Wehler Hits First Career Home Run in Loss at Louisville

Jeff Wehler
Jeff Wehler

The Youngstown State baseball team wrapped up a three-game series at No. 13 Louisville with a 12-2 loss on Sunday afternoon.

The Cardinals swept the Penguins in the series to improve to 7-0 while the Penguins have now dropped five straight games to fall to 1-5.

Infielders Cody Dennis and Jeff Wehler each had two hits for YSU. Dennis went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles while Wehler was 2-for-4 with a single, a solo home run and two runs scored.

The homer was the first of Wehler's career and the second for the Penguins this season. The freshman infielder earned the first two stolen bases of his career in the contest as well.

Blaze Glenn added a double as he went 1-for-3 with a walk. Trey Bridis and Web Charles each drew two walks on the afternoon as well.

Kip DeShields took the loss after allowing three earned runs on four hits over 2.1 innings of work in his second start. The junior right-hander is now 0-2 on the season.

The Penguins used six different pitchers on the day as Zach Lopatka, Zack Minney, Joel Hake, Chad Coles and Dalton Earich all made appearances.

Joel Hake continued his superb start to the 2018 season as he allowed no hits and no runs while striking out two over 1.1 innings. The junior right-hander has given up just two hits and one run over 3.2 innings on the year thus far.

Youngstown State threatened with two outs in the top of the first inning when Trey Bridis walked and Blaze Glenn followed with a double to left field. Andrew Kendrick then struck out swinging with runners on second and third to end the inning.

Louisville would jump in front in the bottom of the second inning as Justin Lavey doubled to left field and advanced to third on a throwing error by Lucas Nasonti.

Zach Britton hit a hard line drive which hit the first base bag and flew into the outfield for an RBI single as Lavey scored on the play to put the Cardinals in front 1-0.

YSU answered in the top of the third as Jeff Wehler reached on an infield single with one out then stole both second and third for his first two stolen bases of the season. Web Charles then drew a walk to put runners on first and third.

During the next at-bat, Louisville starter Reid Detmers balked on a pick-off attempt to first which advanced Charles to second and scored Wehler to tie the game at 1-1.

The Cardinals led off the bottom of the third inning with back-to-back singles by Jake Snider and Devin Mann. DeShields then walked Logan Wyatt to load the bases with nobody out.

After Ethan Stringer popped out the catcher for first out of the inning, DeShields walked Drew Campbell to bring home Snider and give Louisville a 2-1 advantage.

After DeShields departed and Zach Lopatka took over in relief, Justin Lavey hit a sacrifice fly to right field which scored Mann to increase the lead to 3-1.

Tyler Fitzgerald reached base with leadoff walk in the top of the fourth and was brought home on an RBI double by Josh Stowers to make it 4-1. Lopatka then walked Devin Mann and Logan Wyatt to load the bases with one out.

After the back-to-back walks, Lopatka would give way to junior right-hander Zack Minney. Following an RBI groundout by Ethan Stringer, Drew Campbell drilled a single up the middle which scored Wyatt and Mann to put Louisville in front 7-1.

With one out in the top of the fifth, freshman infielder Jeff Wehler blasted a pitch over the wall in left field for the first home run of his career. The solo shot cut the Cardinals lead to 7-2.

Chad Coles came on to pitch in the eighth and hit Zach Britton before walking Tyler Fitzgerald to begin the inning. Britton advanced to third on a wild pitch and was driven home on a single to right center by Josh Stowers.

Jake Snider walked to load the bases and then Devin Mann hit a grand slam to left field, putting the Cardinals ahead 12-2.

Shay Smiddy earned the win for Louisville after allowing just one hit over 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.

The Penguins will continue their non-conference schedule next week March 2-4 with three games in the Kissimmee Irish Classic hosted by Notre Dame. The event will be played at Osceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Fla. YSU will face Notre Dame at 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday.

Baseball 2018 Season Preview
February 6, 2018 Baseball 2018 Season Preview