The Youngstown State will play road games on four consecutive
days this week, starting with Wednesday’s game at Pittsburgh.
First pitch at the Petersen Sports Complex is set for 2 p.m., which
is an hour earlier than the original scheduled time. The Penguins
will then play three games at Horizon League-leading Wright State
Thursday through Saturday. Thursday’s and Friday’s
contests will start at 6:30 p.m., and Saturday’s finale will
start at 2 p.m. Live stats will be available for all four games
through YSUsports.com, and all three of YSU’s games at Wright
State will have live video on the Horizon League Network. This is
the longest stretch of consecutive road games remaining on
Pittsburgh has won three of its last four contests after taking two out of three games against Cincinnati over the weekend. The Panthers are 13-12 overall and 4-0 so far in their small home schedule. Senior Rick Devereaux is hitting .418 with five home runs and 34 RBIs, all of which are team highs. Two other players with at least 50 at bats are hitting .333, and Pitt is batting .290 as a team. The staff ERA is 5.38, and Panther pitchers have struck out 194 batters while allowing opponents to hit .283. Former YSU pitching coaches Tom Lipari and Dan Lipari are both members of the Panthers’ coaching staff. Pitt has not announced its starter for Wednesday.
Scouting Wright State
Wright State has won six straight games and leads the Horizon League with a 7-2 mark in conference play. The Raiders swept Valparaiso last weekend and won two out of three from both UIC and Butler the previous two weeks. Wright State leads the conference in batting average and slugging percentage while ranking third in ERA. Senior first baseman Jake Hibberd leads the Horizon League with a .387 batting average, and three other Raiders rank in the top nine. Corey Davis, who ranks ninth in batting average, is the reigning Horizon League Batter of the Week. Right-hander Lee Valencheck (0-3, 6.62 ERA), lefty Cody Kopilchack (2-2, 5.52 ERA) and righty Taylor Braun (2-0, 3.74 ERA) started for the Raiders on the mound last weekend. Wright State plays Xavier Tuesday evening.
Recapping Last Week
Youngstown State went 2-3 last week, going 1-1 against Akron and 1-2 versus Butler. Both of their wins came at Eastwood Field. YSU’s 8-4 home win against the Zips on Tuesday snapped a 10-game losing skid to Akron that dated back to 2006, which was two years prior to head coach Rich Pasquale’s arrival on campus. YSU’s other victory was a 9-3 triumph over Butler in which start Patrick O’Brien allowed one earned run in six innings of work. The Penguins lost 5-2 to Akron at Canal Park and 7-5 and 18-5 to Butler.
- YSU scored at least five runs in four of its five games last week. The Penguins had scored at least five runs five times in their first 21 games.
- Patrick O’Brien posted his second-straight quality start on Saturday against Butler. He has allowed two earned runs over the last 12 innings. O’Brien, a sophomore transfer from Bowling Green, earned his first win as a Penguin against the Bulldogs.
- David Leon extended his streak of reaching base to 14 consecutive games by reaching in all five games last week. The longest streak by a Penguin this season is held by Drew Dosch, who reached base in each of the first 20 games.
- Drew Dosch and Phil Lipari both had hits in all five games last week, and Jason Shirley had hits in all three games of the Butler series.
- Phil Lipari batted .400 last week, going 6-for-15 with three doubles. The sophomore infielder had gone hitless in his previous 13 at bats leading into the week.
- Marcus Heath hit his first home run as a Penguin in the series opener against Butler.
- Drew Dosch hit his third home run of the season in the first inning of YSU’s win over Akron on Tuesday. The sophomore did not have any homers last year and had just one extra-base hit.
- Jason Shirley batted .368 last week and has hits in eight of his last nine games. His average has raised 68 points since March 20, a span of nine games.
- Freshman Russ Harless recorded his first career save in YSU’s win over Butler on Saturday. He did not allow a hit or walk in three innings of relief. He made his first career start earlier in the week at Akron and allowed five runs in five innings. Harless has not allowed a run in his last three relief appearances.
- Nick DiBartolomeo went 3-for-3 in scoreless relief appearances last week. He has not allowed an earned run in his last five innings.
- Redshirt freshman Ryan Krokos did not allow a run in five scoreless innings against Akron in his first career start on Tuesday. Krokos earned his second win of the season in the victory and extended his scoreless innings streak to 10 innings. He allowed three runs in 4.1 innings of relief against Butler on Sunday.
- The 18 runs scored by Butler were the most by an opponent this season.