Wright State Starts, Ends Strong to Beat Baseball

Armani Johnson
Armani Johnson

Dayton, Ohio -- Wright State scored four runs in the first and five in the eighth in a 12-0 victory over the Youngstown State baseball team on Friday evening at Nischwitz Field in the Horizon League Baseball Championship.

The sixth-seeded Penguins will play an elimination game on Saturday at 11 a.m. against the winner of No. 2 UIC and No. 3 Milwaukee. No. 1 Wright State moves on to play No. 4 Valparaiso in the winners' bracket final on Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Raiders scored 11 of their 12 runs when there were two outs, and they had the leadoff runner on in four of the five innings they scored.

Zach Tanner had three hits and drove in four, and eight Wright State hitters had at least one hit. Tristan Moore also had three hits, and Dan Marsh scored three times.

Joe Iacobucci had two hits for Youngstown State.

Michael Woytek threw a complete-game shutout for the Raiders, allowing six hits and three walks while striking out seven. His first strikeout didn't come until there were two outs in the fifth. Woytek improved to 7-3 with the victory.

YSU starter Robert Switka allowed five earned runs - six total - on eight hits and two walks in 5.1 innings. Blake Aquadro allowed an unearned run in 1.2 innings, and Wright State scored its five runs in the eighth inning off Erik Okleson.

Wright State jumped on Switka in the first inning with four two-out runs on four hits. Sam Picchiotti led off with a single up the middle, and Marsh reach when his bunt stayed just inside the first-base line. Both runners moved up on Jake Hibberd's sacrifice bunt, and Picchiotti came in on Moore's ground out. Switka beaned Corey Davis to put runners at the corners, and Tanner ripped a two-out, two-run double to right center. Ryan Ashe followed with an RBI single to right for the fourth run of the inning. Switka just missed on a 2-2 slider before Tanner's double.

The Raiders got another two-out run in the third inning to go up 5-0. Marsh hit a leadoff single, and Hibberd followed with a single to left center. Both runners moved up on a sacrifice bunt, and Marsh scored on Davis' sacrifice fly to center.

WSU added an unearned run in the fourth to go up 6-0. Another leadoff single and a sacrifice bunt put Ashe on second with one out, and he scored when Dan Hurlimann's throw from shortstop went into a camera well near Wright State's dugout.

Its seventh run came in on Tanner's two-out RBI double in the seventh. The Raiders had a walk and four straight hits after there were two outs to score their five runs in the eighth.

Armani Johnson had the defensive play-of-the-game to get the Penguins out of a jam in the sixth. After Switka hit Picchiotti to load the bases with one out, Aquadro came in to get Marsh to fly out to right. Johnson caught the ball coming in, and he threw to third to retire Kyle Mossbarger before Ashe crossed the plate.

Wright State had five sacrifice bunts and a sacrifice fly.