Baseball Set to Play Horizon League and Home Opener Friday at Eastwood Field

Matt Sullivan (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)
Matt Sullivan (Photo by Alyson Boyer Rode)

The Youngstown State baseball team may finally get a chance to open the home and Horizon League portions of its schedule on Friday against Wright State at 3 p.m. at Eastwood Field. The game is back to its original location and time after earlier this week it was set to be moved to Kelly Automotive Park in Butler, Pa.

Due to the change in location, YSU head coach Steve Gillispie has announced that all fans will be admitted to Friday's game for free. Game two of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the finale is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday. Both of those games are also expected to be at Eastwood Field. The Mahoning Valley Scrappers will run concessions for the first time at YSU baseball games this season and has several specials lined up.

The Penguins are coming off arguably their most-complete game of March, an 11-4 victory at Ohio on Wednesday. Jason Shirley came off the bench to go 3-for-4 with two runs scored and three RBIs, and David Saluga and Brent Gillespie both had two hits. The Penguins scored 11 of the final 12 runs of the game, including four-run innings in the fifth and eighth.

Freshman Alex Larivee continues to rank among the league leaders with a .378 batting average, and he's reached base in 14 consecutive games. Gillespie, also a newcomer, is batting .302 overall and .389 over the last 10 games. Senior Josh White leads Penguins with 11 RBIs and six extra-base hits while batting .263.

Senior Patrick O'Brien is Friday's probable starter, and he's slated to be followed by Brendon Shoemake. O'Brien has a 1-2 record with a victory over Appalachian State, and his last start was at Cincinnati on March 7 because of the back-to-back weekend cancellations. Shoemake started against the Bobcats on Tuesday and allowed one unearned run in two innings. He is 0-2 with a 5.50 ERA in five appearances. Sunday's starter has not been announced.

Wright State is off to a 6-0 start in league play and is 12-11 overall. The Raiders have played 11 of their last 12 games at home, including league series against UIC and Oakland. Wright State is tied for the Horizon League lead with seven home runs, and it leads the conference with a 4.25 ERA.