The Youngstown State baseball team begins a busy final week to the regular season with games at Eastwood Field on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Penguins will play Pittsburgh on Tuesday evening at 6, and they'll turn around to play Akron Wednesday morning at 11. "Senior Day" festivities will be celebrated prior to Tuesday's contest, and Wednesday's game against the Zips is part of a Kids Day event with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. Live stats and live video on the Horizon League Network will be available for both games at Eastwood Field. YSU lost 7-0 at Pitt on March 19 and 7-2 in five innings on April 19. The Guins lost 5-0 at Akron on April 5. The Penguins are also scheduled to play a three game series at UIC on Thursday and Friday this week.
After its two non-conference games on Tuesday and Wednesday, YSU wraps up its regular season with three Horizon League games at UIC. The Penguins will play a single game on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Eastern. The Guins and Flames will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. The Horizon League Baseball Championship is scheduled for next Wednesday through Sunday at Wright State's Nischwitz Stadium.
Pittsburgh will enter Tuesday's contest with a 31-19 overall mark and a 15-9 record in Big East contests. The Panthers swept West Virginia over the weekend to clinch a spot in the Big East Tournament. Pitt is hitting .314 as a team, which leads the Big East. Kevan Smith is hitting a team-best .397, and David Chester has 12 of Pitt's 31 homers. The Panthers' team ERA of 4.03 is fifth-best in the conference.
Akron enters the week with a 14-35 record overall and a 6-18 mark in the MAC. The Zips have gone 3-3 over their last six games, which includes wins over Bowling Green, West Virginia and Ohio. Akron ranks last in the MAC in many offensive categories, including batting average (.232) and runs (137). Its team ERA of 4.59 ranks sixth of 12 teams. Drew Turocy leads the Zips in batting average (.344), runs (33), homers (7) and RBIs (27).
This Year vs. Pittsburgh
Pitt scored twice in the first inning and blew the game open late with four runs in the seventh to defeat YSU 7-0 on March 19. After allowing the two runs in the first, YSU starter Blake Aquadro didn't surrender another hit until the fifth. YSU struggled to support Aquadro offensively and got only one runner in scoring position in the first six innings off of Matt Iannazzo. The Penguins had a runner thrown out at the plate in the top of the seventh, and the Panthers struck for four runs off the bullpen in the bottom half. Neil Schroth had two of YSU's six hits. Pitt scored six runs in the first en route to a 7-2 victory on April 19. The game was called in the bottom of the fifth due to rain. Three of YSU's four hits came in its two-run fourth.
This Year vs. Akron
Six Akron pitchers combined to hold YSU to five hits in a 5-0 shutout on a cold and snowy afternoon on April 5. The Zips scored two unearned runs in the second then tacked on single tallies in the third, fourth and seventh innings. Nic Manuppelli suffered the loss for YSU, allowing one earned run in four innings. The Penguins had two hits in the final seven innings. Greg Dissinger had two of YSU's five hits.