The Youngstown State baseball team will play a home-and-home series with Akron and a three-game series against Butler at Eastwood Field this week. The Penguins will host the Zips at Eastwood Field on Tuesday at 3 p.m. before heading to Canal Park – the home of the Akron Aeros – to play the Zips on Wednesday at 3 p.m. YSU will then host Butler in a Horizon League series on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. First pitch between the Penguins and Bulldogs on Friday is set for 3 p.m. while Saturday will start at 1 p.m. and Sunday is scheduled for a noon start. Live stats will be available for all five games through YSUsports.com, and live video of the games with Butler will be streamed for free on YSUsports.com.
On the Mound
Right-hander Ryan Krokos is scheduled to make his first collegiate start on Tuesday against Akron. Wednesday's starter will be determined after Tuesday's game, and the weekend rotation of lefty Blake Aquadro, righty Patrick O'Brien and right-hander Pat Shedlock will remain the same for the fourth straight week.
- Krokos is tied for the team lead with 11 appearances, and Tuesday will be his first collegiate start. Although the righty has a 9.22 ERA, he has not allowed a run in his last five innings. He missed all of last season with an injury. His longest outing is three innings
- Aquadro has made six previous starts, had he's allowed four earned runs in five innings in each of his past two outings. He was hurt by the long ball in his last start at UIC as four of the six runs against him came on two home runs. For the year, Aquadro is 0-4 with a 8.62 ERA in a team-high 31.1 innings.
- O'Brien is coming off his best start as a Penguin and leads all YSU pitchers with 25 strikeouts. O'Brien held UIC to one earned run on four hits in six innings on Saturday. Going back to his last two starts, he has allowed just two earned runs in last 10 innings. For the year, O'Brien is 0-4 with an 6.75 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 29.1 innings.
- Shedlock had posted quality starts in back-to-back outings before exiting after 3.1 innings in his last start. He allowed six runs on eight hits at UIC on Sunday, but he had gone six innings in each of his previous three starts. For the year, Shedlock is 0-2 with an 8.23 ERA in 27.1 innings.
Since starting the season 0-7, Akron has gone 8-7. That stretch started with a come-from-behind 7-6 win over YSU on March 3 in which the Zips scored five runs in the seventh inning. Akron won two of three games against Ball State over the weekend. Tyler Begun leads Akron in most offensive categories and is hitting .361 with three home runs. Three other players with at least 50 at bats are hitting above .300. Akron will start left-hander Matt Gebacz on Tuesday. He has a 12.54 ERA in 9.1 innings over four appearances.
Butler is 12-12 overall and 3-3 in Horizon League play after winning one of three games against Wright State over the weekend. The Bulldogs took two of three from Valparaiso to open the conference slate. Junior Pat Gelwicks has been on the of the Horizon League's top hitters, batting .397 with 20 runs scored, 15 RBIs and five doubles. Jimmy Risi has team highs with five homers and 22 RBIs. Butler started all right-handers against Wright State in Dom Silvestri, Mike Hernandez and Derek Higgins. Silvestri is a Boardman High graduate and was named second-team all-league last year.
Quick Notes from Last Week
- Drew Dosch had his reached base streak stopped at 25 games on Sunday at UIC. He had either a hit or walk in the first 20 games of 2012 and the final five games of 2011.
- Catcher Craig Goubeaux hit his first career home run on Saturday at UIC. He is batting .407 over his last eight games.
- Dan Hurlimann was 5-for-9 in four games last week. He set new career highs with three hits and two runs scored at UIC on Saturday.
- David Leon had hits in all four games last week. He is batting .304 over the past month and .367 over the past two weeks.
- Kevin Hix had three more sacrifice bunts last week to increase his season total to a Horizon League-leading nine.
- Jeremy Banks, who is among the Horizon League leaders in almost every offensive category, missed all four games last week with a shoulder injury.
- Patrick O'Brien gave YSU arguably its best start of the season on Saturday at UIC. He held the Flames to one earned run on four hits in six innings in a no-decision. O'Brien has allowed one earned run in his last 10 innings.
- Freshman righty Russ Harless made his first appearance since March 4 on Sunday. He struck out three batters in 1.1 scoreless innings at UIC.
- Erik Okleson also made his appearance since March 4 last week. He did not allow an earned run in 3.2 innings of relief.
Youngstown State plays four games on the road next week. The Penguins will play at Pittsburgh at 3 p.m. on Wednesday before traveling to Wright State for three games Thursday through Saturday.