for LF Tyler Spillner.
The rain is really coming down out there now. No guarantee we get this one in without a delay...
Big first out for Macy as Spillner is caught looking on a 3-2 pitch. Definitely a close one, but tough to take with the count full.
Next batter, 2 runs score as Nick Overmyer hits a single just out of the reach of Deese in left field. 3-1 Purdue, runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out for RF Jonathan Lilly.
And Macy gets Lilly to hit a grounder up the middle for a very easy 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the 3rd.
2 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 LOB
Purdue 3, Penn State 1 mid 3rd
1B Cory Wine leads things off for the Lions, hitting .357 for the season. He hits a sharp liner opposite field but it's caught by Spillner in left for out No. 1.
Jordan Steranka steps up to the plate with his 13 game hitting streak on the line, and he wastes no time extending that one with a single up the middle. That should put his average above .400.
Rick Marlin chases an off-speed pitch low and away and strikes out. 2 outs with Steranka on 1st.
And we have a tie ballgame as Wes Borden lines one into the gap in right-center. He cruises into second as Steranka flies around 3rd and gets home safely. 1-1 now as Bobby Jacobs has a chance to give the Lions the lead with Borden in scoring position on 2nd. He hits a 2-2 pitch opposite field, but Lilly is there to put it away and retire the side.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Penn State 1, Purdue 1 after 2
A third strikeout for Macy already as Tyler Spillner goes down swinging. SS Nick Overmyer singles and Purdue has a man aboard with one out.
Questionable decision by Steranka over at 3rd as he controlled a Jonathan Lilly grounder and threw it to 2nd, but not in time. Lilly is also safe at 1st. Two on, 1 out.
Alex Jaffee singles off the glove of Picconi at first, Lynd picks it up in center and fires home, but Overmyer just beats the throw and is called safe. Purdue takes a 1-0 lead and again has runners on 1st and 2nd with 1 out.
Eric Nielsen flies out to Lynd in center, 2 away. Back to the top of the order, Haveman strikes out, the ball gets away from Jacobs, but Jacobs throws him out at 1st.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 2 LOB
Purdue 1, Penn State 0
Blake Lynd leads things off for PSU with a single through the right side as his average creeps up toward the .400 mark. No. 2 hitter Landon Nakata is rung up by umpire Paul Lancaster on an 85 mph pitch for the first out.
BIGGEST NEWS OF THE DAY SO FAR: We have a Snuggie sighting. Yes, the commercial doesn't lie... you can wear them at baseball games. Good for her.
Back to baseball... Lynd gets picked off over at 1st and Deese grounds out to retire the side.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 0 LOB
Penn State 0, Purdue 0 after 1
We're a few minutes late getting started here, but Penn State has taken the field and T.J. Macy is about ready to get things underway against Purdue DH Brandon Haveman. The Boilers have a really solid top of the order with Haveman (.406), 2B Eric Charles (.439) and 3B Dan Black (.330, 9 HR, 34 RBI).
Good start for Macy as he catches Haveman looking on an 88 mph fastball that looked low and away. Then again, the umpire has a much better perspective than I do all the way up here.
Another strikeout for Macy as Eric Charles goes down swinging. The quick 1-2-3 inning doesn't happen though as Dan Black rips a single through the right side.
That'll do it for the top of the first as Drew Madia pops up to Mike Deese in left to retire the side.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 LOB
Purdue 0, Penn State coming to bat Mid 1st
What's up Penn State baseball fans, Matt Brown here -- thankfully from the cover of the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park press box. It's raining and half the campus has gone home for Easter, so it's not surprising that the crowd out there is looking pretty thin.
Anyway, we have an important series to bring to you this weekend as Penn State (18-12, 3-3 Big Ten) hosts Purdue (13-14, 3-2) in a three-game conference series. Last season, the Boilermakers took 3-of-4 regular season games from the Nittany Lions and also gave PSU its first Big Ten tournament loss. Purdue finished the 2008 regular season ranked No. 2 in the Big Ten, while Penn State finished third.
Penn State ace T.J. Macy will take the mound today, boasting a 2.82 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 44.2 innings. He'll face Purdue righty Matt Bischoff, who has a 2-2 record in seven starts.
1. 24 Brandon Haveman, DH
2. 2 Eric Charles, 2B
3. 19 Dan Black, 3B
4. 17 Drew Madia, 1B
5. 44 Tyler Spillner, LF
6. 11 Nick Overmyer, SS
7. 29 Jonathan Lilly, RF
8. 8 Alex Jaffee, CF
9. 26 Eric Nielsen, C
1. 8 Blake Lynd, CF
2. 3 Landon Nakata, 2B
3. 34 Mike Deese, LF
4. 13 Cory Wine, 1B
5. 25 Jordan Steranka, 3B
6. 12 Rick Marlin, RF
7. 5 Wes Borden, DH
8. 14 Bobby Jacobs, C
9. 9 Louis Picconi, SS
First pitch should be in about 10 minutes, stay tuned.
When the Penn State men's volleyball team takes the court to take on rival George Mason Saturday night, they won't see the normal green and gold staring back at them from across the net.
Instead, they'll see a color not seen often on the playing courts and fields of men's athletics -- pink.
Once play starts on Saturday, the Patriots will become the first team to hold a "Dig Pink" event. These events raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer.
The Patriots will be rocking white jerseys with pink and black lettering. Mason's libero jersey will be black with pink and white lettering.
Fans will also be able to purchase special pink George Mason t-shirt (which can be seen here) with all sales going to the Side-Out Foundation, which uses volleyball to help fund research and fight breast cancer.
I know pink isn't exactly the most fashionable color (I had to wear a pink shirt for a job one time and hated it). But then again, the saying goes that "real men wear pink," and I think we should all be tipping our caps to the Patriots and their squad for hosting an event for such a cause.
Dean's Take: Considering I now laugh whenever I hear the word "logistics," whether it's Balboni-related or not, this doesn't surprise me.
Pat's Take: This one should come as no surprise -- anyone who has been around Coach Balboni knows his affinity for the word.
Paul's Take: Like the other guys said, no contest here. Balboni must have used it enough to rub off on some others, as even coach Downey and a lot of the players started throwing the word "logistics" around in a lot of late-season interviews.
Shift of the Year
In the first of our writer-given awards, we're going to honor the best :30-1:30 individual stretch of the season. Not really any other criteria aside from what stuck out the most.
At least for us, the single-most impressive shift of the year came against Oakland University. In this shift, the individual responsible made two GIANT, bone-crushing hits (and another that may have only left stress fractures). For the near entirety of the shift, this individual stalked back and forth along the visitor's blue line, daring any Golden Grizzly to cross while carrying the puck. No dice.
As a result, this individual earned nicknames from us such as "The One Man Wrecking Crew," "Jersey's Finest," and the THON-Induced "Little Mermaid." Here's to you Paul Daley. Congrats on the most painful 39 seconds we have ever seen (and if you feel the need to hit any of us for this, hit Paul).
In the movie of your life, who plays your girlfriend?
It was a wide open contest in this category, with 10 different women receiving votes (although only one received more than one vote).
2nd Place (Tie) - 1 Vote: Marisa Miller, Angelina Jolie, Heidi Klum, Elisha Cuthbert, Megan Fox, Jessica Beil, the twins from "I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry," Jessica Simpson and Eva Mendez
And coming in 1st, with 3 Votes: Jessica Alba
Dean's Take: While I wouldn't argue if you forced Alba on me, I think out of the choices offered to me here, I'd side with Mike Diethorn's choice of Megan Fox.
