Penn State found out the hard way just how lethal Arizona’s offense can be as the Wildcats combined for nine hits, including four extra base hits and two home runs in Thursday night’s matchup.
The Nittany Lions were defeated 11-2 and were only able to garnish four hits, once again not giving starter Dante Biasi the run support he’s lacked all season. They fall to 22-25 (4- 18 Big Ten) with only two games remaining on their schedule finishing off their series against Arizona.
Biasi predictably had a challenging time trying to shut down the Wildcats’ offense that ranks fourth nationally in batting average (.319), but still produced a solid outing allowing only two earned-runs on four hits while recording four strikeouts through five innings. He was tagged with the loss as he left the game with his team down 4-0, but his offense only produced one hit up to that point.
The Nittany Lions four hits came from seniors Jordan Bowersox (3-for-4) and Shea Sbranti (1-for-3), everyone else combining to go 0-for-15.
Arizona starter Randy Labaut was prominent on the mound for the Wildcats, pitching 6.1 innings allowing only on earned-run on four hits striking out nine. He was pitching comfortably with a lead the majority of the game, as the Wildcats jumped to an early 2-0 lead in the second inning.
They would later add four additional runs from the fourth through sixth innings on five hits including three doubles and a home run to extend their margin to 6-0. For the game, Arizona hit two home runs courtesy of Nick Quintana and Dayton Dooney in the top of the ninth inning.
Penn State used five relief pitchers who combined to pitch the final four innings while allowing six earned-runs on five hits and walking eight batters compared to three strikeouts.
The seventh and eighth innings looked promising for the Nittany Lions as Jacob Padilla scored on a bases loaded walk while Bowersox tagged home plate on a wild pitch, but overall the team was inconsistent at the plate over the course of the game.
Game two’s first pitch is set for Friday at 6:30 p.m. from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.