Penn State Baseball

Penn State baseball: Nittany Lions cruise past Kent State

The Penn State baseball team scored nine runs in the first inning and cruised to a 15-5 win over Kent State on Tuesday.

James Coates, J.J. White, Ryan Richter and Nick Riotto each drove in two runs for the Nittany Lions, who finished with 15 hits. Penn State’s Taylor Skerpon went 4 for 5, scored two runs and drove in another, while Coates, Aaron Novak and Tyler Kendall each went 2 for 4.

Penn State reliever Dakota Forsyth allowed one run and one hit in five innings to earn the win.

The Nittany Lions chased Golden Flash starter John Birkbeck before he recorded an out. Birkbeck walked three and allowed five runs on one hit to take the loss for Kent State (21-16).

Coates and Greg Guers walked to start the game, and Birkbeck hit Novak to load the bases. Birkbeck then walked Jim Haley to plate the first run and gave up a two-run double to White to make it 3-0. Eli Martin then replaced Birkbeck on the mound.

White and Haley then scored on a throwing error by Kent State second baseman Tim DalPorto to push the Nittany Lions’ lead to 5-0. Penn State added four more runs in the inning, going ahead 9-0 on an RBI double by Novak.

Riotto hit a two-run homer to give Penn State a 14-4 lead in the seventh.

Penn State (13-23) hosts a three-game series against No. 8 Illinois, starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. The series finale against the Fighting Illini has been moved three hours earlier to 10 a.m. to accommodate a time change in Illinois’ flight home. Sunday’s game will be televised on Big Ten Network.

Parking will be adjusted for Penn State home games Friday and Saturday and May 1-2 due to the Garth Brooks concerts at the Bryce Jordan Center. Fans are encouraged to park in the Porter North lot or Jordan East lot (Lot 44).