The Youngstown State baseball team will start the second half of Horizon League play this weekend with a three-game series at Milwaukee. Game one is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. Eastern, and game two is set for Saturday at 2 p.m. The series finale is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. Live audio from Milwaukee's sports information staff will be broadcast for each of the first two games on uwmpanthers.com, and live stats will be available throughout the weekend through YSUsports.com.
YSU finished its first tour of the Horizon League with a 2-13 record, which included an 11-inning victory over the Panthers on March 18. After Marcus Heath tied the score with a two-out single in the ninth, Jeremy Banks hit the game-winner in the 11th. YSU lost 5-4 and 7-2 against the Panthers in the first two games of the series. Drew Dosch hit .643 in the three-game series, and Kevin McCulloh and Nic Manuppelli did not allow an earned run in eight combined innings out of the bullpen.
On the Mound
Youngstown State is scheduled to have a pitcher debut in the conference rotation for the third straight weekend. Russ Harless, who made his weekend debut two weeks ago at Wright State, is scheduled to start game one against the Panthers. He's set to be followed by Ryan Krokos, whose lone career start was against Akron in a non-conference game on March 27. Blake Aquadro, who has made nine previous starts, will pitch the series finale on Sunday.
- Harless has pitched in 14 games this season, four of which he has started. The freshman right-hander was YSU's starting pitcher on Tuesday against Akron, using the game as a substation for his normal bullpen workout. He did not allow an earned run in his two innings of work. Last weekend against Valparaiso, he provided YSU with its longest outing by a pitcher this season by lasting 7 2-3 innings. Harless allowed two home runs in each of his past two weekend starts, and six of Valpo's seven runs against him on Friday came on a pair of three-run home runs. For the year, Harless has an 0-2 record with a 5.59 ERA in 37 innings.
- Krokos owns YSU's best ERA among pitchers who have pitched in more than three games, and he'll make his conference debut on Saturday. The redshirt freshman right-hander allowed one earned run on three hits over eight innings last week to lower his ERA to 5.40. He held Akron scoreless through five innings in his only career start back on March 27 en route to earning his second victory. For the year, Krokos is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in 33 1-3 innings over 17 appearances.
- Aquadro will be making his team-high 10th start of the season in the series finale on Sunday. The junior lefty, who has also pitched five times in relief, is coming off his best start of the season. He held Valparaiso to two earned runs on six hits in 6 1-3 innings last Sunday in a hard-luck loss. He did not walk or strike out a batter, and he actually has not struck out a batter since he fanned a career-high seven in five innings against Butler on March 30. He's completed 12 innings since then. For the year, Aquadro is 0-7 with an 8.76 ERA in 49 1-3 innings.
Youngstown State will return home for four home games next week. The Penguins will host Toledo at Eastwood Field on Tuesday at 3 p.m., and they'll welcome UIC for a three-game series Friday through Sunday.