The Youngstown State baseball team will continue its eight-game road trip with two contests at Alabama State on Tuesday and Wednesday. First pitch for both games will be at 7 p.m. Eastern, and live stats will be available at http://www.sidearmstats.com/alasu/baseball/.
Junior left-hander Austin Lujano will make his first start as a Penguin against the Hornets on Tuesday, and junior right-hander Ryan Krokos will start on Wednesday. Lujano pitched two scoreless innings of relief against UAB in the season opener last Friday, and Krokos allowed an unearned run in two-thirds of an inning on Saturday. Alabama State will counter with junior righty Mike Estevez on Tuesday and either freshman southpaw Patrick Coffin or freshman right-hander Drake Hloska on Wednesday.
The Penguins were swept at UAB in their first series of the season over the weekend, falling 4-2, 4-0 and 7-3. YSU had seven position players and five pitchers make their YSU and Division I debuts during the series, and several veterans adjusted to new positions. Perhaps the most encouraging part of the weekend was the pitching staff, particularly the bullpen. YSU's relief pitchers allowed just one earned run on 11 hits in 12.1 innings against the Blazers.
Alabama State starts an 11-game home stand with Tuesday's game against YSU. The Hornets won two of three at home against Eastern Kentucky to start the season, and it beat South Alabama and Auburn on the road on Feb. 18-19. Alabama State then split a four-game series at Pacific over the weekend. Junior outfielder Richard Amion is the reigning Southwestern Athletic Conference Player of the Week, and redshirt freshman Tyler Howe is the SWAC's Pitcher of the Week.
Following the two-game series at Alabama State, YSU will travel to Cary, N.C. to play three games at the USA Baseball-Irish Classic. The Penguins will play Appalachian State on Friday, Notre Dame on Saturday and North Carolina State on Sunday.