Baseball hosts Purdue for weekend series

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State baseball team will host its first Big Ten series of the season, taking on conference foe Purdue this weekend. The Nittany Lions enter with a 5-15 mark after falling 10-8 to Pittsburgh on Wednesday, while the Boilermakers sit at 7-14 after dropping three games to Ohio State last weekend. Both squads are looking for their first Big Ten wins of the season. Friday’s first pitch is slated for 4:05 p.m., with Saturday and Sunday’s contests beginning at 2:05 p.m. and 1:05 p.m., respectively.

Promotions: Schedule travel mugs will be available on Friday while supplies last. Following Saturday’s contest, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for all children in attendance.

Links: All games will be available via GameTracker, as well as updated at the @PennStateBASE Twitter account.

Last Time Out: Penn State opened the 2013 home season against the Panthers, falling 10-8 in a back-and-forth offensive match. The Lions outhit the opposition 10-9, posting a .278 team batting average to trump Pitt’s team average of .250. Freshman James Coates (Girard, Ohio) led the squad at the plate, going 2-for-3 and collecting two hits, two RBIs and a run scored. The rookie has now posted five multiple-hit games and sits with 11 runs, 17 hits and nine RBIs. Leading the Lions with a .364 batting average, redshirt senior Elliot Searer (Lewistown, Pa.) went 2-for-4 and drove in two runs with one run scored. Redshirt junior Steve Snyder (West Chester, Pa.) also batted .500, and now sits with a team-best 24 hits and 12 runs following his performance against Pittsburgh. Sophomore Taylor Skerpon (Sayre, Pa.), batting .328, and sophomore J.C. Coban (Boca Rotan, Fla.) each posted an RBI in the contest to lead the squad with 11 a piece, while senior Luis Montesinos (Miami, Fla.) earned the 50th RBI of his career against the Panthers.

Lion Rotation: Redshirt sophomore T.J. Jann (Westford, Mass.) is expected to make the start on Friday after recently taking on Indiana in Penn State’s Big Ten opener. Jann struck out a career-best four batters in a career-high 6.2 innings, and currently holds a 5.19 ERA. Making his sixth start of the season on Saturday, senior Steven Hill (Colleyville, Texas) is 1-4 on the season, despite not allowing an earned run in two of the four losses. The veteran improved to a 3.48 ERA following the 2-0 loss to the Hoosiers and has allowed 36 hits and 13 earned runs in 33.2 innings. Hill leads the team with 26 strikeouts. Junior Greg Welsh (Holland, Pa.), who currently holds a 3.68 ERA, will close out the series on Sunday. Welsh has fired 7.1 innings in two appearances, allowing seven hits and three earned runs while striking out four.

Scouting the Boilers: Purdue was most recently swept in its Big Ten opening weekend, falling 10-1, 8-3 and 7-0 to Ohio State. The Boilermakers are led by Jake Hansen, who holds a .361 batting average and has scored a team-best 10 runs. Sean McHugh leads the squad with 23 hits and 12 RBIs, while Conner Hudnall has hit two home runs. Hansen, Hudnall, McHugh and Josh Estell have combined for 79 hits, 29 RBIs and 29 runs this season. Left-handed pitcher Jordan Minch will face off against Jann on Friday, currently holding a 6.30 ERA and a 2-3 record. Minch has pitched 30.0 innings, allowing 34 hits and 21 earned runs while striking out a team-best 27. Making the start on Saturday, Robert Ramer sits with a 4.82 ERA after allowing 52 hits and 20 earned runs. The redshirt senior has struck out 21 and walked just four in 37.1 innings. Brad Schreiber is expected to make the start on Sunday, holding a 5.52 ERA in six appearances.

All-Time Series: Purdue holds the advantage in the all-time series with a 38-27 record against Penn State. The Lions won the most recent contest in the 18-year rivalry, topping the Boilermakers 16-6 on April 1, 2012 at Purdue. The Boilers have won the last eight of 10 contests, while Penn State holds a 15-14 advantage on home turf.

Up Next: Penn State will travel to Kent State on Wednesday, April 3 before returning home to host Wright State for a weekend series. Action will kick off between the Lions and the Raiders on Friday, April 5 at 6:05 p.m. at Medlar Field.

Season tickets for students are just $20, with Student General Admission tickets starting at $2 and Student Bleacher tickets at $1. Season tickets for Adult General Admission start at $63, while Adult General Admission tickets are sold for $4. For fans interested in the Diamond Club "In the Box" seats, single games start at $6 and season tickets will be sold for $99. Youth General Admission and Season tickets are the same cost as student tickets. Single game tickets can be purchased at the Spikes' Box Office or via the Tickets page on GoPSUSports.com.

Check http://GoPSUSports.com for continued updates during the 2013 season. Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/PennStateBASE and find us on Facebook at http://facebook.com/pennstatebaseball.

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Last Updated March 29, 2013