Penguins to Finish Regular Season with Kids Day Game vs. Kent State and Series at UIC

Trey Bridis (Photo by Chris Kilroy)
Trey Bridis (Photo by Chris Kilroy)

The Youngstown State baseball team will play its final home game of the season when it hosts Kent State on Tuesday at 11 a.m. for a special Akron Children's Hospital Kids Day. The Penguins will then wrap up the regular season with a three-game, conference series at UIC on Thursday through Saturday. All three contests against the Flames will be broadcast live on WatchESPN. Live stats will be available for all four games this week through links on YSUsports.com.

Dalton Earich is scheduled to start for the Penguins on Tuesday while Greg Dunham, Alex Bellardini and Kip DeShields are the probable starters for the weekend series in Chicago.

Quick Notes Around The Diamond

  • YSU has drawn a school-record 253 walks as a team this season, that total leads the Horizon League by 32 and also ranks 28th in the nation heading into the week.
  • The Penguins have 80 stolen bases as a team this season, that total ranks second in the Horizon League and 26th in the nation. It also ranks as the fourth-most team stolen bases in a single season in school history.
  • YSU's 10 league wins are the most since 2009 and its 17 total wins are the most since 2014
  • The Penguins have hit 41 home runs as a team, that total ranks second in the Horizon League and is the fourth most in a single season in school history.
  • This season marks the first time in school history that YSU has hit at least 40 HR in back-to-back seasons. The Guins hit 50 HR in 55 games last season, which was the second-highest team total in school history.
  • YSU's eight steals at NKU on Friday tied for the second most in a single game in school history and was just one shy of the record. It also marked the first time since 1986 that a Penguins team had at least eight steals in a game.
  • Jeff Wehler leads YSU while ranking second in the Horizon League and 24th in the nation with 25 stolen bases. He is the first Penguin to steal at least 25 bases in a season since 1988.
  • Wehler's 25 steals are the most by a YSU freshman and the fourth most in a single season in school history. Only three freshmen in the country have more steals.
  • Trey Bridis has a career-high 39 walks this season, that leads the Horizon League and is tied for the second most in a single season in school history.
  • Blaze Glenn has reached base safely in a conference-best 45 straight contests.
  • Bridis and Glenn each have a team-best 11 HR this season. They are two of six players in school history to hit at least 11 HR in a season. Their 11 homers are tied for fourth in the Horizon League and for the third most in a single season in school history.

Scouting Opponents

Kent State (34-14, 18-6 MAC) currently sits in first place of the Mid-American Conference standings. The Golden Flashes have won six of their last seven games and beat the Penguins 7-2 in a previous meeting this season at Schoonover Stadium on March 20. Nick Kanavas leads his team and is second in the MAC with a .372 batting average. UIC (25-16, 12-9 Horizon League) has not played since May 6 after having its scheduled series with Oakland over the weekend canceled due to weather. The Flames lead the Horizon League with a team ERA of 2.91. Starters Ryan Campbell and Reid Birlingmair boast ERAs of 1.82 and 2.03 respectively. Campbell is 6-3 this season while Birlingmair is 5-1. Starter Jacob Key ranks sixth in the league with 66 strikeouts and has a 2.96 ERA. Reliever Charlie Cerny is 4-2 with a 1.44 ERA. The Penguins swept a three-game series with UIC at Eastwood Field back in late March. YSU won by finals of 3-1, 7-2 and 6-5 to earn its first sweep of a league opponent since 2012.

Recapping Last Week

The Penguins posted a 4-1 record last week with a pair of wins over MAC opponents and a series win at Northern Kentucky. They have now won two straight games, four of their last five and five of their last seven. YSU showcased its offensive firepower, ranking at or near the top nationally of four different offensive categories for the week. The Guins ranked first in the nation with 13 home runs, first with 21 steals, second with 64 runs and third with 17 doubles. YSU won 17-16 at Toledo on Tuesday and 10-9 at Ohio on Wednesday before taking two of three at NKU. The Penguins lost 16-13 on Friday before winning 14-7 on Saturday and 10-3 on Sunday.

