The Youngstown State baseball team will try to advance in the winners' bracket on Friday at 6:35 p.m. when it takes on top-seeded Wright State in the 2011 Horizon League Baseball Championship.
The Penguins are coming off a 4-2 victory on Wednesday over No. 3 Milwaukee. Senior pitcher Phil Klein threw eight strong innings to outduel conference pitcher of the year Chad Pierce. Klein struck out 10 and held the Panthers scoreless for the first seven innings. After the Penguins struck for four runs off Pierce in the top of the eighth, Klein surrendered his only two runs of the game in the bottom half. Milwaukee had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the ninth when Blake Aquadro got a fly out to end the game and earn his first save.
About the Match-Up
Youngstown State went 1-2 against Wright State during the regular season, losing the first two contests before winning the finale 7-3 on March 25-26. The win broke a 12-game losing streak to the Raiders. YSU and Wright State played in the same game as the same seeds in the 2010 tournament, and Wright State won 10-8. Youngstown State is 1-3 all-time against the top seed in the Horizon League Tournament. Its win came against UIC on May 29, 2004, at Eastwood Field.
Looking at the Pitchers
YSU will send Robert Switka to the mound against Wright State's Michael Woytek. Switka received votes for the all-newcomer team thanks to a 3.53 ERA over the season's last two months. He'll be looking for revenge against Wright State, which scored 11 runs against him in 3.2 innings on March 25. Woytek was 6-3 with a 4.60 ERA during the regular season. He allowed two runs on eight hits in seven innings agsint the Penguins earlier this season on March 26.
Scouting Wright State
Wright State shared the Horizon League regular-season title with UIC but earned the tournament's top seed by winning a tiebreaker. The Raiders finished the regular season 33-17 overall and 16-7 in league games. They claimed four of the league's top five individual postseason awards as Jake Hibberd was named the Player of the Year, Michael Schum was named the Relief Pitcher of the Year, Corey Davis was voted the Newcomer of the Year and Rob Cooper was named Coach of the Year. Hibberd, a junior first baseman, led the league in the three "triple crown" categories with a .415 average, nine home runs and 54 RBIs.