Pat's Take: I'd have to side with Mills's pick of Marisa Miller, but you definitely can't go wrong with Alba.
Paul's Take: I'm going off the board with this one, nobody got it right. Jennifer Aniston. End of story.
Quote of the Year
Considering we almost created a weekly blog post with this individual, solely to hear statements of increasing ridiculousness, this award was a unanimous decision. While we may have never started "Tuesdays With Teddy," we have no regrets in awarding this for basically anything said this year by sophomore goalie Teddy Hume.
Best nickname on the team
Coming into this category we had a feeling this would come down to two nicknames, and sure enough it did.
3rd Place (Tie) - 1 Vote: Pops, The Columbus Cutler, Condor, McGaff
2nd Place - 3 Votes: The Grey One
And coming in 1st, with 5 Votes (the leading vote-getter in any category): Sweet Lou
Dean's Take: If Steve Thurston can make his own nickname, I want to as well. From now on, please refer to me as Crash Davis.
Pat's Take: It's rare that a self-given nickname sticks, but "Sweet Lou" is a classic, if not incredibly random.
Paul's take: Yes Pat, "Sweet Lou" is random and definitely a classic. No Dean, we will not be calling you Crash Davis. I can think of some other things we can call you, though. None of which are appropriate for print.
Man of the Year
While the majority of the readers will expect this award to go to Luke DeLorenzo, Frank Berry or any of this year's seniors, this award goes to someone who was only quoted twice this season (and someone we figure most fans would overlook).
The winner of this award acted as the man behind the team. The post-game scene of this individual carrying countless sticks toward the locker room, the pre-game scene of this individual corralling loose pucks from around the ice and in-game scene of him repairing the broken end boards after Steve Thurston's now famous declaration of "The f***ing board fell off." We'd like to recognize the efforts of a man that far too often goes unnoticed. Here's to you, Graham Pepperman, team equipment manager, jack of all trades and, now, Between The Pipes' Man of the Year.
Biggest Ladies Man
And now to the biggest (and most anticipated) category of the night. Throughout the season we really only remembered two candidates, so we figured it'd come down between them -- but instead we got the biggest upset of the night.
4th Place (Tie) - 1 Vote: Lukas DeLorenzo, Brandon Rubeo, Kyle Mills and Teddy Hume
3rd Place - 3 Votes: John Jay
2nd Place - 3.5 Votes:... Matt Kirstein
And coming in 1st, with 4.5 Votes and the biggest surprise of the night: Chris Pronchik.
Dean's Take: Considering when Kirstein asked me who won this last week our guess was that it came down between him and John Jay, this is shocking.
Pat's Take: I don't have any inside information on this, so I'll just have to take the guys' word for it.
Paul's Take:: Yeah not really sure what to say about this one, just got to trust the guys with it. I'll be nice to Pat and Dean, and not reveal who the biggest ladies man among the Icers reporters is.
We'll here we are, back again with a brand spanking new feature on Above the Net we like to call the reporter roundup.
The segment is pretty much what it seems. We catch up with a beat writer for one of the upcoming Penn State opponents and get their feedback on their team, the match and maybe a little outside stuff.
The first writer to be so accommodating is The Daily Princetonian's Jake Miller.
1. What does Princeton have to do to avoid the result seen in its previous matchup against Penn State?
It's hard to point to one thing -- Penn State's victory was very comprehensive last time around -- but if Princeton is to have any chance, it will need to be solid in its fundamentals, especially serving and receiving. The passing game will need to be sharp to keep the Tigers in the game.
2. Who should Penn State and their fans be on the look out for on Princeton's side of the net?
At various points during the season, Princeton has had different people step up. Our outside hitters, Phil Rosenberg and Vinny Tuminelli, have been solid lately but I'd point to our middles, Mike Vincent and Jeff McCown, to make a splash on Friday.
3. What do you think of Princeton's postseason chances?
After Penn State, the EIVA is pretty even. If Princeton plays its best, then it can beat Juniata, Springfield, St. Francis and Mason, but it's hard to see Princeton getting past the Nittany Lions. If the Tigers draw one of the mid-table teams, I can see a victory.
All signs point to a sweep, but I think Princeton will come out firing and take the first game. Head coach Glenn Nelson, who has been here since 1979, is retiring, and there should be a good crowd on hand to send off the senior class and the coach in the season's final home game. After that first game, though, I think Penn State's talent will shine through. 3-1 Nittany Lions.
For the 10th straight time, No. 2 UC Irvine defeated No. 4 Southern California 3-1 (30-15, 22-30, 30-25, 30-24).
USC was led by Tony Ciarelli who delivered 23 kills while hitting an impressive.487. Ciarelli also pitched in 9 digs.
Ciarelli was followed by the Trojans' equlvalent of Max Holt. Murphy Troy added 17 kills, 10 digs and 4 aces.
These performances weren't enough to overcome their plethora of errors. 27 attack errors, 20 service errors and 12 blocking errors usually don't translate to wins and it helped the Anteaters cruise to victory.
Jordan DuFault led the way for Irvine with 17 kills on .500 hitting.
The Anteaters will take on No. 1 Pepperdine at home on Saturday night and a victory would likely fault Irvine back to the top of the AVCA rankings.
Well, a little more than a month since that announcement, I checked in with coach Mark Pavlik to see how the search to replace Dyer was going.
Pavlik said the job has been listed as open and the program is accepting applications but Pavlik is not going to look at the applications until after the season is over and will get someone in around June.
However, Pavlik did say that he's received some interest in the job from different people and wanted to take a quick look to see who's applied so far.
"I've had some calls from people with various degrees of experience," Pavlik said. "I was thinking of calling [Human Relations] and say 'Hey, can you give me the password so I can get on and see who's applied so far?' We'll see. It'll be interesting to see who applies and throws their name in the hat."
The promising career of Nick Adenhart ended abruptly when the young pitcher was killed in a hit-and-run accident just after midnight Thursday.
Adenhart, 22, was in the Angels' rotation and had just pitched six shutout innings for the Angels only a few hours before the accident took his life. He has been considered one of the top pitching prospects in baseball the past few seasons. He was listed as the Angels' No. 1 prospect heading into the season by Baseball America and was BA's No. 24 prospect in all of baseball in 2008.
It's usually sad when anyone dies, but Adenhart was a young stud prospect who was killed while driving home and was killed by a reckless driver. The Angels have postponed their game Thursday to mourn the pitcher's death.
It's a real shame; he could have been an All-Star for years to come. Now we'll never know. Our condolences go out to the Adenhart family and the families of the other two people killed in the accident.
Illinois' Mark Johnson retired last week as head coach after 17 seasons at the helm as head coach for the Fighting Illini. Johnson had Illinois at the No. 1 national ranking in 2004 and also led it to a Big Ten team championship in 2005.
With Johnson gone, could this steal head coaching candidates from the Nittany Lions?
Well, we have to look at who the candidates the Lions are likely to pursue, and predict whether they'd have more interest in the Illinois job.
Tim Flynn (Edinboro's coach), John Hughes (Lehigh ass't), Pat Santoro (Lehigh head coach) and Ken Chertow (former PSU, OSU ass't) likely would not rather have the Illinois job over Penn State's. All these guys have ties to the Lions and reside in Pennsylvania, so it wouldn't make much sense to move out west to Champagne. and leave a state they have recruiting knowledge of.
