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Baseball

  • PSU baseball started with pickup games in the 1860s
  •  Penn State’s oldest sport and the first official Lion baseball game was played in 1874 against Milesburg

         o  A baseball diamond was added to the campus in 1893

         o  W.B Burns was Penn State’s first baseball coach and guided the Lions to an 8-3 mark in 1900

         o  In 1905, PSU 3- West Virginia 2- Pitchers Irish McIlveen (9-0) and Harry H. Haverstick (5-2) led the 1905 Lions to a

            15-3 season under Coach Pop Golden

         o  In 1905, PSU 13- Army 1- The Lions defeated the Cadets to open the season and begin an eight game winning streak

         o  In 1906, PSU 1- Princeton 0- Lion ace Irish McIlveen pitched a one-hitter and Penn State scored on a pitch

         o  Hugo Bezdek coached the Nittany Lions to a 129-67-1 mark from 1920 to 1930

         o  Bezdek’s 1921 team won 20-straight and was ranked No.1 in the country- Team captain and clean up batter “Hinky”

             Haynes hit .426 to lead the nation and he later played for the  1923 World Champion New York Yankees: Haynes stole 

             Ruth’s thunder during 1922 spring training by hitting the first Yankee home run of the season

         o  Nittany Lion baseball teams made five College World Series appearances in 1952, 1955, 1957, 1963, and 1973

         o  After a Big Ten title in 1996, the 2000 Lions reached the NCAA Super Regionals

  • Early Lion athletes were sometimes called “S-men” because of the letter S sewn on caps and uniforms
  • Joe Bedenk was a head coach from 1931-62 and his first team won the Triangular Association championship
  • Coach Bedenk’s teams reached the College World Series in 1952, ’57, and ’59 posted 380-159-3 record and was

        inducted into the Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1966

  • Coach Chuck Medlar built on Bedenk’s foundation as the team returned to the College World Series in 1963 and 1973
  • From 1963 to 1981, Medlar’s teams posted a 312-141-6 record and competed in nine NCAA regionals
  • Chuck Medlar was inducted into the Collegiate Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1979- Medlar also had a reputation

        as an outstanding athletic trainer and served as head trainer of the 1968 U.S. Olympic team

  • In the 1973 College World Series, Mitch Lukevics pitched a great game but lost, 3-1, to Arizona State: Lukevics

        struck out 108 batters in 1973 and finished with a school record 1.24 ERA over three seasons (’73-75)

  • Coach Shorty Stoner guided the Nittany Lions to five Atlantic 10 tournaments from 1982-1990- In nine seasons, he

         led a 216-171-1 record

  • In 1985, Time Hurley and Wes Olsen each hit .438 and Mike Karstetter scored 47 runs as the Lions won a school

        record 32 games

  • An 8-7 victory over Ohio State in 1996 sealed Penn State’s first Big Ten regular season title and Coach Hindelang

        was named Big Ten Coach of the Year

  • Coach Joe Hindeland’s 2000 Nittany Lions piled up a school record 45 wins and made their first trip to the NCAA

        Super Regional Championships

  • Hindelang retired with a school record 389 victories in his 14 seasons as head coach and former professional player

        and coach Robbie Wine took over in 2005

Infielders

o  Third baseman Glenn Killinger helped spark the 1921 Lions to a 22-3 mark

o  In 1949, first baseman Dick Wertz and shortstop Hal Hackman helped the 19-5 Lion to the NCAA District 2 playoffs

o  Hackman earned All-Region honors, a Lion first

o  From 1949 through 2005, 18 Nittany Lion infielders made All-Region teams

o  The All-Region first baseman Shorty Stoner was drafted by the Kansan City A’s in 1967 and He returned to coach Penn State 

    from 1982-90

o  All-American second baseman Greg Vogal hit .416 and Vogal was drafted by the Minnesota Twins and the San Francisco 

   Giants in 1976

o  All-Region second baseman Russ Mushinsky finished his career among the Nittany Lion leaders in extra base hits with11 

    triples and 35 doubles from 1982-92

o  First baseman Carl Albrecht hit 11 home runs in 1996 and was named first-team All-Big Ten as a designated hitter

o  The 1998 Lions featured one of its best infields ever with Shawn Fagan at third, Adam Beers at short, Eric Spadt at second,

    and Scott Bourta at first

o  Eric Spadt completes the double play and earned All-Big Ten honors in 2000 with six home runs and 47 runs scored

Stealing Bases

o  In 1987, Doug Keener stole 20 bases to finish with a school record 50 and O.J. McDuffie tied him in 1990

o  McDuffie stole four bases in a game against Duquesne and Ray Lopez tied McDuffie the next year against Lock Haven

o  Kevin Billotte, Dave Hall, Mike Campo, Rod Perry and Zack Smithlin took their base stealing skills into the Big Ten

o  Dave Hall finished among the Lion career leaders by stealing 37 bases from 1990-94

o  Mike Campo broke Keener’s career record in 2000 with 57 steals, only to be topped by the 62 of Smithlin in 2003

o  By 2005, Campo’s single season mark of 27 was still the best in Penn State history

