Youngstown -- The Youngstown State baseball team is scheduled to play games at Cene Park and Eastwood Field and its final non-conference three-game series of the season this week.
The Penguins will play their first home game of the season on Tuesday at Cene Park in Struthers against Walsh at 3 p.m. They'll then play their Eastwood Field opener on Wednesday at 3 p.m. against Niagara. YSU will also play a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday at Le Moyne. Live stats will be available for YSU's two midweek games, and live video will be streamed on the Internet for the games on Wednesday and Saturday.
Freshman right-hander Nic Manuppelli is scheduled to make his second start of the season on Tuesday against Walsh, and sophomore lefty Blake Aquadro is penciled in to start Wednesday against Niagara. Manuppelli's first start came at Xavier on March 16 when he allowed four runs in four innings. He has a 8.80 ERA in 15.1 innings for the year. Aquadro's lone start of the season came at Pitt on March 19 when he held the Panthers to three runs on five hits in six innings. Aquadro has pitched eight other times in relief and heads into the week with a 10.07 ERA in 19.2 innings.
The same three Penguins will remain in the weekend rotation, but the order has not been announced. Phil Klein, Kevin McCulloh and Robert Switka have been the weekend starters since the season's outset. Klein is the hottest of the three, having a 1.80 ERA over his last three starts. Klein was the winning pitcher on Sunday in YSU's victory over Wright State. Neither McCulloh nor Switka made it into the fifth inning in their last starts against the Raiders. Overall, Klein is 2-3 with a 5.79 ERA, McCulloh is 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA and Switka is 1-4 with a 10.80 ERA.
Walsh is 13-11 for the year following a doubleheader sweep of SUNY Canton on Sunday. The Cavaliers are hitting .286 as a team, and senior outfielder Dustin Lancy is hitting a team-high .412 with four home runs. Walsh has a 3.76 ERA as a team, and its staff has held opponents to a .243 average. YSU swept a three-game series from Walsh in Chillicothe, Ohio, last season. Walsh returns 21 letterwinners from last year's 24-26 squad.
Niagara is 3-18 for the year, which includes an 8-5 victory over YSU on March 19 at the Pittsburgh Panther Classic. That is the Purple Eagles' lone victory in the last 12 contests. Junior infielder Eric Hink is hitting a team-high .341, and John Wilson has four of the team's seven home runs. Niagara has a team ERA of 8.25, and Drew Fittry has earned the victory in all three of Niagara's wins. The Purple Eagles had 11 hits in the win over YSU, and seven of their eight runs came in the sixth inning.
Scouting Le Moyne
Le Moyne enters the week with a 5-17 mark in 22 road games. The Dolphins, competing in their final season at Division I, have picked up impressive wins at James Madison, Southern Illinois, Missouri, Longwood and Penn State. Le Moyne is hitting .229 as a team, and Pat Wiese is batting a team-best .283. The Dolphins' pitching staff has a combined ERA of 6.19, and opponents are hitting .305 off of them.
Recapping Last Week
After wet field conditions delayed YSU's home opener scheduled for March 23, the Penguins went 1-2 at Wright State in their first conference series of the season. The Raiders won the opener 13-1 and game two 8-2 before the Penguins won the finale 7-3. Wright State had 32 hits and 19 runs in the first 12 innings of the series but just 12 hits and five runs in the final 14 frames. Phil Klein improved to 2-3 by pitching seven solid innings in the finale, and Drew Dosch paced the offense by going 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Dosch hit .615 for the week and was named the Horizon League Batter of the Week for his efforts.
Dosch Named Batter of the Week
Youngstown State freshman Drew Dosch is the reigning Horizon League Batter of the Week. The Penguins' infielder hit .615 last week, going 8-for-13 in a three-game series at Wright State. He had hits in all three contests and went a combined 7-for-9 in Saturday's doubleheader. Dosch also drove in three runs, scored once and stole a base. Over the past two weeks, he is hitting .433 with 13 hits in 30 at bats over eight games. Overall, Dosch has a hit in 12 of his last 14 games and is hitting a team-best .301.
Klein on Hot Stretch
Youngstown State senior pitcher Phil Klein is on one of the best stretches of his career over the last three weeks. Klein has surrendered just four earned runs over his last 20 innings from March 13 to March 26. He has struck out 24 batters and allowed just 14 hits in those three starts. The only other time he has been statistically better over a three-start stretch came his sophomore year in 2009. Then, he allowed two earned runs over 19 innings from March 28 to April 12. He struck out 19 and allowed 15 hits in those three starts.
Williams Picks Up Third Save
Sophomore relief pitcher Padraic Williams earned his third save in the win over Wright State on Saturday. Oddly, he recorded five outs but faced just four hitters. He came in to a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and got an inning-ending double play. Williams then retired the side in order in the ninth. He is a perfect 3-for-3 in save situations this season. He has now allowed a run in 6.2 innings in save spots. In non-save situations, Williams has allowed 16 earned runs in 6.2 innings.
Iacobucci Collects 200th Hit, On Seven-Game Streak
YSU senior outfielder Joe Iacobucci collected the 200th hit of his standout career in Saturday's series finale at Wright State. Entering this week, Iacobucci has exactly 200 hits in 603 at bats over his career, which translates to a .332 average. He is the eighth player in school history to record at least 200 hits in a career. Kendall Schlabach, an outfielder who played from 2001-04, holds the school record with 265. Iacobucci's 200th hit also extended his hitting streak to seven games, which is the longest by a Penguin this season. Iacobucci is batting .343 over the last 10 games dating back to March 12. He hit .086 through the first 10 games.