PSU Baseball vs. Omaha, Luensmann

Penn State pitcher Travis Luensmann leads off pitching during the Penn State baseball game against Omaha on Friday, April 29, 2022 in University Park, Pa. Penn State defeated Omaha 8-7.

Penn State opened up the season with a three-game series against Miami. 

The Nittany Lions started off strong with a 9-5 win to kick off the battle against the Hurricanes. They then lost the next two matchups, getting blown out 10-2 and then losing in heartbreaking fashion on a walk-off homer 3-2. 

The Nittany Lions will travel to Cary, North Carolina, to take on Maine, Northern Illinois and Monmouth. 

Here’s how Penn State’s opponents stack up for this weekend.


The Nittany Lions will look to get back on track as they start this four-game stint against Maine. 

Maine had the opposite start with its record compared to the Nittany Lions. The Black Bears took on Pitt and opened with a loss and then won their following two.

Maine’s bats came alive to start its season. The team poured on 29 runs in its opening series, scoring 16 more runs than Penn State did against Miami. The blue and white’s bats need to pick it up if it wants to compete with this high flying offense.

The Nittany Lions and Black Bears will likely look to have a clash of their opening day pitchers as they will both be on a week's rest. Travis Luensmann will look for his second win of the season for Penn State, while Caleb Leys will try to carve out his first win of the new campaign. 

Northern Illinois 

The next team the Nittany Lions will face off against will be Northern Illinois, as it challenges the team  in the blue and white’s first doubleheader of the new year.  Northern Illinois is off to a slow start, as it was swept by Oral Roberts in its first four games of the season.

Pitching will be a big factor in this matchup, as both pitching staffs have struggled to begin the year. Penn State has given up 18 runs through three games, while the Huskies have given up 33 runs through four games.  Whichever staff can control the plate should have an advantage in this doubleheader matchup.

The projected starters for the first game should be Daniel Ouderkirk for Penn State and Jacob Wilde for Northern Illinois. They are each going to search for their first win in this duel. 

In Ouderkirk’s first game since joining the Nittany Lions from the transfer portal, he pitched three and one-third innings and gave up four runs on three hits. In Wilde’s season debut, he went four and two-thirds innings and gave up four runs on seven hits.

The second matchup should be headlined by Tommy Molsky for the Nittany Lions and Matt Salomonson for Northern Illinois.  

Molsky was dialed in to start the season, pitching five strikeouts with zero runs allowed. Salomonson was locked in when he took the mound, going six scoreless innings and getting seven strikeouts. 

Much like the first matchup, both starters will be trying to add a win toward their numbers.


The blue and white takes on Monmouth to close out its four-game weekend. Monmouth is also off to a rough start, as it was swept by Florida Atlantic.

Key hitters to focus on in this battle will be Jay Harry for Penn State and Austin Denlinger for Monmouth. Harry has led the Nittany Lions in hits with five and RBIs with four. Denlinger leads the team with seven hits and is second in the team in OPS with 1.000. Look for both of these players to continue their hot starts to the season.

Both teams will most likely roll out a new starter, as they each have four games this weekend. The Nittany Lions can potentially rock with Jaden Henline, who started seven games last year, or Kellan Tulio, who started nine games. 

Predicting the Hawks’ starter is rather challenging, as they have several freshmen who haven’t started a game. Nick Galvan, Tommy Kent or Chris Killian could be candidates to make their collegiate starting debut after making brief appearances in last weekend’s series.


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