The Youngstown State baseball team split a doubleheader at Eastwood Field on Saturday afternoon as the Penguins opened their home and Horizon League schedules.
Game One | PDF Box Score
In game one, Milwaukee scored the first four runs of the game and used a big ninth inning to pull away after the Penguins closed to within 6-4.
Joe Vyskocil hit a two-run home run as part of a three-run top of the second, and the Panthers went up 4-0 when Ben Chally plated Trevor Schwecke with an RBI double in the third.
Youngstown State had a good chance to take a chunk out of Milwaukee's lead in the bottom of the fifth, but the Penguins settled for one run. Drew Dickerson led off with a single, and Kendrick was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Nick Caruso then hit a single to right, and the ball got past the right-fielder to allow all three Penguins' runners to advance an extra 90 feet. That gave YSU runners on second and third with nobody out, but three straight flyouts followed.
Milwaukee got the run back with a two-out single by Oakland Scanlan in the top of the sixth, and a double and RBI single to start the seventh gave the Panthers a 6-1 lead.
The Penguins got back in the game emphatically in the bottom of the eighth with Kendrick's second home run of the season. After the first two batters were retired by UWM reliever Reed Blake, Zach Lopatka was hit by a pitch and Dickerson reached on an infield single to bring Kendrick to the plate. The YSU first baseman hit a towering homer over the second wall in left field on a 2-0 pitch from Blake, and the Penguins trailed just 6-4.
Milwaukee countered by having the first seven batters of the top of the ninth reach base, and Tyler Bornder's two-run home run gave the Panthers the 12-4 margin that ended up being the final score.
Milwaukee finished the opener with 19 hits, four of which came from Schwecke. Dickerson and Caruso had two hits apiece for the Penguins.
Game Two | PDF Box Score
In game two, the Penguins got a brilliant pitching performance from Collin Floyd on their way to a 5-3 victory to split the doubleheader.
Floyd allowed just one run on five hits while striking out six in seven innings of work. The left-hander held the Panthers scoreless and gave up just three hits over his first six innings on the mound.
Offensively, Trey Bridis and Jeff Wehler each went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases in the game. Wehler had a single, a pair of doubles and three RBIs while Bridis recorded three singles, an RBI and two runs scored. Web Charles added a single, a walk, a stolen base and two runs scored. The Penguins stole a season-high six bases in the game as Blaze Glenn added a steal as well.
Kip DeShields earned his first save of the season after allowing just one hit in two innings out of the bullpen. The junior was able to keep Milwaukee at bay after coming on in the eighth inning with two runners on and nobody out.
The game was scoreless through four and a half innings before YSU finally broke through in the bottom of the fifth. With two outs and no runners aboard, Trey Bridis and Web Charles hit back-to-back singles. Jeff Wehler followed with a double to right center which cleared the bases and put the Penguins ahead 2-0.
Youngstown State would rally again in the bottom of the seventh as Cody Dennis led off the inning with a walk. Lucas Nasonti pushed Dennis to second base with a sacrifice bunt before Trey Bridis brought him home with a single to left field. Bridis stole second and Web Charles walked, setting up a Jeff Wehler single down the right field line which drove in Bridis to put the Penguins ahead 4-0. With two outs, Wehler took second and Charles third on a double steal. Charles was then brought home on a balk to increase the YSU advantage to 5-0.
Milwaukee plated one run in the seventh and two in the eighth to close within two before threatening in the ninth. With two outs and no runners aboard in the top of the ninth, Zach Nogalski reached on a throwing error and Devin Rybacki singled to put runners at the corners. Rybacki then advanced to second on a wild pitch, putting the tying run in scoring position. However, Kip DeShields would slam the door shut by striking out Trevor Schwecke to end the game and give the Penguins their second win of the season.
Collin Floyd earned the win for Youngstown State while Jake Sommers suffered the loss for Milwaukee. Sommers allowed two unearned runs on five hits and struck out nine batters over six innings.
The Penguins and Panthers will play the rubber match of their three-game series tomorrow afternoon. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. ET at Eastwood Field.