Baseball Hosts Ohio, Travels to Milwaukee This Week

Jesse Slinger
Jesse Slinger

The Youngstown State baseball team will play four games in five days this week, beginning with its first non-conference home contest of the season on Tuesday. The Penguins will host Ohio on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Eastwood Field, and they will travel for a three-game series at Milwaukee that will begin on Thursday. Live stats for all four games will be available through YSUsports.com.

Recapping Last Week: The Penguins enter this week having won six of their last 10 games and coming off a split last week against challenging in-state competition. Youngstown State began last week by winning 11-6 at No. 29 Kent State on Tuesday for its second victory over a ranked opponent this season. YSU then handed Wright State its first Horizon League loss of the season with a 5-2 triumph on Sunday. Youngstown State almost took the series against the conference-leading Raiders as it dropped the opener on Saturday in 10 innings.

Kendrick Sets Home Runs Record: Junior first baseman Andrew Kendrick became YSU's record holder for home runs in a season on Sunday by hitting his 12th and 13th round-trippers of the season. In just his 24th game, Kendrick surpassed Jacke Healey's previous mark of 12 that was set in 2010. Kendrick currently leads the country with 0.54 home runs per game, and he ranks fourth in total home runs and fifth in slugging percentage (.810).

Kendrick Takes Top Spot in Batting Average: Kendrick batted .462 (6-for-13) last week to move up to the top spot on the team in batting average at .333 for the season. Nico Padovan is next at .314, and three other Penguins are hitting at least .265.

Quinlan Goes The Distance: Senior right-hander Jeremy Quinlan did what no other Horizon League pitcher has been able to do this season on Sunday when he beat Wright State. The Raiders entered the contest 11-0 in conference play, and Quinlan held them to two runs on five hits in the complete-game victory. After missing the first four weeks of the season with an injury, Quinlan has a 2-0 record with a 2.21 ERA in 20.1 innings.

Quick Notes Around the Diamond

  1. After starting the season with a 2-16 record, Youngstown State has won six of its last 10 games.
  2. YSU has beaten two ranked teams on the road this season – No. 17 Georgia Tech on Feb. 26 and No. 29 Kent State on April 4. The Penguins also beat the Golden Flashes when they were ranked 28th last season. Before that win, YSU had not topped a ranked team in 17 years.
  3. Wright State's three weekend starters came into the series with YSU allowing 15 runs in 127-2/3 innings combined. The Penguins scored 12 earned runs off those three pitchers in 16 innings.
  4. Youngstown State has hit 35 home runs in 28 games, which puts it on pace for 70 for the season. The school record is 60, which was set in 2010. This is just the fifth time in program history that the Penguins have hit at least 35 home runs in a season.
  5. Andrew Kendrick set YSU's record for home runs in a season against Wright State on April 9 by hitting his 12th and 13th of the season. He passed Jacke Healey's record of 12, which was set in 2010.
  6. Kendrick is one of three Penguins to hit at least five home runs this season, joining Lorenzo Arcuri and Kyle Benyo. Before this season, only one Penguin had hit five home runs in any of the last four seasons.
  7. YSU's offensive numbers are remarkably improved from 2016. The Penguins are averaging 5.3 runs, batting .257 and slugging .413 in 2017. Last season, YSU averaged 3.8 runs, batted .226 and slugged .288. Youngstown State has already more-than-doubled its 12 home runs from 2016.
  8. Due to injuries and looking for a top group to emerge, 10 different Penguins have started on the mound this season.
  9. Since moving from the rotation to the bullpen, Joel Hake has a 2.19 ERA over 12.1 innings. He pitched 4-1/3 shutout innings to earn the save at Kent State on April 4.

Scouting Ohio: Ohio is 15-15 overall and 3-3 in Mid-American Conference play heading into Tuesday's game against Youngstown State. The Bobcats went 1-3 last week with a win at Dayton on Tuesday and three losses to Central Michigan over the weekend. Ohio leads the MAC in team ERA at 3.59, and the Bobcats rank fourth in the conference in batting average at .258. Ohio was picked to finish third in the MAC East Division in the conference preseason poll.

Scouting Milwaukee: Milwaukee is 9-19 overall and 0-9 in Horizon League play entering this week. The Panthers have been swept in conference series at Northern Kentucky, Wright State and UIC, and UWM played Bradley over the weekend in its off week from league play. Milwaukee has played all 28 of its games away from home this season, and it is scheduled to play at Chicago State on Tuesday before its home opener against YSU on Thursday. UWM ranks third in the Horizon League in team ERA, and it is sixth in team batting average. The Panthers were picked to finish third in the conference preseason poll.

Next Week: Youngstown State begins a home-heavy stretch of its schedule next week by playing six games over five days at Eastwood Field. The Penguins will host midweek games against Kent State on April 18 and Bowling Green on April 19, and they'll play Horizon League doubleheaders against UIC on Friday and Milwaukee on Saturday.