Terry Brands, Iowa's assistant coach, is a different story. Although I personally don't think he'd ditch his brother (Tom is head coach of the Hawkeyes) to coach against him, Illinois could be a little more appealing. He's a Midwestern guy and thinking about him leaving that area for the east gives me some doubts. He should be one of the top sought after guys because I think the Iowa mentality is proven and a necessity to be at the top of the collegiate world. It'd be great to see Penn State go after him, though, because you know he won't settle for mediocrity. Watch the video and listen to him, because you'll learn an appreciation for the mentality. At 12:30 is priceless, as he's speeding as he's talking about how intense he is.
Great quote: "I don't consider myself a pessimist, I consider myself a perfectionist," Brands says in the FloWrestling video. "We're put on this planet to strive for greatness. And not greatness in front of the cameras and under the spotlights, but greatness for what we accomplish."
Kerry McCoy has said he would like to come to Penn State, so we'll see if the Nittany Lions go after him and can pry him from his five-year contract he signed. He would definitely choose Penn State over Illinois.
Guys like Missouri's Brian Smith, Central Michigan's Tom Borrelli and Boise State's Greg Randall could vie for the Penn State position, but I could see them accepting an Illinois job even over Penn State. Randall is an Iowa guy, Borrelli graduated from The Citadel and Smith is a Midwestern guy, so it would make sense to take that Illinois job. These guys have accomplished great things at their schools and would have the potential to be good coaches in a Big Ten position.
Time will only tell. Check The Daily Collegian for the latest updates on the coaching search at PSU.
Steranka pushes one to the left side to make it first and second with no one out.
Wine grounds out to first for the first out. Shribman thought about throwing to second to retire two perhaps, but stuck with just one out.
Heath grounds one to third to get thrown out. He is able to score Picconi, however. 11-9 Bucknell
Ryan Boonie will be pinch hitting here. He represents the tying run.
Boonie walks to bring Marlin to the plate.
Daniel Hart will be the new Bucknell pitcher.
Marlin sends one that almost clears the wall for a homer. The LF almost makes a terrific catch but the ball gets away and rolls around. He doesn't get up for a few seconds.
Marlin hustles around the bases and reaches third to tie the game. 11-11 tie
Borden is up and can give the Lions the lead again. But he Ks looking to finally end the threat.
3 runs, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 left; 11-11 after 8
Yoder flies out for the first out.
Brouse reaches on an error by Glantz to get to second base as the Bison look to add another insurance run.
A grounder straight back to Lutz retires Loucks for a key second out.
Shribman reaches and Brouse scores on another PSU error. 11-8 Bucknell
LaRosa flies out to right to end the side.
1 run, 0 hits, 2 errors, 1 left; 11-8 Bucknell
Heath flies out for the first out.
Youngblood reaches on a double that Brouse tries to make a diving catch on. He just misses it as the Lions get close to getting a run back this inning.
Marlin grounds to short but the ump says the first baseman missed the tag. That's a huge call as it's not first and second with only one out. It's scored an error.
Borden walks on a full count to make it bases loaded. The leading run now stands at home plate.
Glantz drops one in in front of the LF to score one run.
On the throw home, Marlin gets in just before the tag, as the ump called the RF in safely. Bucknell isn't too happy with the call, as the catcher throws up his arms after Marlin is called safe. 10-8 Bucknell
Matt Foley is the new pitcher for the Bison.
Leadoff hitter Lynd is up with runners on first and second.
He pops up for the out and Borden gets caught in the middle of the baseline and is tagged up for the final out.
Strasburg is almost a lock to be taken with the first pick in the draft, held by the Washington Nationals, who as we know, have a history of failing to sign draft picks, allowing Aaron Crow to get away last year. Additionally, the Nationals are desperate for talent, and probably need quantity over quality, even quality like Strasburg.
What if the Nats could trade their pick?
Right now, baseball rules forbid draft picks from being traded, a topic that generates a fair amount of debate.
Hypothetically, if the Nats could trade the top pick, what sort of haul get they get in return? On one hand, Strasburg is considered the next Dwight Gooden or Roger Clemens, but on the other, he's never thrown a pitch in professional competition. So, the Nats would likely want major league ready talent in return, and they would likely want more than one player as well. Would other teams be interested in giving up multiple major-league pieces for an unproven, albeit ultra-talented player?
One scenario I envision would involve the Nats and Yankees making a deal. (Giving up loads of resources for a top pick is likely territory for only the big-market teams).
If the Yanks sent Phil Hughes, Ian Kennedy a hitting prospect like Jesus Montero or Austin Cormine and their own first rounder (the 28th pick), I think it could work. The Nats would acquire some players with potential, while the Yankees would get their phenom.
MLB probably won't allow teams to trade picks anytime soon, but it's interesting to think about.
Talor Battle has helped bring Penn State basketball out of the shadows this season. His half-brother, Taran Buie, will look to carry the success that Battle helped spark into the next decade.
And it looks now like younger brother Davante may not be so far away from the spotlight himself.
A quarterback and shortstop on Bishop Maginn's football and baseball teams, respectively (is anyone in this family not a natural leader?), Buie the younger has wowed spectators from the hill, firing a fastball that his mother, Denise Murphy, says reaches up to 89 miles per hour.
Taran wasn't the only family member consumed by attention yesterday, Denise told me.
"Actually today there was some kind of a scout or some kind of a Braves affiliation at practice for him today," she said.
Denise said that while Davante wasn't too shabby on the hardwood, it was just never his sport of choice.
She recalled him playing on one of his older brothers' rec-league baseball teams when he was just a seven-year-old.
"He's a different kid. He's a shy kid, where Talor and Taran are more outgoing," Denise told me. "He's really a shy, quiet kid and he kind of always followed in the shadows of them."
So, is Davante -- who's only a high school sophomore, by the way -- going to be the next big thing in Happy Valley?
"If baseball became available to him at Penn State, I'm sure that would be a strong possibility," Denise said.
I know we've been going with the AP poll all season, but only the ESPN/USA Today poll released its final rankings this season, and the voters seemed to respect a Penn State team that failed to reach the NCAA tournament.
Technically, the Nits finished the season ranked No. 32, as they were tied with Illinois in receiving 14 votes. We'll give them the benefit of the doubt and hand them the tiebreaker since they swept the Fighting Illini this year.
Saint Mary's was the only other NIT school to receive any votes, as it finished with three.
Despite a night it will soon forget, Michigan State finished the season No. 2 in the nation, a distinction few can argue given the Spartans' story-book run through the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue was the only other Big Ten team ranked, checking in at No. 14, while rivals Michigan and Ohio State received five and three votes, respectively.
1. North Carolina (31) 32-4 775
2. Michigan State 30-6 743
3. Connecticut 31-4 705
4. Villanova 30-7 669
5. Louisville 31-6 646
6. Pittsburgh 31-5 630
7. Oklahoma 30-6 575
8. Missouri 31-7 563
9. Memphis 33-4 522
10. Kansas 27-8 481
11. Duke 30-7 459
12. Syracuse 28-10 405
13. Gonzaga 28-6 393
14. Purdue 27-10 362
15. Xavier 27-8 361
16. Washington 26-9 260
17. LSU 27-8 233
18. UCLA 26-9 204
19. Arizona State 25-10 200
20. Wake Forest 24-7 170
21. Marquette 25-10 160
22. Florida State 25-10 130
23. Texas 23-12 71
24. Arizona 21-14 60
25. Butler 26-6 47
Others Receiving Votes
Clemson 42, USC 39, Siena 37, Oklahoma State 24, Dayton 17, Utah State 15, Illinois 14, Penn State 14, Western Kentucky 11, Tennessee 8, West Virginia 7, Maryland 6, Michigan 5, Texas A&M 4, Ohio State 3, Saint Mary's 3, Cleveland State 1, Utah 1.