Sign Language

o  A series of signs-an ear tug, hand across the letters, tip of the cap – to indicate plays to batters and runners

o  Signs allow hitters and runners to coordinate their actions

o  The riskiest play of all signs – the suicide squeeze- a runner on third takes off for home while the batter bunts * Catchers

o  By the end of 2005, three Nittany Lion catchers had been named All-Big Ten

o  Jared Sadlowski helped Penn State win the Big Ten tournament in 1996, finishing his career in the top ten in at-bats, hits,

    doubles, and home runs

o  Chris Netwall, All-Big Ten for three years, threw out 15 base stealers in 2000, leading Penn State to the NCAA regional

    tournament

o  Catcher Jared Sadlowski led a school record 212 hits, 50 doubles, and 24 home runs from 1994-97

o  Catcher Derek Ryder made third-team All-Big Ten in 1995 and was named the team’s MVP. Ryder was drafted by the

    California Angels

o  Second-team All-Big Ten catcher Chris Netwall threw out 43% of the runners that tried to steal on him in 1999

Pitchers

o  Hall of Fame pitcher John Montgomery “Monte” Ward was one of the first pitchers ever to throw a curve ball- He threw a

    perfect game against Buffalo on June 17, 1880

o  Cal Emery and Ed Drapcho led the way to the 1957 Series with a ninth-inning home run in the NCAA regional playoffs

o  Emery went 10-1 with an ERA of just 1.19 and was named Series MVP

o  Drapcho went 12-0, finished with 298 career strikeouts in 285 innings, struck out 13 batters in a no-hit win over Bucknell in 

    1955 and became the first Lion All-American

o  Ed Kikla led Penn State to the College World Series in 1959

o  Bob Fenton pitched Penn State back into the Series in 1963 with a no-hitter against Rider College and sent Penn State to the

   College World Series

o  Mitch Lukevics fanned 266 batters from 1973-1975, finishing with a career E.R.A of just 1.24 and he threw nine shutouts to

   pace the Lions to the 1973 Series

o  Big Ten Pitcher of the Year Nate Bump led the Lions to the 1996 conference title

o  Nate Bump set school records with 29 wins, 352 strikeouts, and 349.1 innings pitched and he was drafted by the San Francisco

    Giants I n1998

o  In 2005, Clint Eury became the Lions all-time saves leader with 15

Hitters

o  Outfielder “Hinky” Haines led the nation in hitting with a .426 average in 1921, a year before joining the New York Yankees

o  Frank “Red” O’Hara set a school record by batting .500 for the 1936 season

o  Dave Simononis nearly won the NCAA  triple crown in 1978, hittin ,478 with RBIs and  a school record 17 home runs- his

    1.100 slugging percentage in 1979 is second best in NCAA history

o  Shawn Fagan hit his 43rd home run in 2000 to become Penn State’s all-time career leader

o  Mike Campo hit in a team record 41 straight gaems (fifth best in NCAA history) and led the Big Ten with a .441 average

Outfielders

o  From 1949 through 2005, nine Lion outfielders earned All-Region and nine made All-Big Ten

o  In 1973, Dennie DeWitt became the first Lion outfielder to make All-American

o  Centerfielder Dennie Dewitt led the 19-7 Lions to the College World Series in 1973- he earned second-team All-American and

    was named team MVP

o  Rick Sherkel earned second-team All-American in 1974 and was named team MVP

o  The Lion centerfilder’s .615 slugging percentage in 1986 earned Mike Karstetter Penn State MVP and All-Atlantic 10 honors

o  Rick Sherkel followed a year later and Wes Reohr was selected in 2002

o  Outfielders provide a team’s power hitting

o  Dave Simononis, Dan Beers, and Derek Bochna finished among the Lion leaders in home runs

o  Derek Bochna sent 28 dingers over the fence during his career from 1992-95 and he also finished among Lion leaders with

    1378 runs and 115 RBIs

o  All-American Mike Campo led the Big Ten in batting average, hits, and runs in 2000 to become Big Ten Player of the Year-

    Campo set school records in single season bats (261),  hits (111), doubles (24), stolen bases (27), consecutive games hitting

     streak (41) and runs scored (83) and in career records from 1997-2000 for at bats (790), hits (295), doubles (53), stolen

     bases (57) and runs scored (232)

Last season(2010)

o  Game saver: Drew O’Neil broke the school record and he was a fourth round draft pick in the MLB draft, becoming the third

    highest draft pick in Penn State baseball history

o  Big Ten Standout: Joe Blackburn was an All-Big Ten and All-Region selection and signed a free agent contract with the

    Philadelphia Phillies following the 2008 season

o  Big Hitter- Brian Ernst finished his career with the third-most hits in school history

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