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Sunday, Feb. 25
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Penn State series bittersweet

Hoosiers pull off comeback in seventh inning

Hoosier players and coaches stood on the first step of their dugout to watch a possible comeback win from the baseball team. It was the bottom of the seventh inning of the first game of Saturday's doubleheader, and IU was trailing Penn State 3-2.\nThe Hoosiers got what they wished for.\nIU loaded the bases on a single, an error and a hit batter. With no outs, sophomore third baseman Vasili Spanos entered the batters' box and drilled a fastball 370 feet for a game-winning grand slam.\nThe home run propelled Spanos' teammates from the dugout to home plate for a victory rally.\n"We did whatever we could to get on base," Spanos said. "We did our job to get on base, and they set the table for me. I came through this time."\nBut Spanos' heroics to cap the Hoosiers' 6-3 win in the second game of the Big Ten series were the only IU highlight this weekend.\nIU (15-9-1, 1-2 Big Ten) lost two of three games to Penn State (8-15, 2-1) in IU's Big Ten opening series. The Nittany Lions captured the first game of the series 14-4 and the third game 7-1. Sunday's game was canceled because of freezing temperatures and light snow. \nSpanos provided six of IU's 11 runs during a weekend series plagued with pitching woes, defensive errors and offensive lapses.\nAfter notching a win in Saturday's first game, the Hoosiers weren't able to carry intensity from the dramatic win into the next game.\nIU put runners on first and second bases with no outs in the first inning of the second game. Penn State pitcher Justin Nash was able to retire the next three batters, and IU went scoreless until the fourth inning.\n"I thought we carried intensity over to the second game, but we squelched some opportunities," coach Bob Morgan said. "We had guys on in the first three innings and we didn't do anything."\nFriday Psu win, 14-4\nThe Nittany Lions scored nine earned runs while IU committed four errors in nine innings. Junior Brad Edwards lasted four innings after allowing eight hits and six runs. He picked up the loss and is now 1-4.\nIU scored four runs on three hits to bring the score to 9-4 in the seventh inning. Starter Dan McCall earned his first win for Penn State. The Hoosiers gave up four runs off four hits and a throwing error in the ninth inning.\n"They do not give up a running game," Penn State coach said Joe Hindelang. "On the other side, they have a great running game with stolen bases, but the chips fell our way. We played errorless baseball, got good starting pitching and timely hitting."

Game 1 Saturday, IU win 6-3\nBesides Spanos' game-winning grand slam, junior shortstop Eric Blakeley and sophomore second baseman John Bestler also earned RBIs. The Nittany Lions had scored its runs in the first and sixth innings before IU won it in the seventh.\n"First game was a great game," Morgan said. "The last inning, with the advantage of the home team batting last, we just put a great inning together off one of their errors, and Spanos made it a great way to win a conference game."

Game 2 Saturday, psu win 7-1\nThe Hoosiers committed two errors to bring the weekend total to six. In the fourth inning, first baseman Joe Sadler, a sophomore, made a throwing error to the catcher, allowing two runners to score.\n"We've struggled a little bit," Spanos said. "The big play was the ground ball, and we had the runners in motion and they both scored because nobody noticed they were going around base, so that was big. We might be having some mental errors."\nFreshman rightfielder Brian Bucciarelli provided the Hoosiers' lone run off a triple in the fourth inning. Penn State got hits from seven of its 10 starters and scored in all but the first and sixth innings.\n"I was disappointed," Morgan said. "They extended the lead, and I thought we could inch back into it. I say we were deflated because we had some opportunities early and we didn't cash in"

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