Penn State dominated on both sides of the ball for its first double-digit victory of the season in an early start time Saturday.
The Nittany Lions beat Purdue 11-0 in a mid-morning tilt, led by Kyle Virbitsky’s shutout start.
Saturday’s game was the first time Penn State faced off against the Boilermakers this season. The game was played in East Lansing, home of Michigan State, who Penn State split a doubleheader with on Friday.
The blue and white took an 1-0 early lead after Parker Hendershot hit an RBI single in the top of the second inning. The run came after Curtis Robison reached first base on a fielder's choice to the second baseman.
Robison would subsequently steal second base, putting himself in scoring position with two outs on the board.
The fourth inning proved to be big for the Penn State offense. After two singles led off the inning, Josh Spiegel hit a double down the third base line to give his team a 2-0 lead. Robison drove in another run with a sac fly to left, which gave Penn State a 3-0 lead.
After Purdue pulled starting pitcher Calvin Schapira in the top of the seventh, things completely fell apart for the Boilermakers. Kris Kremer scored from second thanks to a wild pitch and error, both of which came right after Purdue reliever Calvin Starnes threw his first pitch of the day.
The Nittany Lions added two more runs after Jay Harry’s single scored Johnny Piacentino and Justin Williams, who were both walked by Starnes.
Catcher Matt Wood added to his big day with a solo homer in the top of the eighth inning, giving Penn State a 8-0 lead. Hendershot made it 9-0 after pinch hitter Kyle Hannon’s pinch-hit triple.
Kremer added a two-run home run to solidify the blue and white’s blowout win.
Virbitsky and Steven Miller put up a combined shutout for the Nittany Lions on the mound.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Penn State’s win.
Kyle Virbitsky shows out again
Virbitsky looked sharp again on the mound for the Nittany Lions Saturday.
The righty threw eight and one third scoreless innings, and gave up only five hits and no base on balls.
Virbitsky, who was coming off his longest outing against Rutgers on April 4, threw 104 pitches in a dominant start where he also struck out six batters and hit just one. Virbitsky has outdone his best performance in two straight starts.
With pitching dominant, it was Penn State’s catchers who carried much of the offensive load.
Spiegel went 2-for-4, and Matt Wood went 3-for-5 for the Nittany Lions offense. While Spiegel was the team’s designated hitter today, he has split time with Wood and freshman Tyson Cooper behind the plate this season.
Wood added three RBIs to his season total to give him nine on the year. Spiegel added an RBI of his own, giving him 11 on the season.
Penn State’s plentiful offense
Bats were flying for coach Rob Cooper’s team Saturday.
The Nittany Lions scored the second-most runs of their season against Purdue, putting up 11 in nine innings. Penn State put up 17 hits, drew three walks and stole three bases.
Just two of Penn State’s 12 batters were unable to register a hit in the game. Both batters were pinch hitters who only had one at bat in the game.
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