Penn State will travel to Columbus, Ohio this weekend with a chance to top last season’s conference record of 3-21.
The Nittany Lions are 20-22 (3-16 Big Ten) and sit 12 games back from conference-leader Michigan heading into their final weekend of conference play.
Currently on a two game losing streak, their last road conference win was back on April 4 against Indiana when ace Dante Biasi pitched six scoreless innings allowing only two hits in their 3-0 shutout victory. He’s been excellent over his last five Big Ten starts allowing only seven runs with two shutouts while recording 35 strikeouts yet only won one of those contests.
Penn State’s pitching has proven to be a major strength of its team all season long, recently breaking the previous team strikeout record (434) set back in 2017 with 435 and still seven games left on its schedule. The Nittany Lions’ pitchers are averaging 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings which leads the conference and ranks seventh nationally.
They’ll face no easy task against the Buckeyes as they hold three batters in their lineup hitting better than .300 at the plate including upperclassmen Dominic Canzone (.358), Ridge Winand (.306) and Brady Cherry (.306). Ohio State’s entire lineup has been lethal all year as it sits third in the Big Ten with a .270 batting average and 48 home runs.
It comes into this weekend riding momentum from its 6-5 nail biting victory over Wright State on Wednesday night in which it scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to narrowly push past the Raiders.
Penn State on the other hand surprisingly fell victim in its non-conference week night matchup against Towson 4-6 after previously holding a 17-5 out-of-conference record. Its offense has been sporadic throughout the last few weeks, scoring over four runs in four of its last seven games while being held to under two runs in the other three.
Gavin Homer has been consistent at the plate recently, batting 2-for-6 (.333) throughout his last three games as he and the other fielders will need to continue hitting consistently in order to give the team’s starters more run support against a 25-23 (7-11 Big Ten) Ohio State team.
First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. on Friday, May 10 at Bill Davis Stadium from Columbus, Ohio.