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Penn State Baseball

Penn State Baseball Upsets Big Ten Champ in Conference Tournament

Photo by Mark Selders, Penn State Athletics: Penn State Baseball

Penn State baseball’s first Big Ten tournament game in two years and first overall under new coach Mike Gambino couldn’t have gone much better.

PSU, seeded last of the eight teams in the field, beat the Big Ten regular-season champion and top tournament seed, Illinois, 8-4.

Penn State will now play the winner of No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Iowa, which is scheduled for 3 ET Wednesday. PSU will play the winner at 7 ET Thursday

PSU-Illinois was originally scheduled for 7 ET Tuesday night but was pushed back to Wednesday due to time constraints. Once things got started in Omaha, it didn’t take long for PSU to get rolling.

Penn State drew first blood in the first inning on a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Grant Norris, which scored leadoff man Joe Jaconski.

It remained 1-0 until the top of the fourth when JT Marr drove home two with a single.

Illinois got its first run in the fifth but it wouldn’t take Penn State long to get the run back and more. A two-run homer by Adam Cecere made it 5-1 in the top of the sixth.

Illinois cut it the deficit to three in the sixth and two in the seventh to make it 5-3. But Penn State wasn’t done scoring.

A Cecere sac fly made it 6-3 in the eight, and Penn State added its final two runs on a two-run double by Marsh to make it eight three. Illinois added a run that proved to be meaningless.

Travis Luensmann pitched five innings of one-run ball for the win. For Illinois, Friday starter Jack Crowder took the loss.

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