A roundup of all the Penn State games and happenings — not covered elsewhere in the CDT — that you missed from April 19, 2017:
Jesse James to throw out first pitch
UNIVERSITY PARK — Former Penn State standout and current Pittsburgh Steeler Jesse James will return to Happy Valley on Saturday.
The tight end will trade his football cleats for baseball spikes as he will throw out the first pitch before the Nittany Lions take on Northwestern at 6 p.m. inside Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
James will also stick around for the first three innings and sign autographs for fans. Penn State is trying to “White Out the Wildcats,” encouraging fans to wear white and handing out white shakers.
Fans will also each receive a limited edition, numbered Nittany Lions football print that features some of the greatest moments from the 2016 season. One number will be chosen, and the fan with that numbered print will receive an autographed football from players in the Blue-White game.
PSU sweeps Bucknell
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State’s doubleheader with in-state foe Bucknell might not have started off well with just three hits in a 1-0 game-one win.
But, the Nittany Lions erupted for 11 hits in a 6-5 come-from-behind eight-inning win in game two.
Trailing 5-0 to start the bottom of the sixth inning, Penn State began its rally with two runs. It tacked on three more in the seventh inning to force extras.
In the eighth inning, Rebecca Ziegler laced a hit through the infield scoring Christa Wagner, who began the seventh inning rally for the Nittany Lions.
UNIVERSITY PARK — Josh Brandwene, Penn State’s first head coach in program history, announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Brandwene was named the program’s coach in May of 2011, and the squad became a varsity sport in 2012-2013. Brandwene complied a 49-111-20 record in his five years at the helm, seeing his team pick up three wins over ranked opponents.
“Since I started in this position at Penn State, my wife’s career has grown and shifted, and we now navigate two careers with high travel demands during the academic year,” Brandwene said. “I’ve been blessed to have Leona’s unwavering support for my coaching career for 25 years. It’s my turn to make a change that will support her career and move into a role that enables me to spend more time with our daughter, Sophie.
“I am so grateful to have had this opportunity and for Sandy Barbour’s support and her leadership of Penn State Athletics,” Brandwene added. “I would like to thank (assistant coaches) Dean Jackson and Lisa Marshall for their friendship and support. To the women’s ice hockey student-athletes who have worked hard on the ice and in the classroom, as both your coach and as an alumnus, I am forever grateful to you for your efforts to represent Penn State the right way.”
Track & Field
Gerlach earns Big Ten honor
ROSEMONT, Ill. — Penn State’s Tori Gerlach was named the Big Ten Women’s Track Athlete of the Week the conference announced.
Gerlach made her first run in the steeplechase this season count with a first place finish at the Bucknell Classic in Gainesville, Fla., last weekend.
Her time of 9:50.60 is second in the NCAA and the No. 2 mark in the world this year. She broke the record at the Bucknell Classic, which was held by former Nittany Lion Bridget Franek.
PSU signs 6 for 2017
UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State announced the signing of six players for the upcoming season.
A trio of the players join the Nittany Lions from England in Mikey Conneh (Meadowhead School, South Yorkshire), Ryan Holland (Loughborough, England) and Callum Pritchatt (Bimingham, England). The others all come from North America in Ethan Beckford (Aurora, Ontario), Kyle Perno (New Hyde Park, N.Y.) and Nick Rieple (Mayfield, Ohio).
Beckford has the richest history of them all, as he played for Toronto FC from 2015 to 2017 — leading the team in goals each season. Soccer runs in the family as his father, Jason, played for Manchester City for 10 years; his uncle, Darren Beckford, played for Norwich for 12 years and his cousin Daniel Webber played for Sheffield United for 14 years.