STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Penn State knocked around reliever Zach Bargeron during a five-run third and hung on to beat West Virginia 8-4 on Tuesday night.
The fourth straight loss matched the longest skid of Randy Mazey’s brief coaching tenure at WVU and left the Mountaineers (16-12) flailing as they prepare to host Oklahoma State this weekend in the first Big 12 series at Hawley Field.
Penn State (16-14), which improved to 8-0 at home, trailed 3-2 in the bottom of the third when Mazey ended Trevor Simms’ first start and turned to Bargeron (1-1). The senior left-hander, who entered with a 7.04 ERA, saw it climb to 9.37 after the Nittany Lions batted around to score five runs on five hits.
Taylor Skerpon’s two-run double put Penn State ahead before Steve Snyders’ two-out, two-run triple capped off the big inning. Snyder entered the day fourth in the Big Ten with a .362 average.
That was the lone inning for Bargeron, who has allowed 24 hits in 16 1/3 innings.
Though Pascal Paul tossed three scoreless innings and Ryan Hostrander and Joby Lapkowicz combined to retire Penn State in the seventh, West Virginia couldn’t cut into the lead.
J.J. White extended the Lions’ lead to 8-3 in the eighth with a single off Chad Donato that scored Snyder.
Taylor Munden doubled to lead off the ninth and scored on Ryan McBroom’s infield single, but West Virginia’s slim comeback hopes ended when Jacob Rice struck out with two runners aboard to end the game.
In his first college start, Geoff Boylston (1-0) scattered six hits over 5 2/3 innings for Penn State, allowing three runs, two earned.
Boylston skirted danger early, hitting Bobby Boyd and making a wild pick-off throw that moved him to second. After Brady Flming’s single, McBroom put WVU ahead 1-0 with a sac-fly.
It was 1-1 in the top of the second when Max Nogay and Michael Constantini reached on infield singles ahead of Ray Guerrini’s two-run single.
West Virginia’s Simms hit Ryan Richter with one out in the bottom half before James Coates singled him in to cut the gap to 3-2. Simms allowed three hits, two walks and threw 38 pitches in his two-inning stint.