Baseball Begins Nine-Game Homestand on Wednesday

Joe King
Joe King
Schedule Stats Audio Video
Tuesday at West Virginia (6:30 p.m.) Stats Audio
Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh (5:30 p.m.) Stats
Friday vs. Wright State (1 p.m.) Stats
Friday vs. Wright State (4 p.m.) Stats
Saturday vs. Oakland (1 p.m.) Stats
Saturday vs. Oakland (4 p.m.) Stats

The Youngstown State baseball team begins a grueling stretch of six games in five days when it plays at West Virginia today at 6:30 p.m. The Penguins will then host Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. and Horizon League doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday at 1 p.m. Wednesday's game against the Panthers will begin a nine-game homestand for YSU.

Youngstown State snapped a five-game losing skid on Sunday with a 3-1 victory over Northern Kentucky. The Penguins got solid pitching from Collin Floyd, Joel Hake and Kevin Yarabinec in the win over the Norse, and Web Charles hit a two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 1-1 tie. It allowed YSU to salvage one game in the three-game series and keep the Norse within one game in the Horizon League standings. Earlier in the week, YSU lost 5-2 at Kent State and dropped the first two games to NKU, 9-8 and 11-5. YSU has played just seven times this month due to four weather cancelations.

YSU had at least eight hits in all three games against Northern Kentucky last weekend, and the Penguins had 14 and 13 in the first two contests. Youngstown State is still at the bottom of the Horizon League in batting average at .223, but the Penguins have upped their team average by 25 points since the start of this month. YSU batted .331 over the weekend against Northern Kentucky.

Andrew Kendrick has been a big reason for YSU's uptick in batting average as he's gone from .197 on March 26 up to .279 entering this week. The sophomore first baseman is batting .480 over his last eight games, and he leads the Penguins in batting average, home runs (3), RBIs (15), slugging percentage (.430) and on-base percentage (.380) this season. Alex Larivee has made a similar jump, upping his average from .172 at the end of March to .253 currently. The outfielder/third baseman is batting .419 with nine runs scored in seven games this month.

The rotation for this week will be fluid due to the busy schedule, but YSU's plan is to start junior left-hander Joe King on Tuesday, Floyd and Jesse Slinger on Friday against Wright State and come back with King and Jeremy Quinlan versus Oakland on Saturday. Wednesday's starter against Pittsburgh has not been determined. King allowed two runs in four innings in his last start against NKU on Friday, and he leads YSU's starters with a 4.22 ERA and 42.2 innings pitched. Floyd is the staff's strikeout leader with 39, and Yarabinec is on a hot streak in the closer role having allowed just one earned run in his last 12 innings.

Penn State Tops YSU, 6-1
March 29, 2016 Penn State Tops YSU, 6-1