IOWA CITY, Ia. – Grabbing the individual title with a 15.900 performance on the still rings in Iowa’s Carver-Hawkeye Arena Saturday night made Penn State junior Scott Rosenthal of Clearfield a doublewinner at the Big Ten Conference Championships.
A night earlier, he earned a similar, event-high score from the judges during the team finals as the No. 1-ranked Nittany Lions settled for third place behind Illinois (352.950) and Michigan (351.850).
Rosenthal keyed the 61.50 by the No. 1-ranked Penn State rings contingent that wound up second behind Illinois. Felix Aronovich (15.150), Nihi Kothari (15.100) and Miguel Pineda (15.000) were the other Nittany Lions who contributed to the team’s third-highest score of the season.
A 15.700 by freshman Craig Hernandez enabled Penn State to uphold its No. 1 national ranking on the pommel horse with a 57.700.
The Nittany Lions also claimed second place in vaulting but struggled in floor exercise and on the parallel bars and high bar.
Hernandez became Penn State’s first Big Ten pommel horse champion since 1998 with a 14.850 effort at the individual finals.
Rosenthal, the seventh Nittany Lion to reign on the rings, and Hernandez boosted Penn State’s total of Big 10 titlists to 10.
Illinois standout C.J. Maestas, who was second to Rosenthal on the rings with a 15.500 and also the runner-up in floor exercise and on the high bar, was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year and Freshman of the Year.
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ERIE – Sophomore relief pitcher Chad Zurat of Clearfield earned his third and fourth saves of the season in two of Penn State Behrend’s five victories last week.
Against Pitt-Bradford on Tuesday, April 3, Zurat came out of the bullpen in the sixth inning with one out and the tying run at second base and sandwiched two strikeouts, both looking, around a Panther single.
After the Lions added two insurance runs in the bottom of the frame, Zurat closed out the 3-0 Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference win with a groundout and two more strikeouts.
He saved a 5-1 win for Dante DeSantis (4-0) of DuBois in Saturday’s opener against Penn State Altoona, getting the call with two on and one out in the top of the seventh and promptly whiffing two batters.
Mike Moyer of Clearfield started the nightcap and worked 3.2 innings, allowing three hits and one run while striking out two and walking two.
He departed with the score knotted 1-1, and Penn State Behrend went on to triumph 7-1 to extend its unbeaten streak to 11 games.
The Lions are 7-0-1 in the AMCC and 17-6-1 overall.
Moyer (3-0) has appeared in six games, starting five, and sports a 2.79 earned run average for 29 innings. The right-hander has given up 28 hits and 11 runs, nine earned. He has fanned 21 batters, walked eight and hit three.
Zurat lowered his ERA to 1.23 for 14.2 innings in eight outings.
His strikeout-walk ratio is an impressive 24-4 and he has surrendered only eight hits and two earned runs.
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ERIE – Freshman infielder Derek Danver of Clearfield had four hits, one a double, and drove in two runs for Penn State Altoona (9-16) in a pair of Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference doubleheaders last week.
He singled twice, scored twice and had one RBI in a 13-4 win at Pitt-Greensburg on Monday, April 2.
The Lions lost the opener 8-7 and were swept 5-1 and 7-1 at Penn State Behrend Saturday for a 5-5 AMCC record.
Danver, now a fixture at second base after starting the season as the shortstop for the Lions, is 29-for-83, a solid .349 average that is third on the team. He leads them in RBIs with 20 and is third in hits and doubles (6).
Danver has drawn four walks and been hit four times.
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BRADFORD – Sophomore outfielder/pitcher Sam Gardner of Curwensville enjoyed his best day in a Pitt-Bradford uniform Wednesday, April 4, with five hits and three runs batted in as the Panthers swept Keuka (N.Y.) 19-5 and 16-3.
Gardner, who started in left field, singled twice in the first game and three times in the nightcap when he registered the first RBIs of his career.
The big day shot his batting average from .167 to .375. He’s 6-for-16 with six runs scored in nine games, including three starts.
Gardner made four relief appearances early in the season, pitching 3.2 innings and striking out four while giving up six hits, five earned runs and one walk.
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GRANTHAM – Junior pitcher/outfielder Holly Lansberry of Curwensville had her best day of the season at the plate with pairs of singles, but Lycoming (5-15) dropped both games to host Messiah, 3-2 and 5-2, for a 15-game losing streak.
While Lansberry padded her average 39 points to .375 (16-for-37), she also suffered her fifth straight loss in the circle.
She was relieved in the third inning of the second game and was charged with four runs, all earned.
Lansberry, who is 2-5 for seven starts in eight appearances, gave up five hits and had two strikeouts.
She has pitched 41.2 innings with a 6.70 earned run average, allowing 67 hits and 41 runs, 31 earned while striking out 32 and walking 20.
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CLARION – Freshman outfielder Sara Clark of Curwensville and her Clarion (6-21) teammates suffered through a tough week, going 28 innings without a run during eight losses.
Clark had two of the Lady Eagles’ four hits in a 3-0 nightcap loss at Gannon Wednesday, April 4, and one of their four safeties in an 8-0 setback at Bloomsburg Saturday.
Clarion managed only five hits in each of their losses to Indiana (10-0 and 5-0) Friday and four hits in each of their losses to Bloomsburg (8-0 and 6-1).
The Lady Eagles have started the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Central Division 0-8 and entered this week on a 12-game losing skid.
Clark, who cracked the lineup in left field early in the season, has patrolled center field for 12 of the last 13 games.
She is 23-for-83 for a .280 average and has scored 10 runs and driven in 10.