Sunday, of course, was the Phillies' home opener. And since they won the '08 World Series, it was time for them to do something more exciting than winning the Series itself -- raising a stupid flag.
But the Phillies fans could not handle the intensity of the flag-raising. Want to see some Philadelphians beat the hell out of each other? Want to see a really bad emo haircut? Want to hear 40,000 people who sound like Sly Stallone? (OK, we can't help out on that part. This video doesn't have sound.)
After a career day against Hobart, Penn State goalie Drew Adams received defensive player of the week honors from the ECAC.
Adams notched a career-best 24 saves in the Nittany Lions' win against the Statesmen, making some miracle stops along the way. This is the third conference player of the week award this season, and the first by someone not named Jack Forster.
Oddly enough, the news comes as Adams gets set to do battle with Bucknell, the first Top-10 team Penn State upset last season. In that game, Adams was terrific, grabbing 14 saves and holding the then-No. 9 Bison to seven goals.
Oh, and the goalie scored his first and only goal in the third period of that game.
So I'm sure you noticed all the baseball shirts and jerseys walking around campus. Well, at least I hope there was since I was at the Collegian's office for most of the day and let's face it, most of my staff was in baseball apparel. OK, OK...I'm guilty too. I couldn't help but pull out my old school Tino Martinez Yankee shirt.
What's the deal, you ask?? It's Opening Day!
For some reason, Opening Day means a lot more to people than any other day in baseball except the playoffs. For some reason, people hang their teams' season on the very first game of the season. Well that's just silly. And I'm not just sayin that since my beloved Yankees lost to the Orioles. No. It's just funny to see people so down in the dumps with one loss. Just a FYI, there are more than 100 games left in the season. Plenty of time to pull themselves up from the cellar of their respective divisions. There are, after all, 218 days until the scheduled Game 7 of World Series.
Although I must say it was entertaining to see all the Phillies fans to be reminded of what appeared to be a Home Run Derby at Citizens Bank Park.
So if your ball team didn't come out firing on Opening Day, don't fret. It may seem depressing when you're all decked out in your team's colors and they don't pull through. BUT just remember there's a long season ahead. And if that doesn't work out, there are those two words that keep sports fans constantly invested...."Next year"
Oh, and if you're not a baseball fan, my North Carolina Tar Heels are national champions. Now that's something to celebrate.
Princeton this week makes the big move in the rankings, jumping up to No. 2.
How did they accomplish such a feat? By beating the old No. 2, Syracuse, 12-8. The Tigers mauled the Orange, using a strong offensive and defensive effort to knock off the defending champs.
Mark Kovler and Jack McBride each recorded hat tricks for Princeton, and Rich Sgalardi notched two goals and two assists. Defensively, the Tigers held Syracuse 0-for-4 in man-up situations, and goalie Tyler Fiorito tallied 15 saves.
So that said, here's the new Top-10 in the USILA rankings. Penn State opponents are bolded, and the team's ranking last week is in parentheses.
1. Virginia 12-0 (1)
2. Princeton 8-1 (5)
3. Cornell 7-1 (3)
4. Notre Dame 9-0 (4)
5. Hofstra 7-1 (7)
6. Syracuse 7-2 (2)
7. UMBC 8-2 (6)
8. Duke 8-3 (9)
9. Johns Hopkins 4-4 (11)
10. North Carolina 8-4 (10)
UMass attained sole possession of first in the ECAC, and for that the Minutemen were rewarded a boost up to No. 14. Loyola remains tied for 15th, and Georgetown and Bucknell -- Penn State's opponent Tuesday -- climbed into the rankings tied for No. 19.
Fairfield dropped out of the polls a week after breaking in. Ohio State and Villanova both received votes, as did the Nittany Lions, who see their name on the USILA board for the first time since they received votes in the first poll of the season.
Amid the announcement of the resignation of Penn State wrestling head coach Troy Sunderland, the Penn State Wrestling Club held its annual award ceremony at the Nittany Lion Inn on Sunday.
The club handed out many awards and freshman Quentin Wright took home the most.
Here's a look at the awards:
Quentin Wright (33-13 record, sixth place finish at nationals):
William Neidig Award (Outstanding Wrestler of the Year)
Joe Scalzo Award (Best Freestyle Wrestler)
Bill Koll Award (Outstanding Freshman Wrestler)
Frank Molinaro (23-19 record, eighth place at nationals):
Kaye Vinson Award (Most Improved Wrestler)
Jake Strayer (18-10 record (at 133-pound weight class), went 2-2 at NCAAs):
Charles M. Spiedel Award (senior with the most career dual meet wins)
Strayer finished his career with an 82-29 record.
Colby Pisani (0-7 record this season):
Larry Reilly Courage Award (for 'Showing Courage in Wrestling to Help the Team')
From press release: "Pisani gallantly filled in for injured starter Bubba Jenkins at 149 pounds, moving up a weight class and wrestling with determination throughout much of the Big Ten dual meet season."
Adam Lynch (16-12 record):
Eleventh Man Award for leadership and dedication
James English (did not wrestle this season)
Academic Excellence and Community Service Award for a 4.0 GPA. I think that may be double of mine?
Senior manager Scott Ely was given the Carl A. Winterburn Award, given to the manager who demonstrates year round support of the Penn State wrestling program.
Monty Christiansen won the Ed Sulkowski Award.
W. Johnston Oberly was given the Outstanding Alumnus Award.
When Penn State played NJIT on Feb. 28, it was only a week after its first loss of the season at the hands of Loyola-Chicago. The Nittany Lions were also played on about 15 hours of rest after a match that Friday night. Senior Max Holt was coming off an injury.
But the Lions still swept the Highlanders (30-16, 30-17, 30-19). Fifteen Lions played and many of the second team played the entire third set, showing just how much more talented Penn State is than NJIT.
Expect the same results this weekend but maybe with closer scores. It is Penn State who has to make the trek to New Jersey this time. NJIT also seemed to have some good jumpers who just couldn't finish a point. We'll see how that works out today.
What to Look For: NJIT's crowd. The Highlanders had a pretty loyal following at Rec Hall earlier this year. It will be interesting to see what they do at home.
Player of the Match: Joe Sunder. The big fella has been struggling a little bit lately as he deals with the mental aspect of a long season, but you never know when he's going to put it all together.
To me, going into this match, the biggest storyline is Max Lipsitz's shoulder. As I talked about on Wednesday, it's still sore and no one's really sure what's wrong with it. Lipsitz said he could play in a match if he had to, but I doubt coach Mark Pavlik will send Lipsitz into a match Penn State should win easily.
I'm looking for Jon Sherrick to start tonight and be a major contributor to the Lions' success tonight in lovely downtown Newark, NJ. Sherrick always steps up when Penn State needs him to, and tonight is one of those nights.
Look for the Lions to jump over NJIT early and often and cruise to an easy victory.
What to Look For: The possibility of Lipsitz playing with his sore shoulder.
Player of the Match: Max Holt. The big man's been on a roll as of late and I'm going to play the hot hand.
Score: Penn State 3-0 (30-17, 30-18, 30-24)
The top ranked team in the country went down again this week as No. 1 UC Irvine and No. 6 BYU split their Thursday and Friday matches.
BYU beat Irvine Thursday night 3-1 (30-24, 20-30, 30-18, 30-28).
Irvine returned the favor the next night 3-1 (30-28, 26-30, 30-27, 30-27).
Irvine now stands at 20-4 while BYU is 15-10.
The box score for both matches look ugly. Irvine had 27 service errors Thursday and 24 Friday.
The Anteaters hit .185 Thursday and .226 Friday while BYU hit .211 and .141.
