With the bases loaded and no outs, catcher Josh Spiegel stepped into the batter’s box.
Penn State’s hottest hitter delivered in a big spot once again, as the redshirt freshman punched a single into the outfield to give the Nittany Lions the 6-5 walk-off victory over Maryland on Sunday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
The win evened the series between the two sides, with the rubber match coming on Monday. It also snapped Penn State’s five-game losing streak.
Maryland opened the scoring in the first inning, capitalizing on a throwing error to take the 1-0 lead. The Terrapins extended their lead in the fourth, as Bobby Zmarzlak hit a two-run home run to right center field.
The Nittany Lions responded in their half of the fourth with some small ball. After a pair of singles, right fielder Tayven Kelley hit a 2 RBI double to right field to cut the deficit to one run.
Penn State tied the game the next inning, as third baseman Justin Williams blasted a solo home run to right center field.
The Nittany Lions took the lead in the seventh, as Josh Spiegel hit an RBI single to give Penn State the 4-3 lead. The Nittany Lions would extend their lead in the following inning, as left fielder Kris Kremer scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3.
Maryland struck back in its half of the ninth, stringing together several extra base hits with two outs to tie the game at five.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Penn State’s walk-off win.
Larkin pitches lights out
Conor Larkin got the starting nod for Penn State and was dominant, tossing 6 ⅔ innings in his longest outing of the season.
The right-hander allowed just two earned runs and seven hits while striking out eight batters.
Larkin was able to locate his pitches, especially his off-speed repertoire, to keep the Terrapins guessing at the plate. He allowed only one walk.
Shingledecker slams the door
Tyler Shingledecker pitched in relief of Larkin and worked out of jams in consecutive innings. With runners on first and second base and two outs, Shingledecker got a ground out to end the sixth.
In the seventh, with a runner on third base and two outs, Shingledecker held onto the Nittany Lions 4-3 lead. Maryland attempted the safety squeeze, but the southpaw fired the ball to first base to end the frame.
Shingledecker returned in the ninth and got into trouble, allowing two runs, and more significantly, allowing Maryland to tie the score 5-5. However, the lefty did not allow the Terrapins to take the lead, earning a strikeout to end the inning and strand two runners on base.
Spiegel shines with big hits
Spiegel continued his scorching start to the season on Sunday, coming up with big hits on two separate occasions. Along with his walk-off in the ninth inning, Spiegel’s RBI single in the seventh also proved critical.
He finished the game 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
In his first season as a Nittany Lion, Spiegel leads the team with a .400 batting average.
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