The Youngstown State baseball team will head to Nashville this weekend for a three-game series at Belmont. The Penguins and Bruins will play at 5 p.m. Eastern on Friday in the opener, and the teams will play at 2 p.m. ET on both Saturday and Sunday. Live stats will be available throughout the series on BelmontBruins.com.
The Penguins are 1-6 through seven games this season with a 1-2 showing at Western Kentucky in the first week and a four-game sweep at Fresno State last weekend. The Bulldogs held YSU to a .146 average, and their staff had a combined 1.25 ERA with 36 strikeouts in 36 innings. YSU's pitchers were even better in strikeout rate with 35 in 32 innings, and the Penguins' 16 strikeouts in game three of the series were the most in a contest since 2003. The Penguins lost that game 6-5, and they fell to the undefeated Bulldogs in the other three contests 8-3, 11-0 and 6-1.
Youngstown State's bats have a chance to come alive this weekend as the Penguins will go from facing a Fresno State team that has a 1.33 ERA to a Belmont staff that has a 10.12 ERA. The Bruins are averaging a tick under a strikeout per inning, but opponents are hitting .327 off of them. Billy Salem own's YSU's top batting average at .286, and fellow senior Gerrad Rohan is next at .269. Andrew Kendrick leads the squad with five RBIs and has YSU's lone home run.
Junior left-handed pitcher Joe King will start the series opener on Friday for Youngstown State, and he'll be followed by junior righty Jeremy Quinlan on Saturday and freshman southpaw Collin Floyd on Sunday. King possesses a 2.79 ERA with opponents hitting .231 off him, and Quinlan has a 5.87 ERA. Floyd has struck out 14 batters in 8.1 innings, including 11 in five innings at Fresno State in his last start. They'll be charged with slowing down a Bruins offense that is averaging 9.1 runs per game, batting .304 collectively and slugging an impressive .482.
Following the series at Belmont, YSU will play its final non-conference series at Missouri next weekend.