Offense sputters as Huskies drop two to Penn State

By Zachary Bertram, Sports Reporter

DeKALB – The Huskies dropped to 0-6 after a doubleheader sweep at the hands of Penn State University.

Game one saw Penn State take an early lead and never look back, winning the game 7-3. Game two was a low-scoring affair, with Penn State pulling away late for a 5-1 victory. 

The Huskies’ offense continued to struggle on Friday, scoring four runs on 13 hits over the two games. 

Junior infielder Andre Demetral was a bright spot for NIU with three hits on the day, including a triple. Junior first baseman Colin Summerhill added two hits and two RBIs (runs batted in) on the day.

Junior right fielder Billy Gerlott and junior second baseman Kyle Hannon each had three hits for Penn State. 

Game one

Led by a three-hit day from Gerlott, Penn State defeated NIU in game one, 7-3.

Gerlott had a strong day at the plate going 3-for-5 with two doubles. He drove in three of the seven Penn State runs. 

The Nittany Lions scored seven runs on ten hits, while the Huskies scored three runs on nine hits. 

Junior pitcher Dominic Hann got the start on the mound for the Huskies. He gave up four earned runs on six hits in five innings pitched, while falling to 0-2 on the season. Junior pitcher Jacob Draeger followed Hann in relief, pitching three innings and giving up two earned runs on four hits. 

Junior pitcher Travis Luensmann started for Penn State and improved to 2-0 on the season, giving up one earned run on four hits in five innings. Senior pitcher Jordan Morales pitched the last four innings for Penn State, giving up two earned runs on five hits. 

Gerlott got the scoring started for Penn State in the bottom of the first inning with an RBI groundout to bring home graduate designated hitter Thomas Bramley. Penn State continued its scoring in the bottom of the second with three runs to make it a 4-0 game, highlighted by a two-RBI double from Gerlott. 

Despite the loss, NIU had a season-high in runs scored with three. Summerhill led the way for NIU at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored. 

Game two

A dominant pitching performance from Penn State carried the Nittany Lions to a 5-1 win over the Huskies in game two.

Graduate pitcher Daniel Ouderkirk silenced the Huskies’ bats Friday and gave up just one earned run on three hits in seven innings of work. Ouderkirk struck out 11 batters while walking one batter.

The majority of the Huskies’ offensive production came from the bottom of the batting order. Eighth hitter Demetral and ninth hitter senior center fielder Malik Peters combined for all four of NIU’s hits. Penn State had ten hits, led by a 3-for-4 game from Hannon.

Junior pitcher Jacob Wilde started on the mound for NIU, giving up three earned runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings pitched. Senior pitcher Nick Bonk relieved Wilde, pitching the final 2.2 innings and giving up two earned runs on three hits. 

NIU took an early 1-0 lead in the third inning, started by a one-out triple from Demetral. Peters followed with an RBI single to drive in Demetral.

Penn State responded in the fifth inning with an RBI single from Bramley to score sophomore first baseman Anthony Steele, tying the score at one. Penn State continued its scoring into the sixth inning, with RBI singles from Hannon and graduate third baseman Grant Norris, to take a 3-1 lead.

NIU had its best chance to cut the lead in the top of the eighth inning when Demetral singled and Peters walked with just one out. With the tying run on first base and the go-ahead run at the plate, junior left fielder Eric Erato and junior second baseman Parker Shupe each struck out, ending the threat.

Penn State took advantage of the Huskies’ inability to score, as Norris hit a two-run home run to give Penn State a 5-1 lead. Graduate pitcher Steven Miller earned the save for Penn State. 

Up Next

The Huskies continue their play in the Penn State tournament at noon Saturday against Monmouth University. The game will be streamed live via USA Baseball from Coleman Field in Cary, North Carolina.