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Bonnies' Bats Roar in 18-6 Victory at Penn State

Kevin Higgins had five hits and six RBIs Wednesday night. (Photo: Becky Polaski)
Kevin Higgins had five hits and six RBIs Wednesday night. (Photo: Becky Polaski)

Box Score (PDF)

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Six players delivered multiple hits and the St. Bonaventure baseball team finished with 21 hits total in an emphatic 18-6 victory over Penn State Wednesday night.

Kevin Higgins headlined the offensive show with six RBIs, five hits and two runs scored in a career night at the plate. Brandon Henshaw went 4-for-4, reached base and scored six times while Jeff Palczewski also smacked four hits. Sam Fuller, Kevin Koziol and Branden Myers all had two hits and drove in two runs apiece as well.

Runs came early and often inside Medlar Field.

The Bonnies (6-13) scored four runs on three hits in the first – Matthew Williams plated the first run with a ground out following a walk drawn by Palczewski and a double from Tyler Kelder.

Higgins then brought two more runs in with a single through the left side with two outs and a fourth run came in to score when Myers punched a single up the middle.

Penn State (15-9) would quickly rally back, however.

After Bonnies starter Donovan Moffat worked a perfect first, the Nittany Lions brought home five runs on six hits in the second to push ahead by one, 5-4.

The pendulum swung back in favor of the Bonnies in the third as Henshaw singled and moved to second on a ground out. Higgins then brought another runner in to score with a hit to center for the tie, and the Bonnies pushed back ahead as Myers came through with another two-out RBI.

Three more runs came home as the Bonnies took control in the fourth.

Bona did all its damage with two outs as a walk and fielding error opened the door for yet another run-scoring hit from Higgins up the middle while two additional runs scored on a miscue in the outfield.

Penn State got a run back in the fifth with a two-out RBI single for a 9-6 score, but Henshaw led off the sixth with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to push the lead back to four.

In the seventh, the Bonnies broke the game open.

Koziol walked to lead off, moving to second on a sac bunt. The junior catcher scored on a double down the left field line off the bat of Palczewski, who scored himself on a base knock from Henshaw.

Higgins fittingly gave the Bonnies an exclamation mark on their night as he dumped a double to right, scoring two more for an eight-run advantage.

By that point, junior reliever Murphy O'Brien (2-1) had put the Lions bats to bed. He ran into trouble in the seventh, but worked out of a bases loaded jam with no damage done and did not allow an earned run over his 4.1 innings of work to earn the win. He allowed just three hits and struck out four.

In the ninth, Koziol narrowly missed a ground slam, plating two more runs with a ground-rule double, and Fuller also smoked a double to bring in another two runs.

The Bonnies are back in action with the first of three games at home vs. Dayton as Atlantic 10 play resumes Friday with first pitch at Handler Park scheduled for 3 p.m.

GAME NOTES:             

  • Higgins delivered the most hits and RBIs by a Bonnies player in a single game since Bubba Hollins went 6-for-6 and drove in eight runs in a win at Davidson March 17, 2017. In the past 11 years, only Higgins and Randy Moley – who went 6-for-7 vs. Boston College in 2008 – have had more hits in a game.
  • SBU recorded its most hits in a single game since also posting 21 hits in an 18-14 win over Dayton April 2, 2017. The last time the Bonnies had more hits was five years ago – Bona pounded 22 hits in a 24-6 win over Ohio on March 15, 2014.
  • Bona's 18 runs marks the best offensive output for the team since also scoring 18 in the 2017 Dayton win.
  • Henshaw saw a team-best 12-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday at Cornell before responding emphatically Wednesday.
  • Former Atlantic 10 foes, the Bonnies and Nittany Lions have met on 38 occasions all-time. Wednesday is just the sixth win for the Bonnies over PSU and snapped an 11-game losing streak in Happy Valley.
  • Joshua Pittman recorded the final five outs, allowing just one hit.

- By Scott Eddy, Director of Athletics Communications

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