Winners of seven of its last nine games at Eastwood Field, the Youngstown State baseball team will continue its eight-game homestand this week. The Penguins will host Akron on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and they'll open the final month of the regular season with a three-game series versus Oakland that starts on Friday morning. Live stats will be available for all four games on YSUsports.com.
Youngstown State won three of its four games last week to start the homestand, beating Bowling Green 5-1 on Tuesday before taking two of three from Horizon League leading Wright State over the weekend. The Penguins lost the opener against the Raiders 19-2, but they impressively responded to outscore Wright State 19-6 over the next two days in 13-3 and 6-3 victories. Junior outfielder Frank Califano hit .529 last week to be named the Horizon League Batter of the Week, and senior Josh North earned a pair of victories to earn Horizon League Pitcher-of-the-Week honors.
YSU will try to sweep the season series against Akron for the first time since 2005 and for just the third time since 1973 when it hosts the Zips on Wednesday. Junior right-hander D.J. Carr will make his first start since April 3 versus Akron, which YSU beat 8-7 on March 24. Akron has a 19-22 record this season and hosts Malone on Tuesday.
Friday's series opener against Oakland will start at 11 a.m. as the program partners with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers for the annual day game where more than a thousand local students and senior citizen groups are in attendance. The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies will also play at 2 p.m. on Saturday, and YSU's 10 seniors will be recognized prior to the 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday. Youngstown State leads Oakland by a game-and-a-half in the Horizon League standings and took two of three in the series played the first weekend of April. YSU's starters for the weekend have not been announced.