Baseball Loses Pitchers' Duel To Penn State
March 4, 2011
RALEIGH, N.C. — Bobby Jacobs lifted a two-out bloop single to right field in the top of the ninth inning Friday, scoring Jordan Steranka from first base to push Penn State past NC State 3-2 in the first game of a three-game series at Doak Field at Dail Park.
Both teams managed just seven hits as the starting pitchers dominated for both teams. NC State’s Cory Mazzoni worked seven innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits. He struck out a career-high 13 and did not allow a walk. Penn State’s Heath Johnson allowed just two hits and a walk in 5 2/3 shutout innings. He did not strike out a batter.
With the starters in total command, the game was scoreless into the sixth inning. Mazzoni retired 15 of the first 17 men he faced before running into trouble of his own making in the top of the sixth. Elliot Searer led off with a single up the middle, and Mazzoni promptly sent him to second base with an errant pickoff throw to first. Sean Deegan’s single down the right-field line sent Searer home with the game’s first run, unearned.
Mario Eramo led off the top of the seventh with a long home run to right, giving Penn State (4-3) a 2-0 lead. The two-run lead seemed to be plenty for Johnson, who set down 16 of 21 NC State hitters before turning the ball over to his bullpen. Relievers Greg Welsh and Dave Walkling carried the shutout into the bottom of the eighth before the Wolfpack (4-4) tied the game with a two-out rally. Danny Canela singled to left and John Gianis pinch-ran. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Harold Riggins and Tarran Senay pushed across the tying runs.
Walkling, who allowed the tying runs in the eighth, picked up his third win in as many decisions thanks to Jacobs’ hit in the ninth. Walkling was charged with two runs on five hits in 1 2/3 innings. Ryan Ignas picked up his first save by retiring all three batters he faced.
D.J. Thomas, who worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning, left the game with the score tied at 2-2 in the ninth, two outs and a runner on second, but took the loss, his first college decision.
NC State and Penn State will play the final two games of the series as part of a doubleheader on Saturday, beginning at 1 p.m. There will be a 40-minute break between games.
Both games are scheduled to be broadcast live on WKNC-FM (88.1), and both broadcasts can be heard on-line with live video streaming on GoPack.com’s All-Access package.
If, however, the NC State women defeat Miami in Friday’s night’s game in the ACC women’s basketball tournament, they will play Saturday afternoon, creating a conflict with the baseball game on WKNC. In that case, the baseball games will be broadcast on WKNC up to the start of the basketball broadcast, and will be picked up again after the conclusion of the basketball broadcast. Both baseball broadcasts, with video streaming, would be available free of charge on GoPack.com’s All-Access.
Live stats will be available on Gametracker. Just click the Gametracker icon on the baseball schedule page on GoPack.com.
As always, please visit GoPack.com regularly for full coverage of all NC State athletics news and events.