The Cougars' record isn't great but they could be peaking at the right time. Since beating Penn State at the Active Ankle Classic, they are 6-2. BYU could be a major factor in the MPSF tournament and has an outside shot at the NCAA tourney.
Expect Irvine to drop from the No. 1 spot in the rankings this week. 16-2 Pepperdine should claim the top spot this week.
Penn State's on a two-game losing skid, but this week's competition has one that's even worse.
Hobart, which started at 5-0 for the first time since 1998, has lost three straight, to Rutgers, Syracuse and Fairfield. With this being the last time the Nittany Lions play the Statesmen in ECAC play, this seems like a bad time to look back on the teams' history. But we stride on nonetheless.
Hobart leads the series 34-23-1, but is just 2-3 against Penn State the last five years. Last season, Daryl Veltman exploded for Hobart, scoring five goals to lead the Statesmen to a 8-6 win in Geneva, N.Y. Goalie Max Silberlicht pitched in too, making 14 saves to Drew Adams' 11.
This season's squad features senior attackman Jeff Colburn, whose 11 goals and 13 assists add up to a team-leading 24 points. Junior attackman Kevin Curtin adds 12 goals and eight assists, while midfielder Tyler Cassell leads the team with 13 goals.
The Statesmen also have Max Silberlicht returning at goal. The junior's 6.75 goals against average is tops in the league, as is his .628 save percent.
So how will the Lions fare Saturday? The Collegian's lacrosse writers debate:
Dan: It's the third week in a row Penn State faces a top-notch ECAC goalkeeper. The difference with the Statesmen is they don't have the offense to balance out their defense. Hobart is tied for last in the ECAC in goals per game (8.12), assists per game (3.88) and shots per game (31.50). Coming off two straight one-goal losses, Penn State's been focusing on getting those goals into the net this week, so look for the Forster brothers and the rest of the Lions offense to come out firing. Of course, Fairfield fit the same profile and Hobart does this week, so...
Prediction: Penn State 8, Hobart 5
Hen: This is do or die for the Nittany Lions. The seniors will not allow this team to lose to Hobart at home because if they lose, it will be a devastating loss for all involved. Watch for the Lions offense to erupt for many goals against Hobart's overrated defense. As Dan pointed out above, Hobart's offense is not too worrisome, so the Lions need to rely on their offense to erupt in a big way.
Prediction: Penn State 9, Hobart 7
Paul: Like Steve said, this is do or die for the Lions this week. Some players admitted they were looking at the game as such, while others said it was just another game, but this team can not afford an 0-4 start to conference play. Coming off a one-goal loss to UMass last week, in which the Lions appeared to have their offense back on track, scoring eight goals, look for Penn State to come out aggressive against Hobart. Also, senior Matt Warner is playing with a little extra motivation and should have a big game against his hometown team out of Geneva, NY.
Well we already discussed how the game of tennis has found it's way in to the Penn State men's volleyball team's pre-practice routine. Now it's basketball's turn.
As Mike and I were sitting around in South Gym, a dunk contest broke out. Off a bounce, off the back board, windmills. The list goes on and on.
The most impressive attempt came courtesy of senior Ryan Sweitzer. He was attempting to throw it high off the wall, run up, catch it in mid air and slam it home. He wasn't able to hit it, but he came awfully close.
Following the dunk contest, a little pick-up game broke out. The teams were a little unorganized but the participants were. Max Holt, Max Lipsitz, Alan Mars, Mark Shipp, Sweitzer, Brad McCoy, Will Price, Jesse Wagner and Joe Sunder.
A funny moment happened when Wagner went up for a hook shot, missing the net completely. However, Sunder was there for the easy put back which led to Wagner remarking "They don't teach that!"
From my limited time watching the Lions play, I was most impressed by Holt. At one point, Holt drove, put it between his legs and spun baseline. Not bad for a big man.
Hey folks, Fortuna here to take you through the NIT championship tilt between the Nits and Baylor. Sorry for the delay, as the MSG wifi is not blog-friendly, I have learned.
But hey, Penn State is here, in a "championship of a national tournament," as Eddy D has loved to say as of late.
It's safe to say MSG is a WHITE HOUSE tonight, with the 33 busloads of fans in full support for the Nits tonight.
Fan favorite Jamelle Cornley gets things started during the last game of his collegiate career by dropping in two form the paint.
On the next possession, he follows with a pair of offensive rebounds, after Drew Jones kept the possession alive with an offensive board of his own. Mel finishes the possession with a pretty fake, takes one dribble in and hits the short jumper. What a possession for the Lions, as it prompts a Scott Drew 30-second timeout with PSU up 4-0.
That was quick, as BU answer with three 3-pointers and a Curtis Jerrells lay up, as Stanley Pringle heads to the line for PSU following a media timeout.
BU 11, PSU 9
Danny Morrissey replaces DJ Jackson, who seemed fine out there after taking a nasty spill and hurting his tailbone Tuesday night. Pringle hits the first of two out of the break to cut the early deficit to one.
The Nits force Anthony Jones into a 3 at the shot clock buzzer, which boucnes off the rim and out of play, giving Chris Babb a chance to replace the senior Pringle.
Did I say senior? Perhaps no one on this PSU roster knows what tonight means more than Morrissey, who knocks down an open trey to put PSU up 13-11.
Of course, it's Jerrells hitting a 3 over Morrisey on the other end to put the Bears up a point.
Jeff Brooks, who replaced Cornley while Pringle was at the line, answers with a nice no-look pass in the paint to Andrew Jones, who slams it home for two. Nits up a point, and yes, Joe Paterno is back at MSG again, sitting in the same section as Tuesday, as he poses for pictures with women's volleyball coach Russ Rose seated next to him again.
PSU 15, BU 14
I have to say what a relief it is to be out of Big Ten play, as we'd rarely get this kind of offensive output from each side this early.
Mel checks in for Drew after a Jerrells foul to opent higns up out of the timeout. The crowd expectedly cheers.
Mel makes his presence felt, powering his way into the paint and laying it in for two.
Kevin Rogers follows a Jerrells miss on the other end with a nice putback to bring BU within a point.
Mel just knocks Carter onto his derriere and lays it in with ease to get the two.
Josh Lomers lays it in on the other end for BU, and Mel, clearly not holding anything back on his last night as a Lion, takes it inside. This time, however, he is unable to convert.
Hodges hits a tough shot on the other end to put BU up one
The next four possessions may very well sum up Brooks' young PSU career. The much-maligned sophomore throws a silly pass form the corner that gets picked off, then hustles on the other end to make a block. He catches and immediately airballs a jumper in front of us, then comes up with another stuff on the other end.
Henry Dugat with a pretty reverse lay-in to finally break this chaos, putting BU up three and drawing a 30-second timeout from Ed.
Out of the break, D-Mo drills a jumper right in front of us. However, we can all agree witht eh officials that it was after the shot clock horn, a turnover for the Lions as there's another timeout on the floor.
6:14, first half
BU 22, PSU 19
I talked to Jamelle's parents before the game. Funny, if you were watching Tuesday's game at home, you'd notice ESPN color man Fran Fraschilla talking about Jamelle's father, Hank's, career at Illinois State. However, the announcer kept incorrectly circling him, John Madden-style, during the broadcast.
Anyway, Mel's mom, Dorcella, told me they almost brought a sign with them tonight for Big Hank to hold over his head, ID'ing himself as Jamelle's father. Funny stuff.
Brooks is now at the line after receiving a nice Talor Battle pass in the paint and getting hacked by Mamadou Diene. Brooks hits the second, and is then taken out for the star of the NIT, Jones.
