Youngstown -- The Youngstown State baseball team will head an hour west to take on Akron on Tuesday at 3 p.m. at Lee Jackson Field. It will be the Penguins' only midweek game this week as they prepare for their Eastwood Field opener against Butler on Friday at 3 p.m.
A pair of freshman right-handers will face off in the contest as Nic Manuppelli will start for YSU and Jon Pusateri will pitch for Akron. Manuppelli has made two previous starts against Xavier and Walsh and made eight relief apperances. He has a 7.97 ERA and has struck out 14 batters while walking 20 in 20.1 innings. Pusateri is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA in six previous appearances. He has struck out 14 batters and walked 11 in 18 innings.
YSU is coming off a solid weekend in which it took two out of three games at Le Moyne. The Dolphins won the first game of the series 8-4, but the Penguins rebounded to win the next two games 5-1 and 6-4. Phil Klein threw a seven-inning complete game in the 5-1 victory on Saturday, and the Penguins got strong outings on the mound from Robert Switka and Bill Turosky in the 6-4 victory that lasted 17 innings. Switka allowed one run through the first seven innings, and Turosky did not allow a run in the 10th through 16th innings.
Offensively, senior outfielder Joe Iacobucci continued on his recent tear by hitting .533 over the weekend. Iacobucci has upped his average to .300 after starting the year 3-for-35. He has 24 hits in his last 55 at bats and is hitting .436 since March 12. Greg Dissinger hit .385 last weekend and drove in a team-high four runs, and Jeremy Banks, Armani Johnson and Neil Schroth each batted .333.
For the year, freshman third baseman Drew Dosch is batting a team-best .301, and Iacobucci is a close second at .300. Banks is hitting at a .298 clip, but Neil Schroth is the only other Penguin hitting above .250. Dosch and starting shortstop David Leon have both missed time with injuries. Dosch has missed the last four games, and Leon has sat out the last seven contests.
Akron enters today's game with a 5-20 record after being swept by Toledo over the weekend. YSU went 2-0 against the Rockets on March 18 and March 20. Canfield native Drew Turocy is batting .390, but no other regular is hitting above .250. The Zips are batting .215 as a team.
The Penguins have not beaten Akron since 2006 and have dropped eight straight decisions to the Zips.
YSU will open at three-game series with Butler on Friday at 3 p.m. at Eastwood Field. The Penguins and Bulldogs will also play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon.