It will be one of seven "Dollar Dog Nights" at the ballpark in the Nittany Lions' home opener. Another feature on Wednesday will be "Winning Weeknight Scratchoffs." The first 200 fans that show up to any weeknight game this season will receive a scratchoff ticket. Each ticket is a guaranteed winner of a Penn State Baseball prize.
Penn State is coming off a tough three-game series sweep to the No. 25 East Carolina Pirates this past weekend. Penn State lost in walk-off fashion on Friday and Saturday, before dropping the series finale by a 7-4 count on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Joe Kurrasch (San Juan Capistrano, Calif.) pitched a strong, complete game in the loss on Friday. Freshman Aaron Novak (Ambler, Pa.) continued his hot hitting with a three RBI performance and two doubles on Friday.
In this past Saturday's loss, Penn State got great performances out of freshman catcher JC Coban (Boca Raton, Calif.) and junior starting pitcher John Walter (Haddonfield, N.J.). Coban was a single short of the cycle in a four RBI performance. Coban connected on an RBI double in the third, a two-run homer in the seventh, and an RBI triple in the ninth. The freshman also scored two runs on the day. The four runs he drove in were the most of any Penn State player this season.
Walter had his best outing of the season, going 7.2 innings of five-hit ball and giving up just one run. Walter also punched out four batters and walked three on the day in a no-decision effort.
Pittsburgh comes into Wednesday's contest with a 10-7 overall record and a 3-1 mark in road games. As a team, the Panthers are hitting a solid .291 in 17 games. Pittsburgh is led by Anthony Defabio and Rick Devereaux, who are both hitting well above .400 this season. Defabio leads the team with 8 doubles on the season, while Devereaux has a team-leading four homeruns and 26 RBI. Right-handed pitcher Casey Roche is expected to make the start for Pittsburgh on Wednesday, as he has given up five runs in one appearance this season.
Penn State is 27-15-1 all-time in contests with Pittsburgh, including wins in the last two contests between the rival schools. The series dates back to 1912, when Penn State won the first ever contest by a score of 11-2.
Following Wednesday's contest with Pittsburgh, the Nittany Lions will open Big Ten action beginning this Friday at 6:05 with a three-game series against the Indiana Hoosiers at Medlar Field. All fans in attendance that weekend will receive a free Penn State schedule magnet. Also, the Friday game of that series will be the first of five "Free Food Friday" games for all student season ticket holders.
Source: PSU Athletics