In Penn State’s final home appearance of the season, a huge sixth inning fueled a win over Rutgers Monday.
The Nittany Lions won their third series of the season thanks to an 8-6 victory over the Scarlet Knights. The blue and white moved to 16-21 on the year.
Rutgers scored its first run early on Penn State starter Tyler Shingledecker.
In the first inning, a walk and a single put two on with one out for the Scarlet Knights. Another single scored Rutgers right fielder Richie Schiekofer to give Rutgers an early 1-0 lead.
Another run scored for Rutgers in the fourth inning after a couple of quick, scoreless innings for Shingledecker and Rutgers starter Kyle Muller.
In the top of the fourth, Shingledecker registered a two-pitch first out before giving up a couple of hits that extended Rutgers' lead. A single and triple pushed the score to 2-0 and resulted in coach Rob Cooper pulling Shingledecker after 50 pitches.
A first-pitch passed ball with reliever Ralph Gambino on the mound gave Rutgers a 3-0 lead.
Muller was outstanding for Rutgers on the mound, throwing four innings of hitless, scoreless baseball on just 44 pitches.
The Nittany Lions finally broke through in the sixth inning with an onslaught of baserunners and runs.
Jay Harry started the inning with a one-out walk before Gavin Homer registered Penn State’s first hit of the game with a single to right. After Matt Wood reached first via catcher’s interference, Justin Williams hit a grand slam to right to give Penn State its first runs of the game.
The Nittany Lions added four more runs in the inning thanks to RBIs from Curtis Robison, Cole Bartels and Harry.
Rutgers was able to get a couple of runs back in the seventh off of Penn State reliever Steven Miller, but the Scarlet Knights couldn’t fully overcome their deficit.
Rutgers added another run in the ninth, but Mason Mellott registered his second save of the series and fourth on the season to close it out.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Penn State’s 8-6 win.
Shingledecker makes first start of 2021
Shingledecker did enough to keep Penn State in the game Monday.
In three and one-third innings of work, the southpaw gave up three runs on four hits and two walks. Only two of Shingledecker’s runs were earned, as the third came across on a passed ball with Gambino on the mound.
It was the lefty’s first start of the season in what was dubbed as a bullpen day for both teams.
However, it is noteworthy that freshman Jaden Henline, who has started three games for the Nittany Lions this season, was passed over in favor of Shingledecker on Monday. Henline has made seven appearances on the season, with his last one coming on May 8 against Iowa.
Gambino dominant in relief
Gambino was great for Penn State on the mound.
The redshirt sophomore allowed just one walk and didn’t give up a single hit in two and two-thirds innings of work.
It was Gambino’s eighth and longest appearance of the season, as he threw 33 pitches and didn’t give up any earned runs.
Gambino’s superb 1.50 ERA will fall even lower after a shutout appearance Monday. It marks notable improvement for the righty after Gambino registered a 30.86 ERA in four appearances in 2019.
Big sixth inning
Penn State’s offense finally broke out in the bottom of the sixth.
The Nittany Lions only registered one baserunner through five innings Monday, but they were able to put nine men on in the sixth.
Homer registered the first knock of the day for Penn State, which seemed to lift a huge weight from the collective shoulders of Penn State’s offense.
In the inning, Penn State put 12 batters to the plate and scored eight runs. The Nittany Lions registered six hits in the inning, including Williams’ grand slam that would give them a lead they would never surrender.
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