Penguins Garner National and Weekly Honors: After a week in which he batted .500, slugged 1.042 and hit four home runs, senior outfielder Trey Bridis was recognized on Monday at the national and conference level. Bridis was named a National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball, and he was also named the Co-Horizon League Batter of the Week. Bellardini was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week after allowing just one run on six hits over six innings to lead the Penguins to a 14-7 at NKU on Saturday. He earned the honor for the second consecutive week to become the first player to garner back-to-back weekly league honors this season.

Penguins Finish Impressive Week: The Penguins have now won two straight games, four of their last five and five of their last seven. YSU finished the week with a 4-1 record and improved to 5-1 against opponents from the Mid-American Conference this season with wins over Toledo and Ohio. YSU showcased its offensive firepower, ranking at or near the top nationally of four different offensive categories for the week. The Guins ranked first in the nation with 13 home runs, first with 21 steals, second with 64 runs and third with 17 doubles. The Guins will be looking to ride this hot streak into the final week of the regular season and the Horizon League Tournament which will take place March 23-26 at Wright State's Nischwitz Stadium. YSU's 10 league wins this season are the most since 2009 and its 17 total wins are the most since 2014.

Bridis Named National Player of the Week: Collegiate Baseball named senior outfielder Trey Bridis as a National Player of the Week on Monday. After a week in which he batted .500 and hit four home runs, Bridis was recognized at the national and conference level. He was also named the Co-Horizon League Batter of the Week. Bridis added a 1.042 slugging percentage, 12 total hits, six RBIs, a .586 OBP, 10 runs scored, 25 total bases, five walks and three stolen bases last week. The senior had a hit in all five games and recorded at least three hits in three contests. Bridis also hit a pair of leadoff home runs during the week. Bridis is batting .378 and slugging .800 with 17 hits, six home runs, 10 RBIs, 14 runs scored and 36 total bases over his last 10 games. He has now hit safely in eight straight games and in 35 of his last 42 contests. After starting the season just 2-for-23, Bridis is batting .346 with 56 hits in 40 games played since March 4. The senior has hit six home runs in his last six games, including two in a 17-16 win at Toledo last Tuesday. Bridis ranks in the top 10 of the Horizon League in eight different offensive categories heading into the week. He is first in walks, third in at bats, fourth in home runs, fifth in runs scored, fourth in hits, sixth in stolen bases, fifth in OBP, sixth in slugging and 10th in batting average. Bridis also leads the team with 15 multi-hit games this season.

Blazin' Hot: Sophomore outfielder Blaze Glenn has made quite an impression in his first season with the program. The transfer from Sinclair Community College has been one of YSU's most consistent and productive hitters all season. He has reached base in a conference-best 45 straight games while hitting safely in six straight and 35 of his last 42 contests. Glenn hit three home runs in a doubleheader sweep on April 24, including two against Bowling Green in game two. He went 4-for-4 with two dingers, four runs scored and four RBIs against the Falcons. Glenn hit his 11th home run of the season in a win at NKU on Sunday. He leads YSU with a .333 batting average, 11 home runs, 42 RBIs, 58 hits, a .450 OBP and a .569 slugging percentage. He ranks in the top 10 of the Horizon League in nine different offensive categories. He is second in OBP, third in walks, fourth in home runs, fourth in hits, fifth in RBIs, fifth in slugging, fifth in batting average, sixth in steals and eighth in at bats. Glenn is tied for second on the team with 14 multi-hit games this season and leads the squad with 10 multiple-RBI games. Glenn is also the only Penguin who has played and started all 49 games this season.

Bellardini Earns Weekly Honors Again: Senior right-hander Alex Bellardini was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the second straight week. The Elmira, N.Y., native allowed one run on just six hits over six innings to lead the Penguins to a 14-7 win over NKU on Saturday. Bellardini struck out four batters and only walked two while earning his second consecutive conference victory. He picked up his fourth win in just this fourth start of the season after spending most of the campaign in a relief role. The senior was coming off another dominant performance against Oakland the week before that earned him his first weekly honor. He is the first player to garner back-to-back weekly league honors this season. Bellardini was inserted into the weekend rotation due to injuries last month and has stepped up big. Bellardini was also brilliant in his first start of the season against Bowling Green on April 24. He allowed just four hits over six shutout innings on his way to earning the win.

