PSU Baseball vs. Maryland 3/21, Larkin (25)

Pitcher, Conor Larkin (25) warming up before the start of Penn State baseball's second game in their series against Maryland on Sunday, March 21, 2021 at Medlar Field in University Park, Pa. The Nittany Lions beat the Terrapins 6-5.

In its series against Maryland, Penn State’s pitchers worked out of high-pressure situations several times.

However, the Nittany Lions’ arms also allowed the Terrapins to manufacture runs with big innings on multiple occasions.

The inconsistency on the bump ultimately plagued the blue and white as it lost to Maryland 19-10 and 7-1 in the first and last contests of the three-game series, respectively. The Nittany Lions won the middle matchup 6-5 on Sunday.

In the pair of losses, the pitching staff as a whole struggled to put together strong, nine-inning performances. In all three games, both the starters and relievers each allowed multiple runs.

In total, Penn State pitchers allowed 31 runs in the series, their most in any series so far this season. Twenty-six of the runs were earned, and the Nittany Lions’ relievers were responsible for a whopping 15 of them.

Despite the results, a handful of Nittany Lions churned out a few strong performances on the mound.

MORE BASEBALL COVERAGE

Right-hander Conor Larkin got the start in game two and allowed just two runs over 6 ⅔ innings. His 2.87 ERA and 1.15 WHIP are both the best among Penn State’s four starters.

“Conor Larkin is one of the best kids I’ve ever coached,” coach Rob Cooper said following Sunday’s victory. “Besides being really good, he is an unbelievable teammate. He has mentored so many young guys since he’s been here.”

After starting in the first two series, freshman Jaden Henline pitched a scoreless inning out of the bullpen on Sunday. He allowed no hits and recorded one strikeout in his brief relief stint.

“I thought he did a great job,” Cooper said in the aftermath of Monday’s defeat. “I think down the road, he’s going to continue to profile as a starter, but it’s nice to have that kind of guy out of your bullpen.”

Reliever Steven Miller also produced a strong outing in relief, tossing 2 ⅔ scoreless innings on Saturday. After pitching sparingly the last two seasons, Miller has now allowed no runs in two of his three appearances this season.

But aside from the trio of Larkin, Henline and Miller, excellent performances were few and far between for the Nittany Lions against the Terrapins.

MORE SPORTS COVERAGE

If you're interested in submitting a Letter to the Editor, click here.