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Penn State Baseball falls to Navy 9-1

Penn State baseball (21-20, 7-11 Big Ten) fell 9-1 to Navy (26-20, 15-10 Patriot League) on Sunday afternoon in Annapolis, Maryland.

It looked like a pitchers’ duel was underway until the Midshipmen scored six runs in the fourth inning. It paved the way for a Penn State loss, as the Nittany Lions couldn’t overcome the steep deficit.

How it happened

Bobby Marsh sent a fly ball to the warning track to start the play, but it died before it could have sailed over the wall. Jaden Henline took the mound in the bottom of the first inning and struck out one batter en route to a scoreless frame.

Penn State threatened again, with Tayven Kelley nearly hitting a home run in the top of the second inning. Navy got a run when Anthony Fiallo reached on a fielder’s choice, and Andrew Manning came home on an error.

After a scoreless third inning, the Midshipmen were active again in the fourth. With two runners on base, Fiallo reached on another error and Logan Keller scored. Hudson Lehnertz had two singles later and scored two more runs to make it 5-0. Another fielding error allowed Eduardo Diaz to reach base and another run was scored on the play. Diaz later scored three batters on a wild pitch. Keller then hit an RBI single for the final run of the inning to make it 7-0.

Meanwhile, all of Penn State’s batters went down swinging in a one-two-three top half of the fifth inning. The Navy would have suffered the same fate had Lehnertz not hit a single one.

Brock Murtha homered to make it 8-0 in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two outs in the eighth inning, Navy loaded the bases. Evan Brown singled to drive in a run, making it 9-0.

Matt Maloney doubled in the top of the ninth to score Bryce Molinaro, and Penn State was finally on the board. It was too little too late and the Nittany Lions fell 9-1 in Annapolis.

Takeaways

  • Penn State’s defense was awful. Several mistakes led to runs, as poor execution was consistently an issue for this team. It’s something Mike Gambino has talked about all season long, but today’s game feels like a step backwards.
  • The bats were remarkably silent until it was too late. Navy is a good baseball team, but Penn State’s offense is good too. It was strangely a quiet day on that front.

What’s next?

Penn State takes the country roads to West Virginia for a one-game series against the Mountaineers on Tuesday, May 8 at 7:00 PM in Morgantown, West Virginia. The game will be broadcast on ESPN 2.

Nolan is a third-year journalism major from Silver Spring, Maryland, which means he is an avid fan of all DC sports teams. When Nolan isn’t writing or watching sports, you can probably find him listening to all kinds of music or traveling. To keep Nolan informed, follow him on Twitter @nolan_wick or email him at (email protected).