PITTSBURGH – Jordan Bowersox (Winter Springs, Fla.) and Christian Helsel (Altoona, Pa.) hit back-to-back home runs and RHP Schuyler Bates (Ossining, N.Y.) enjoyed a second consecutive successful start, but an error in the seventh allowed Pittsburgh to score the go-ahead run in a 3-2 win over the Nittany Lions Tuesday in non-conference baseball action in Charles L. Cost Field.
Bowersox’s home run was part of a 2-for-4 day at the plate for Penn State (10-17), while left fielder Nick Riotto (Washington, Pa.) went 3-for-4. Bates (1-1) went a career-high 6 1/3 innings, and was charged with three runs (two earned) on five hits and no walks. The first run scored on infield hits and the last two scored after he left the game.
The loss snapped a 13-game winning streak against Pennsylvania schools and a four-game winning streak against Pitt (14-12) RJ Freure (4-1) earned the win in relief for Pitt, allowing two hits and striking out five in 2 1/3 innings. RHP Isaac Mattson (4) earned the save after getting the final two outs.
Pitt was first to score after Penn State left runners on the corners in the top of the third after a diving catch by Panthers’ left fielder Jacob Wright. In the bottom half, second baseman Alex Amos led the inning off with an infield single to short and right fielder Nico Popa followed with a bunt single. A fielder’s choice moved Amos to third, and he scored on a safety squeeze by designated Yaya Chentouf.
Penn State again stranded two on the bases in the fourth, but took the lead on back-to-back home runs in the top of the fifth. Bowersox and Helsel both went the opposite way to right field, taking advantage of strong winds. It was the third home run of the season for both.
The Panthers retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh for good after Bates left the game. With one out and runners on second and third, Amos hit into an RBI-groundout to tie the game, but an errant throw in an attempt to prevent the runner from advancing from second to third sailed into foul ground, allowing the go-ahead run to score.
Penn State will host Ohio State in a three-game Big Ten series opening Friday at 6:30 p.m.
Season, flex and single-game ticket options for the 2017 Penn State baseball season in Medlar Field at Lubrano Park are now on sale at GoPSUsports.com or by calling the Medlar Field at Lubrano Park ticket office at 814-272-1711. Ask about the hospitality suite option for season ticket holders.
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