Molinaro's grand slam rallies Penn State to 9-5 victory over Michigan in Big Ten Tournament

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bryce Molinaro hit a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of a six-run eighth inning and eighth-seeded Penn State rallied last in a 9-5 victory over No. 4 seed Michigan at the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday night.

Molinaro’s home run followed a three-run shot by Michigan’s Mitch Voit in the top of the inning that gave the Wolverines a 5-3 lead.

Penn State (28-23) advances to Saturday’s semifinals. Michigan (31-27) will play top-seeded Illinois in an elimination game on Friday.

Michigan took a late lead after Nittany Lions starter Jaden Henline was replaced by Anthony Steele to begin the eighth inning.

Stephen Hrustich and Collin Priest drew full-count walks to begin the inning and Voit homered to left field on a 0-2 pitch to give the Wolverines a 5-3 lead. Steele issued a pair of two-out walks before yielding way to Matt Morash. Alfredo Velazquez reached on a throwing error to load the bases before Morash struck out Jonathan Kim looking to end the inning.

Adam Cecere and Bobby Marsh had back-to-back singles and Grant Norris drew a walk to load the bases against Wolverines reliever Ricky Kidd (3-4) begin the bottom of the inning. Molinaro hit a 1-0 pitch over the left field wall for a 7-5 lead. J.T. Marr drove in a pair of unearned runs with a single to complete the six-run outburst.

Will Rogers hit a two-run home run in the top of the fifth inning to give Michigan a 2-1 lead. The Nittany Lions retook the lead in the bottom of the inning on Marr’s RBI double and a run-scoring single by Cecere.

Henline allowed two runs on eight hits and a walk, striking out nine through seven innings of work. Morash (2-0) retired four batters, three by strikeouts, to get the win.

Chase Allen started for the Wolverines, surrendering three runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. Kidd allowed six runs — four earned — on five hits and a walk in three innings.


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