Some things in life aren’t fair.
Like when junior pitcher Brandon Sinery went eight innings, struck out seven, allowed just four hits and one run — and still earned the loss.
His effort deserved anything but a loss, but the Michigan baseball team failed to score a run, losing 1-0 to Penn State on Friday.
The Wolverines (6-15 Big Ten, 16-36 overall) posed major scoring threats in several innings, but thanks to 10 stranded base runners, the home team never found the equalizer. The loss extended Michigan’s conference losing streak to nine.
After just one hit through three innings, the Nittany Lions (11-11, 31-19) finally broke through in the fourth.
Sinnery stifled the first 11 batters he faced, but Joey DeBernardis’ shot to the deepest part of center field was caught just inches short of being a home run — Penn State’s first hard-hit ball of the evening.
The Nittany Lions followed with back-to-back doubles, including Bobby Jacobs’ game-winning RBI.
Penn State managed just one hit — a single through the infield — for the remainder of the game, as Sinnery continued his dominance over conference foes.
Though the righty is 2-3 in six starts since being reinserted into the rotation midway through Big Ten play, he’s had two complete games and has struck out 37, while walking 13 — to the tune of an impressive 2.22 ERA.
Meanwhile, the Wolverines knocked around the Nittany Lions’ Steven Hill — one of the Big Ten’s top starters — but Hill managed to escape each jam unscathed.
In the third inning, junior third baseman John Lorenz led off with a double. But when redshirt freshman second baseman John DiLaura’s foul ball was caught between Penn State’s dugout and first base, Lorenz inexcusably tried to catch the Nittany Lions sleeping by advancing to third on a tag. He was easily gunned down, turning a runner in scoring position with no outs into the bases empty, two outs.
But Michigan kept fighting. The fifth inning saw the Wolverines put runners on first and second with an out, but freshman catcher Cole Martin grounded into a double play.
Michigan followed in the sixth, putting runners on first and second again, this time with no outs. But two strikeouts and a groundout later, the Wolverines again walked away empty handed.
Michigan’s final threat came in the eighth, after Hill was pulled in favor of Heath Johnson.
Johnson walked the bases loaded with just one out. But when Lorenz got to the plate with two outs, hoping to make up for his third-inning miscue, he lifted the pitch deep into center field — bringing the crowd to its feet — but the center fielder made a warning-track catch.
With the win, Penn State moves into a tie for the sixth and final spot in the Big Ten Tournament.