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The Youngstown State baseball team will have its final tune-up before the start of Horizon League play as it travels to Missouri for a three-game series this weekend. The Penguins and Tigers will play the series opener on Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern, and they'll play at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday and 2 p.m. ET on Sunday. All three games will be broadcast on the SEC Network+ and streamed on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App.
The Penguins head to Missouri with a 2-8 overall record after winning one of three games at Belmont last weekend. YSU lost the opener 4-3 in 12 innings, and it rebounded to take game two 7-3 last Saturday. Belmont took the finale 12-6. Youngstown State homered three times, including twice in the game-two victory, and outhit the Bruins in two of the three games. Five Penguins starters batted better than .300, and YSU got back-to-back quality starts from Joe King and Jeremy Quinlan. YSU's other victory this season came at Western Kentucky on Feb. 20, and the Penguins were swept at Fresno State in the second weekend.
Youngstown State will keep its same rotation for the fourth straight weekend with King pitching the opener, Quinlan following and Collin Floyd taking the mound in the finale. King has an 0-1 record despite possessing the best ERA in the rotation, and he's coming off a no-decision in six innings at Belmont. Quinlan is 1-1 with a 4.61 ERA with the win coming at Belmont in his last start. Floyd leads the Penguins with 16 strikeouts in 11.2 innings, and he is 0-1 with a 9.26 ERA.
Sophomore newcomer Andrew Kendrick has been the Penguins' top hitter in the first three weeks with team highs of two homers and seven RBIs while batting .276. Another newcomer, Gerrad Rohan, is next at .268, and junior shortstop Shane Willoughby leads the club with six runs scored. Kendrick and Rohan are two of 18 newcomers on the Penguins' roster.
Youngstown State will begin Horizon League play with a three-game series at preseason favorite Wright State next weekend.
LHP – Joe King • #16
Started game one of the series at Western Kentucky and Belmont and pitched in game two at Fresno State... Has not allowed more than three earned runs in any of his three starts... Did not allow an earned run (two unearned) in five innings in the season opener at Western Kentucky... Did not factor in the decision at Belmont when he had his first quality start of the season with three earned runs on four hits in six innings... Led YSU starters with a 4.18 ERA and 64.2 innings while posting a 2-4 record as a sophomore in 2015.
RHP – Jeremy Quinlan • #37
Has a 1-1 record with a 4.61 ERA over three starts that have covered 13.2 innings... Has struck out 12 batters at a rate of 7.9 per nine innings... In his last outing, struck out a career high seven batters in six innings in the win at Belmont... Pitched 2.2 innings at Western Kentucky before being struck by a line drive... Started the series opener at Fresno State and allowed three earned runs in five innings... Led YSU in starts, wins and strikeouts in 2015.
LHP – Collin Floyd • #24
Has been in the weekend rotation in each of the first three weeks... Is 0-1 with a 9.26 ERA despite having 16 strikeouts in 11.2 innings... Opposing hitters have an irregular .514 batting average on balls in play against him... In his second career start, struck out 11 batters in five innings... The 11 strikeouts were the most by a Penguin pitcher since Phil Klein, who pitched for the Rangers in 2015, fanned 13 in 2011.
OF Kyle Benyo was picked to be the Horizon League's Freshman of the Year by Baseball America. Benyo batted .361 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., last year.
OF Trey Bridis hit his first career home run last week at Belmont. He's batting .267 overall and has four hits in his last seven at bats.
RHP Joel Hake has pitched in six of YSU's 10 games this season. He has a 2.00 ERA with seven strikeouts in nine innings. He has not allowed an earned run in his last five appearances.
OF/3B Alex Larivee was named Preseason Second-Team All-Horizon League by College Sports Madness. He batted .325 last year and led the team with a .421 on-base percentage and a .490 slugging percentage. He's batting .256 overall and is hitting .364 over his last five games.
1B/DH Andrew Kendrick has two of YSU's four home runs this season. His first came in the season opener at Western Kentucky, and he hit another one in YSU's last game at Belmont. Kendrick hit 18 home runs at Highland CC in Springfield, Mo., last year. Three of Kendrick's eight hits have been for extra bases.
1B/DH Gerrad Rohan and IF Billy Salem are seniors who are in their first year at YSU after transferring from Akron, which dropped its program following the 2015 season. Salem has started all 10 games, and Rohan has started nine.
LHP Michael Semonson was named the Horizon League's top prospect for the 2017 MLB draft class by D1Baseball.com.
RHP Kevin Yarabinec has a 3.00 ERA in four appearances in his return to the closer role. He shifted into the rotation last year before an injury ended his year in mid-March. Yarabinec was tabbed the sixth-best prospect in the Horizon League in the 2016 MLB draft class by Baseball America.