In both games of its Sunday doubleheader, Penn State was in prime position to win.
However, the Nittany Lions faltered in the late innings of each contest and lost to Indiana in Bloomington 6-5 and 2-1 in the first and second games, respectively. With the results, the Hoosiers completed a sweep in the twin bill as well as the four-game series sweep.
Penn State led Indiana 5-3 in the final inning of game one, but couldn’t seal the victory. After a walk and a single, Hoosier center fielder Grant Richardson hit a three-run, walk-off home run.
In the second game of the double dip, the two sides remained tied 1-1 through six innings of play. After a pair of singles, Indiana executed a safety squeeze in the seventh to bring what would be the winning run across the plate.
After surrendering a run in the first inning of game one, Penn State responded in the third frame. Following a pair of walks, right fielder Curtis Robinson hit an RBI single that was followed by a triple from second baseman Gavin Homer, which added two more runs.
The senior came home on an RBI single from Johnny Piacentino to give Penn State a 4-1 lead.
The Nittany Lions scored again in the fifth before Indiana scored two runs to cut the deficit to 5-3. One of those runs came from shortstop Grant Macciocchi, who hit a solo homer to left field.
With the results, the Nittany Lions dropped to 2-6 on the season. Penn State is now just 2-8 in its last 10 games against the Hoosiers, dating back to 2017.
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Penn State looked to avoid a dozen straight losses to start the season Sunday.
Aside from a four-run inning in the first game, Penn State struggled mightily to generate offense. The Nittany Lions mustered a total of six hits, half of which came in the third inning of game one.
Penn State was 6-for-54 at the dish and struck out 16 times between the two games. The Nittany Lions went 0-for-9 with runners on base in the second matchup.
The lone bright spot for Penn State’s offense was Piacentino, who finished the day 2-for-5 with two RBIs and a pair of walks. He was the only Nittany Lion to record more than one hit.
Strong starting pitching
Both Jaden Henline and Kyle Virbitsky pitched well for the Nittany Lions, putting them in a position to win in both contests.
In his second career start, Henline tossed 4 ⅓ innings in game one, allowing just three hits and two earned runs. The freshman only walked one and struck out five.
Virbitsky took the ball in game two and pitched well. The right-hander hurled 6 ⅓ innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out five Hoosiers.
After hitting eight home runs in last week’s season-opening series against Northwestern, Penn State couldn’t generate any power against Indiana.
The Nittany Lions didn’t go yard at all in four games against the Hoosiers, and recorded only two extra-base hits Sunday. Along with Homer’s triple, third baseman Justin Williams hit a double in the second game.
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