This zone is giving PSU all sorts of problems, as the long and athletic Bears force Cornley into a tough turnaround. Jones tips the miss out, Cornley chases it and Pringle ends up with the rebound in the backcourt. Battle, however, can't connect from 3.
LaceDarius Dunn lays it in on the other end to put BU up four.
The refs are letting them play, as Battle's floater in the paint is off the mark and Jones grabs the rebound, gets hacked a few several times, then misses underneath. Another offensive board doesn't equal more points for the Nits, who have crashed them hard all night.
Rogers hits a deep baseline two on the other end for BU, and there's another timeout on the floor. PSU has now gone 5:46 without a field goal and is lucky to only be down six at the moment.
3:06, first half
BU 26, PSU 20
The athletic DJ replaces D-Mo out of the break. Let's see if this pay dividends early for PSU.
Battle misses another 3, as the point guard has been unable to get going here so far. DJ, however, gets the rebound, and looks like he's stuffed down low, but gets the benefit of the doubt. However, he can only hit one of two, and BU leads by five.
Battle fires a bullet down the lane that gets deflected into the corner. He chases it down and saves it to Cornley, who gets double teamed on the baseline and is forced to take a 30-second timeout.
DJ is left wiiiide open and hits a jumper to end the scoring drought out of the break to end the drought and get the crowd on its feet. Cornley then knocks away a pass intended for Josh Lomers down low and saves it on the baseline. The big man, however, cannot connect from deep on the other end.
Jones gets hammered by the taller Lomers going up for a rebound off a Jerrells miss, and a make up whistle is blown on Jerrells in the paint on the same possession.
A beautiful bounce pass from Cornley to DJ for the lay-in and this crowd is intooo it. Jerrells quiets it with another 3 right before the half. His shot is ugggly, as it starts below his you-know-what and, so far, has ended up at the bottom of the net.
Battle gets hit as he throws up a heave from beyond midcourt, but there's no call as we enter the break. PSU is fortunate to be this close, and will have to find a way to figure out the zone and limit the open shots for BU from the perimeter.
BU 29, PSU 25
PSU gets as big a boost as it could possibly receive, as JoePa is shown in full force rooting them on in the middle of the band's rendition of "7 Nation Army" as they take the court. This crowd is HYPED.
Who better than Jamelle Cornley to open the half up by ducking completely under Josh Lomers, absorbing the contact and putting it in for two.
Lomers gets fouled on an offensive rebound on the other end, but he can only hit one.
Cornley floats one in off the glass at the shot clock buzzer and we're setting ourselves up for a nice second half to a national championship game.
Andrew Jones must be reading the blog, as he forces a turnover on Lomers underneath and lets out a big yell and clap, unusual for the normally reserved big man.
DJ hits an open 3 to give PSU the lead and this crowd is PUMPED. Drew calls for a 30-second timeout, which is extended to a full one by the media, with the band playing Zombie Nation and our row shaking up and down courtside. Scary ... sorta.
PSU 32, BU 30
Rogers opens things up with a Robbie Hummell-like travel and jam. The refs decide to call it on Pringle down the court instead on the next possession.
Battle still can't connect from 3, drawing iron again.
A BU turnover and Pringle miss lead to another offensive board from Cornley, who is blocked by the much bigger Lomers downlow. The crowd wants a foul, but when the height difference is that great, there's just not much you can do.
Pringle misses the 3, and Lomers puts in a miss on the other end as BU regains the lead.
I only knew there was such a violation as "3 in the key" as a fifth grade rec-league wannabe. However, the refs reminded that it's still in the rule books by calling it on Jones just now.
Timeout on the floor.
15:29 to go,
BU 34, PSU 32
The wave is currently taking place, with the customary reign of boos everytime the BU band's section gets its turn. I take this time to remind you that Battle is scoreless, 0-6 from the field and 0-5 from 3. I wouldn't be surprised to see him take over down the stretch if this remains a tight one. No way is the team's best player going out with a goose egg.
Tweety (no, not Twitter) Carter is called for an offensive foul, and Battle misses a runner at the other end. Forutnately for him, Jones is there to put it back in and tie this score up.
...at least they're calling this ting both ways, as Lomers is now whistled for a 3 in the key. Brooks is in for DJ after the whistle.
Cornley puts it in downlow, with Lomers a split-second too late on his block attempt. Pretty. Lomers then does everything but bodyslam Jones on the other end and gets called for the offensive foul. The ref, currently on a power trip (must be the stage of a national championship game), warns Drew to cool it before he can even get a word out of hs mouth.
Battle misses anotherrr 3, Cornley is fouled while kicking it back out, and the JACKET COMES OFF. Tech on Drew, as Talor breaks the ice by hitting the first technical free throw.
He misses the second, but there is a whistle while he is in motion. Yeah, I wasn't kidding about these refs.
Battle then gets body checked on a fast break, but why blow the whistle during an actually play? D-Mo misses a pair of 3s, and Dunn connects from downtown to tie it at 37.
D-Mo, fearless in his last game ever, takes another 3 from the corner, drilling it this time. Another offensive foul called on BU, wit an Eddie Hightower point of emphasis after the whistle is blown. PSU is at least pumped, up three with a timeout on the floor.
I wish I could tell you these refs were favoring one team or another, but it is just all around incompetence tonight.
PSU 40, BU 37
Tweety Carter checks in out of the break. I'm sorry, I hear that name and just can't help myself.
D-Mo drills another 3 from the exact same spot as last time, the bench and crowd on their feet now with PSU up six.
D-Mo grabs the rebound, and Brooks nails a 3, blowing a kiss to the sky for emphasis afterward. What a run by the Nits, who now lead by nine as BU is forced to take another timeout. This table is really shaking now.
Dunn gets a great look at a 3 from the top of the key and nails it to quiet the crowd. It is worth noting that Drew's jacket was never put back on after the technical.
Ballots for all-tournament team are due in six minutes, as Brown notes to my left. Unfortunately, I was up getting a drink (for him, too) at halftime and therefore never received a ballot. Let's just say the Lions' two biggest starters would be near the top of my list.
Battle gets bailed out as he loses the ball near the basket, and he hits both to put PSU up eight.
Baylor is shooting 42 percent on the night, PSU 41.
That will surely go up, as Battle hits a circus shot in the paint with the shot clock winding down to get his first FG of the game and put PSU up double-digits.
Jerells runs over Cornley, whether it was a charge or block is hard to tell, but of course there's no call as the BU player puts it in.
Jones answers with a lay-in on the other end.
Then, Dunn gets hit below the rim. A foul? Sure. But the genius refs wait until the ball is in PSU's hands, three steps later, to blow the whistle for a foul. Before anyone can even process what just happened, Cornley is slapped with a T. The zebras must have forgotten this is a COLLEGE game that's only played in an NBA arena.
PSU 52, BU 42
Funny remark by the PSU fans behind me as they shout "BLOW THE WHISTLE REF!" while Dunn shoots the technical free throws. He hits both, and Rogers puts it in on the ensuing possession.
Battle gets the crowd back on its feet with a 3 that hits all parts of the rim before dropping through. PSU up nine.
Jerrells falls on his own in the paint, and a travel is called. After cooling off following the T, Cornley comes back in to a thunderous applause as Drew takes a 30-second timeout.
5:35 to go,
PSU 55, BU 46
Not the smartest move by the PA announcer, who is actually MSG's backup. (Trust me, I've had the name "Pat-Rick EWING" ringing in my head with the other guys voice since I was six). This guy tells the crowd not to go onto the playing surface following the game, which will only egg on the pro-PSU crowd.
