PSU Baseball Grabs 1st Big Ten Win

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State RHP Sal Biasi (Hazle Township, Pa.) struck out nine and did not allow an earned run in a 6-2 victory over Ohio State in Big Ten baseball action Saturday afternoon on Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. A season-high crowd of 1,614 attended the game.

Biasi (4-3) pitched a season-high 6 2/3 innings for Penn State (11-17, 1-3 B1G), striking out nine and yielding one unearned run on three hits and three walks. LHP Taylor Lehman (Pittsburgh, Pa.) recorded a strikeout to end the seventh, and RHP Nick Distasio (Oley, Pa.) pitched the final two innings, striking out two and surrendering a solo home run in the top of the ninth to Ohio State (12-17, 1-6 B1G) right fielder Dominic Canzone, who drove in both of the Buckeye runs on the day.

A Central PA trio powered the Nittany Lion offense. Altoona’s Christian Helsel went 2-for-4 and Punxsutawney’s Braxton Giavedoni went 3-for-4 with a double, and the duo scored Penn State’s first four runs. Another Punxsy native, Ryan Sloniger, was a catalyst for their runs, inducing an error on a well-placed sacrifice bunt for a scoring play and then driving Helsel and Giavedoni in with a triple in the third inning. Shortstop Joe Weisenseel (Strongsville, Ohio) also had a multi-hit game, going 2-for-3 with an RBI.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Nittany Lions and a five-game skid dating back to 2014 against the Buckeyes. Ohio State and Penn State did not meet last season.

The Penn State offense started rolling in the second and third innings. Helsel and Giavedoni led the second off with back-to-back singles, and Sloniger followed with a sacrifice bunt looking to advance them one base, but an errant throw allowed everyone to take an extra base with Helsel scoring. Weisenseel then drove in Giavedoni with an infield single to short. A walk loaded the bases but RHP Yianni Pavlopoulos (2-3) was able to battle out of the inning.

Helsel, Giavedoni and Sloniger teamed up again in the third. With one out, Helsel and Giavedoni went back-to-back again with singles, but this time Sloniger was swinging away, eventually tripling to “The Nook” in left-centerfield on the ninth pitch he saw.

Ohio State got on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of a three-base error. A deep fly by third baseman Noah McGowan was dropped, and Canzone drove him in on a ground out to second. Canzone went 2-for-3 for the game.

The fifth was scoreless but Penn State added two more runs in the sixth. Centerfielder Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) drove in a run and then scored on a failed pickoff attempt, all with two outs.

Pavlopoulos pitched 5 1/3 innings, striking out seven but surrendering five runs (four earned) on seven hits and a walk.

Penn State and Ohio State will conclude the series with a doubleheader Sunday starting at 11 a.m. The second game is scheduled to start at 3 p.m. and will be televised live on BTN.

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