It may have taken 10 innings, but Penn State picked up a win Friday.
The Nittany Lions beat No. 18 Michigan 3-2 in walk-off fashin in the series opener. The win marked their fourth victory of the 2021 campaign.
After a quiet first inning, the Nittany Lions got on the board in the bottom of the second inning after Tayven Kelley doubled to deep left field. Kelley drove in Jay Harry from first base, after Harry walked the previous at bat.
Later that inning, after a passed ball advanced Kelley to third base, Parker Hendershot drove in Penn State’s second run to put them up 2-0 over the Wolverines.
Penn State was able to score these runs despite the dominance of Michigan starting pitcher Steve Hajjar. Eight of the first nine outs registered by Hajjar and the Wolverines were strikeouts. Hajjar finished with 11 strikeouts through 6 innings of work. He gave up two runs on four hits and two walks.
Michigan added sacrifice runs in both the third and fourth innings to tie the score up at 2-2.
The Nittany Lions had a chance to add another run in the bottom of the sixth inning, but were unable to strike despite Williams being on third with no outs.
The seventh and eighth innings saw a player from each team reach base, because of an error, but neither team was able to capitalize with runs.
In the bottom of the ninth, Gavin Homer was able to reach base on a single, but nothing came of the hit, even after Homer stole second base.
Michigan had a chance to take the lead in the top of the tenth inning, but were unable to capitalize on a bases loaded situation.
After Curtis Robison’s double to left, Kremer was intentionally walked to put two runners on. Cole Bartels came to the plate with no outs and hit a bouncing shot over the head of Michigan’s third baseman Christian Molfetta.
Here are the biggest takeaways from Penn State’s blank.
Dees bounces back
Bailey Dees threw 6 ⅔ innings before being pulled by coach Rob Cooper in favor of left-handed reliever Tyler Shingledecker.
Dees struggled in his last two outings, giving up 11 earned runs in only 8 ⅔ innings. He was much more poised Friday, giving up only two earned runs on six hits in just under seven innings.
Dees struck out seven batters and at one point retired 11 straight batters.
Tyler Shingledecker and Mason Mellot impressed in relief for the Nittany Lions.
In 1 ⅔ innings of relief, Shingledecker gave up no hits or runs. The only baserunner that reached was as a result of throwing error by second baseman Gaven Homer.
Mellot similarly pitched 1 ⅔ innings while giving up one hit, two walks and no runs. Mellot was able to escape a late jam, keeping the score tied after loading the bases in the top of the 10th inning.
Rough outing for Spiegel
After a hot to the season, Josh Spiegel struggled Friday against Michigan. Spiegel, who was batting .342 coming into Friday, struck out in each of his first three at-bats.
Spiegel finally made good contact in the ninth inning, but was robbed of a possible double via a diving catch by Michigan’s center fielder, Jake Marti.
MORE SPORTS COVERAGE