Both clocks above the baskets stop working as PSU brings it up, prompting another break before the matter is handled.
Cornley draws contact on Rogers down low as BU picks up its seventh team foul. The senior captain can't connect on either, however, and if you've been following this team all year, you get the feeling you know what this will be like.
Rogers knocks down Jones, no call either way again. Three tip-ins later, and BU finds itself down only seven. Ed calls a 30-second timeout.
Pringle gets a wiiide open look from 3 but can't connect. He then makes up for it with a steal on the other end and takes it to the basket, where he draws an intentional foul on Dunn. Again, I just don't see the purpose of a big, questionable call like that late in a big game. Drew has basically given up on the officials. I haven't seen a word or motion out of him since the technical on him earlier this half.
PSU 55, BU 48
Pringle hits both free throws out of the break, as PSU gets to keep possession following the intentional.
D-Mo tries too hard to make something happen and throws it away.
"Stand Up!" chants come from the PSU students to the rest of the crowd, which joins in before Cornley picks up his fourth personal.
Pringle loses the ball near the key and D-Mo does his best to save it, John Starks-style near the possession arrow on the sideline. He takes a hard fall, and all you can see right now are his legs kicking up and down in pain. No movement from the rest of his body, and the whistle is blown immediately following a Rogers dunk on the other end.
Morrissey is finally brought to his feet and the bench, and the "Morrissey" chants echo throughout the arena. What effort by the fifth-year man. Would be nice to see him get back in before his career ends.
Speaking of career ends, Cornley reminds me why I LOVE sitting courtside at the Garden. He gets fouled on his injured shoulder and murmurs a not-so-nice phrase under his breath two feet away from us here. (Hint: It rhymes with "brother-sucker.") Mel knocks down both free throws, and a missed BU 3 has this crowd on its feet with two to go.
Battle drives to the paint with the shot clock winding down, spins a few times and hits a crafty floater right before the horn. BU turns it over, the ball goes right under Brown's feet, and the Bears call a timeout.
They can smell it here in the Garden, and unfortunately that means I'll have to pause the blogging for a bit to cover the festivities that are sure to follow. The trophy presentation and net-cutting are 1:36 away, and it's safe to say Penn State will be the winner of the National Invitation Tournament, as it leads 61-50.
NEW YORK -- Well, it's 11 p.m. here and we're living an exciting life. I believe I'm the only one of the three of us awake right now. Of course, I wish I was sleeping too.
With my trip to Florida last week and the four-day trip to New York this week, that makes for six days missing class in the last two weeks. So I'm sitting here catching up on some work in front of the Houston Rockets-Phoenix Suns game.
Not too much to report today. Press conferences were held this morning at the team hotel -- the Marriott in Times Square. Baylor coach Scott Drew and players Curtis Jerrells and LaceDarius Dunn and Penn State coach Ed DeChellis and players Jamelle Cornley and Andrew Jones were made available. Less than 12 hours after leaving the MSG press room last night, there wasn't much new news to report. But it was still good to get some reaction from the teams following an exciting Tuesday night and heading into Thursday's championship. Check Thursday's Collegian for complete pregame coverage of the Penn State-Baylor showdown for all the NIT marbles.
After the press conference, Fortuna graciously accompanied Mink and I and our tourist curiosity on a walk around Times Square and surrounding areas. We walked by all the expensive stores and instead opted to actually walk in places where we felt welcome like Nike and the NBA store.
The highlight of the day came at dinner time, as the three of us walked a few blocks south to a fantastic meal complements of Fortuna's dad at T-Bar Steak and Lounge. It was very appreciated, and I can't emphasize the word "fantastic" enough.
But on a rainy Wednesday night, that's all we had in is for the evening. Thursday, we have plenty of time to kill (Mink and I want to check out the Seinfeld diner...) before heading down to the Garden for the NIT title game. Thankfully, the game starts at 7 and we'll have some time to report and write.
That's all for now, check back with us tomorrow. And again, make sure to pick up a copy of the Collegian and check out our pregame stories before heading to one of the 33 buses en route to Manhattan from State College.
I'm fully aware that here in the great state of Pennsylvania people get sick and tired of hearing about the New York Yankees.
After all, the Phillies are the World Champs, and the Pirates could have a historic season this year, and yet the Bronx Bombers still get more attention.
Well get used to it, because I think we could be seeing a lot of drama in the Bronx this summer, and it starts with Derek Jeter moving to the leadoff spot.
No big deal you say? Is is that big of a difference having Jeter bat first instead of his customary second spot? On its own, this move isn't earth-shattering, but it shows the lack of offensive talent currently occupying the Yanks' roster. With A-Rod on the shelf for a while nursing an injury that could hamper his effectiveness the rest of the year, the Yanks have a huge hole to fill.
Yes, Mark Teixeira will be a huge upgrade over the departed Jason Giambi, but what will happen when he struggles in April, like he always does? How will he handle the scrutiny of New York?
The Yankees will have to rely on the aging Jorge Posada to overcome his recent injuries, Robinson Cano to break out of last year's season-long slump and Xavier Nady to repeat last year's career year. Gulp.
Sure the rotation is seemingly loaded after adding C.C. Sabathia and A.J. Burnett. But do I even need to mention Burnett's injury history? And everyone remembers the workload Sabathia shouldered down the stretch last year, could C.C. break down? Chien Ming-Wang is an injury risk too, and Joba Chamberlain is still unproven as a starter.
Add to this the opening of the team's decadent new Bronx palace (with the ticket prices to go with it) and a struggling Yanks squad could lead to more acrimony than even we are used to from the Pinstripers.
So while we may have to hear a lot about the Yankees this summer, a lot of it may end up being music to Yankee-haters' ears.
A good bunt by Picconi moves Boonie to second with the top of the lineup coming up to the plate.
The Flashes will bring in a new pitcher, Jon Pokorny.
The new guy gets the job done, as Lynd grounds out to second. Boonie can't advance to third and is stuck on second with two out.
He strikes one hard at second but it's right at Rider to end the threat.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 4-3 KSU after 7
Pierce gets an easy out with a popup just past home plate. Wine races in to make the catch.
Lyon tags one down the line for a double. That could have been called fair or foul but the ump saw fair.
Some bad base running in the next at-bat. A deep fly ball should have advanced Lyon to third with a tag-up, but he stays at second. Two out.
"K" is up with the leading run in scoring position. He lines one off Nakata's glove and the ball goes to the outfield. That gives KSU the lead for the first time and brings in a new pitcher, Jesse Alfreno. 4-3 KSU
Despite getting ahead 0-2, Alfreno hits Gallas to make it first and second. Another hit could be deadly for the Lions' comeback chances.
Rohan flies one deep but it's an easy out to retire the side.
Wine will try to get the Lions going again. But the first baseman grounds out to second for an easy out.
Steranka floats one over the infield for a one-out single. Another chance for Heath to come through in a tie game.
A bobble ends any chance of a DP so Heath is retired. Steranka does reach second for Marlin.
Another pitching change here, as Robert Sabo will be the new reliever.
Marlin claws back from an 0-2 count to bring it full. He should get a good pitch to hit here and if he's able to drive one, it should give PSU the lead again.
He thought he earned the walk by starting to move toward first but instead is called out for the final out of the inning.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 3-3 after 6
Rohan gets his club going with a walk to start the inning. That puts the leading run on first.
Mike Pierce has been warming up in the bullpen.
A long conference on the mound results in Pierce entering the game for the fellow Mike. That's now four pitchers for PSU -- and three have had the first name Mike.
