Aquadro Takes the Mound Hoping to Avoid Elimination

Blake Aquadro
Blake Aquadro

Senior left-hander Blake Aquadro will try to prolong Youngstown State's season – and his own career – as the Penguins will play an elimination game in the Horizon League Baseball Tournament on Friday at 3 p.m. against No. 2 UIC. this evening at 7 p.m. No. 5 YSU's contest will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO, and all games of the tournament will be streamed live on HorizonLeague.com.

The Penguins were 2-4 against the Flames during the regular season. YSU went 1-2 against UIC at both Eastwood Field and Les Miller Field.

Recapping Wright State: Youngstown State led 3-0 after the top of the second inning, but it was all Wright State from that point on as the Raiders rallied to defeat the Penguins 6-3 in the first game of the 2013 Horizon League Baseball Championship on Wednesday afternoon at Eastwood Field.

YSU had four straight base-runners in the top of the first inning, and RBI singles from Josh White and Nick DiNello gave it a 2-0 lead. Neil Schroth walked after being down 1-2 in the count, and Phil Lipari followed with a single to left. White then brought in Schroth with a single to center, and DiNello followed with an opposite-field single to right to bring in Lipari. Mike Accardi then started the offense in the second with a two-out infield single, and he put YSU up 3-0 when he scored on Neil Schroth's deep fly to right that went for a three-base error.

Wright State got on the board with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, and the Raiders took advantage of two YSU errors in the third inning to tie the score at 3-3. Sam Picchiotti, who was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and two RBIs, then reached on an error to start the fourth and came in on Justin Kopale's triple. Michael Timm singled in Picchiotti with two outs in the sixth, and Picchiotti put the Raiders up 6-3 with a homer to lead off the eighth. Three of Wright State's runs were unearned.

Lipari and White were both 2-for-5 for YSU, which matched Wright State with eight hits. Starter Patrick O'Brien was the hard-luck loser, allowing just two earned runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. Frey was charged with one run in 0.2 innings, and Jared Wight came in to record the final two outs in the eighth.

Wright State's Joey Hoelzel allowed two earned runs on eight hits and four walks in seven innings in earning his fifth win. Trevor Swaney was awarded his first save.

Quick Notes: Aquadro will set the school record for career starts tonight with 49... He will also tie the school record for most starts in a single season with 15... In the four previous double-elimination format Horizon League Tournaments where YSU lost its first game, it lost the next one three times... The Penguins have won at least one game in the conference tournament three straight years... The Penguins are 0-3 all-time in the tournament against Valparaiso and 3-4 against UIC... Valparaiso eliminated YSU in last season's tournament, and UIC ended the Penguins' season in 2011... YSU eliminated UIC in 2011... Kris Moules played his first game of the season at Eastwood Field... He was injured at Ohio State on April 2, one day prior to YSU's home opener... His first game back was May 18 at Valparaiso, the season finale... The only pitcher who is unavailable today is Patrick O'Brien... Alex Frey and Jared Wight both threw 0.2 innings yesterday... YSU was 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position yesterday and has hit under .250 with RISP in five of the last seven games.