Keep On Walkin': The Penguins set the single-season school record for walks in last Tuesday's win at Toledo. YSU has drawn a Horizon League-best 253 walks this season, surpassing the previous school record of 234 which was set in 2013. As of Monday, YSU ranked 28th in the nation in walks and had 32 more than any other team in the league. Trey Bridis has drawn a career-high 39 walks this season, that leads the Horizon League and is tied for the second most in a single season in school history. Blaze Glenn has walked 35 times, that is tied for fourth most and Andrew Kendrick's 30 walks are tied for ninth most. The Penguins have 11 different players who have walked at least 10 times while five players have drawn at least 20 free passes.

Fabulous Freshman: Infielder Jeff Wehler has had an impressive first season as a collegiate baseball player. The true freshman has started 45 of the team's 49 games. He leads the team while ranking second in the Horizon League and 24th in the nation with 25 stolen bases. His 25 steals are the most by a YSU freshman and he is the first Penguin since 1988 to reach at least 25 steals in a season. Wehler's 25 steals are the fourth most in a single season in school history and only three freshmen in the country have more steals than him. He has a team-high 12 doubles and is second with 24 RBIs. He leads the league with 189 at bats and his 12 doubles rank fourth. Wehler has hit safely in seven straight games and in 28 of his last 35 while reaching base in 15 straight and 26 of 29. He is batting .378 with 17 hits and nine stolen bases over his last 10 games. Wehler has also recorded 13 multi-hit games and eight games with multiple RBIs this season. In conference play, he leads the league with 15 steals while ranking second with 34 hits and third with nine doubles. Wehler is batting .301 against league opponents this season.

Smooth Criminals: YSU has 80 stolen bases as a team this season, that ranks second in the Horizon League and 26th in the nation. It also ranks as the fourth most in a single season in school history. This season marks the first time the Penguins have reached at least 80 steals in a season since the 1998 campaign. YSU has four players who currently rank in the top 10 of the Horizon League in stolen bases. Jeff Wehler ranks second with 25, Trey Bridis and Blaze Glenn are tied for sixth with 13 and Lucas Nasonti is eighth with nine. YSU's eight steals at Northern Kentucky this past Friday tied for the second most in a single game in school history and was just one shy of the record. It also marked the first time since 1986 that the Penguins had at least eight steals in a game. YSU has stolen at least three bases in 13 different games this season. Bridis and Glenn are two of just four players in school history to record at least 10 HR and 10 steals in the same season.

Using The Long Ball: YSU has three players with at least eight home runs this season. Trey Bridis and Blaze Glenn each have 11 while Andrew Kendrick has hit eight long balls. Bridis and Glenn have become the fifth and sixth Penguins in school history to hit 11 home runs in a season. Their 11 homers are tied for fourth in the Horizon League and for the third most in a single season in school history. Bridis has also moved into a tie for seventh on Youngstown State's career home runs list with 20 in his career. He has also become the eighth player in school history to hit at least 20 career home runs. Kendrick set the school's single-season home run record with 17 last season and the career record with the 28th of YSU career earlier this season. Bridis and Kendrick are two of six players in school history to hit at least eight homers in two different seasons. This season marks the first time since 2010 that at least two Penguins have hit 10 or more HR in the same season. The Guins have hit 41 home runs as team this season, that total ranks second in the league and is the fourth most in a single season in school history. It marks the first time in school history the Guins have hit at least 40 HR in back-to-back seasons; they hit 50 last season. YSU has now hit a combined 91 dingers over the past two seasons after averaging just 14.2 homers per year over the previous six years. The Penguins ranked first in the nation with 13 HR just last week.

Up Next

After concluding the regular season with a three-game series at UIC this weekend, the Penguins will travel to Dayton, Ohio for the Horizon League Baseball Championships. The tournament will be hosted at top-seeded Wright State's Nischwitz Stadium and will take place May 23-26.

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