Winter can't advance the runner as he Ks.
Another K for Pierce as he strikes out Patton. A nice start for the reliever to keep the leading run at first.
One pitch, one out. Humphreys grounds out to Steranka who throws a rifle to first to end the half inning.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 3-3 after 5 1/2
So "Wild Wild West" finally gets played (because we were all so disappointed we didn't hear it before...)
The top of the order starts the inning with Lynd leading off.
The CF fouls off two balls before going down looking. He wasn't happy with it, although it seemed like he was mostly angry with himself.
Nakata Ks for the second out.
Deese fouls off the end and it seems like it was a stinger. He gets easily thrown out at first as the LF squatted down for a bit in obvious pain.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 left; 3-3 after 5
Mike Franklin steps in on the mound for the Lions.
Lyon flies out to LF for an easy first out.
Tremblay grounds out softly to short for another out.
"K" hits one deep and bounces one off the wall right under the "speed of pitch sign" with the angry looking deer glaring at everyone. Kind of freaky.
Anyway, "K" is on with a double, so a two-out hit would give the Flashes their first lead of the game.
Gallas can't come through, however, as he flies out to right.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 3-3 tie after 4 1/2
Brett Weibley will be the new pitcher for KSU.
Heath, last night's hero, goes down swinging on a fastball.
Marlin gets a hitters' count at 2-0. That seems to worry the Kent coaches as there's now a meeting on the mound.
Another swinging strikeout, this time Marlin. He got a couple of good hacks before going down, but both went foul.
Ryan Boonie will be pinch hitting here for Youngblood. He gets the job done by walking on five pitches.
Next up is Picconi. He's been swinging the bat well as of late.
Rider initially bobbles the ball but does a nice job of recovering to retire Picconi and ending the inning.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 3-3 tie after 4
Everyone here in the stadium got rickrolled as the "Wild Wild West" won the song contest but was replaced by "Never Gonna Give You Up."
Ignas is taken out for Lorentson. That was a very low pitch count for Ignas, but as Lorentson showed last week against Kent, he can shutdown the Flashes' lineup.
Gallas singles through the middle and between Nakata for the leadoff hit.
Rohan, our Middle Earth representative, flies out to Deese for the first out. Gallas can't advance past first.
Lorentson is being extra careful with Gallas, who has three steals this year. The pitcher doesn't want to give up a big lead.
But he catches bad luck anyway, as a ball gets away from Heath to allow Gallas to walk to second.
Winter hits one right back to Lorentson, who can't get a glove on it. That allows Gallas to score from second. 3-1 PSU
Patton walks to make it first and second. This is not the start Lorentson was looking for and another ball results in a meeting on the mound.
Another passed ball advances both runners up a base. The tying run is now in scoring position with still only one out.
Humphreys lines one up the middle for a two-RBI single to tie the game. Lorentson is really struggling right now. It'll be interesting to see how much longer he will stay in there. 3-3 tie
But just like that, Lorentson retires the side with a DP that he only wishes came a little bit sooner.
3 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 0 left; 3-3 tie after 3 1/2
Picconi catches a break with a nubbler that is tough to handle. Rider still makes the throw to first, but Picconi had no chance to be thrown out on that one. That's a key leadoff runner on for Penn State.
Some small ball for the Lions as Picconi takes off after the first pitch and slides in safely. A runner is already in scoring position.
Another infield hit for PSU as Lynd reaches. Picconi advances to third to make it runners on the corners with still none out.
Lynd takes advantage of a runner on third and takes off without a throw by Lyon. That's second and third with none out.
Nakata Ks looking without taking the bat off his shoulder for the last pitch. A huge K for Mace to keep it a one-run game while still picking up an out.
Deese its another one to the wall to left center to score two more. That's his third RBI of the game and he's really raking right now. 3-0 PSU
Wine advances Deese to third with a grounder to first for the second out.
A diving grab by Humphreys saves a run and at least a double. He ran back and dove on his stomach.
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 3-0 PSU after 3
Kent hits another one hard off the bat but it is right into Nakata's glove. The second baseman barely had to move for that one.
"Bye, Bye, Bye" plays again through the stadium as Ignas Ks Smith.
Ignas finally makes a quasi-blunder as he hits Tremblay with a pitch. One on with two outs for "K."
Another passed ball as Tremblay goes to second. "K" now as a 2-1 hitters' count.
But on the very next pitch, he grounds out to third to end the inning.
Lynd flies out to LF on a solid play by Gallas. The defensive alignment was perfect so Gallas didn't have to move far to make the catch.
Nakata lines one up the middle for a single. That makes it 18 out of his 20 hits singles.
Nakata almost gets picked off of first. But Rohan can't hang on to the throw.
Mike Deese hits one deep to right center to drive in Nakata. Nakata scored standing up, but a better throw home could have been an out or at least a play at the plate. 1-0 PSU
Wine grounds out to 2B. He almost reaches safely, but a clean throw gets him. Two out, with Deese advancing to third
Steranka can't get a two-out RBI, as he grounds out to first to end the inning.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left; 1-0 PSU after 1
A soft grounder is easily handled by Picconi for the first out.
Although one couldn't tell by the crowd. Only one clap could be heard.
One pitch, one out retires Klafczynski. OK, from now on, I'm going to call him "K."
On a side note, SID Jay Monahan must just informed us Ignas is on a pitch count. It looks like Ignas may only go five innings today.
Gallas blasts one off Steranka's glove for a two-out single. A passed ball advances Gallas to second.
Rohan flys out to Lynd to end the threat. Rohan...reminds me of Middle Earth in Lord of the Rings.
0 runs, 1 hit, 0 errors, 1 left; 0-0 after 1/2
MLB's regular season is just four days away. What a better way to ring in the new season with more baseball?
Today, Penn State (15-10) plays Kent State (17-6) here at a wet Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
It's rained for most of the day and the precipitation has been heavy at times. But the rain has let up within the last few hours. The sky remains an ominous gray mass but weather.com is showing good news -- the huge green blob of rain is past us.
This should mean a delay-free game but still a wet one. The grounds crew had a busy day today getting the field ready and it looks like they've done a great job so far.
The Nittany Lions look to beat the Golden Flashes for the second time in just over a week today. Last Tuesday, Penn State beat Kent State, 9-2, with help from Jordan Steranka's grand slam.
The day's starting lineups should be coming out shortly...
Post-match, coach Mark Pavlik said it was just soreness and they were giving him some rest. Today, Mike and I caught up with Lipsitz to discuss his shoulder injury.
Lipsitz said it was still sore and that if he had to play in a match he would be able to go. He went on to say there wasn't an exact swing where he injured the shoulder and wasn't sure when it happened.
"I don't know what I did to it," Lipsitz said. "They really don't have an answer for me yet. We haven't gone to the doctor to get x-rays or anything because if it's something bad, I don't want to have to sit out the rest of the season. I'm kind of taking it as it comes I guess."
Maybe I was reading more into it than I should, but Lipsitz sounded a little concerned the injury was more than just soreness and could cause him to miss the Nittany Lions' most important matches of the season.
I assume they'll do an MRI on his shoulder if the soreness continues and if it's revealed there is major damage to Lipsitz's shoulder, look for senior Jon Sherrick to fill in. While losing Lipsitz, one of the best middle hitters in the country would be a huge blow to Penn State, Sherrick has stepped up big time when they've needed him this year.
But for now, we'll continue to keep an eye on Lipsitz's status and look for him to possibly miss this Saturday's match against NJIT as they try to rest the injury.
Also, make sure to read tomorrow's Collegian where Mike will go more in-depth into this ongoing situation.