Penn State’s Taylor Skerpon forced extra innings with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Nittany Lions fell 4-2 to No. 8 Illinois in 15 innings Saturday at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park.
With the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 15th, Illinois’ Casey Fletcher hit an infield single to drive in the go-ahead run. Skerpon fielded the ground ball hit to second base but his flip to second wasn’t in time to get the force out and end the inning. The Fighting Illini then took a 4-2 lead on a passed ball.
Penn State (13-25, 2-11) went down in order in the bottom of the 15th.
Illinois (35-6-1, 12-1) went ahead 2-1 in the eighth inning on a two-run single by Adam Walton.
Illinois reliever Nick Blackburn pitched two perfect innings to earn the win. Penn State’s Jared Fagnano allowed two runs (one earned) in three innings of relief to take the loss.
The teams finish the series Sunday at 10 a.m.