Baseball Battles But Drops Both Games of Doubleheader at Radford

Lucas Nasonti
Lucas Nasonti

The Youngstown State baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader at Radford on Saturday afternoon, falling 6-4 in the first game and 4-3 in game two. The Penguins battled hard and held a three-run lead in each contest but were unable to come away with a victory. Trey Bridis, Jeff Wehler, Blaze Glenn and Lucas Nasonti all recorded hits in both games. YSU also got solid outings from starting pitchers Collin Floyd and Zach Lopatka.

Game 1 Recap | PDF Box Score

Youngstown State took an early 3-0 lead before Radford responded with a four-run second inning on their way to earning a 6-4 victory.

Bridis led off the game with a solo home run to right field to give YSU a 1-0 lead right off the bat. Later in the inning, Wehler hit a one-out single through the right side and Glenn followed with a walk. Wehler stole third base and Glenn was able to reach second on a wild pitch. Drew Dickerson grounded out to shortstop, driving in Wehler before Lopatka singled to bring home Glenn and put the Penguins in front 3-0.

The Highlanders answered by scoring four runs in the bottom of the second inning to take the lead. Matt Roth led off with a single and Clayton Baine walked before both were driven in on a triple by Will Harless which cut YSU's advantage to 3-2. After Richard De la Cruz reached on a walk, Carlin Christian drove in Harless to tie the game with a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher. Colby Higgerson would break the tie when he singled up the middle with two outs, scoring De la Cruz and giving Radford a 4-3 lead.

The Highlanders extended their advantage to 5-3 in the bottom of the third when Matt Roth led off the inning with a solo home run to left field.

The Penguins pulled within a run in the top of the fifth as Web Charles got things started with a double to left center field. Charles advanced to third on a fly out and came in to score on a groundout by Glenn.

The Highlanders added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Andrew Szamski led off with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to make it 6-4. Later in the frame, Clayton Baine and Will Harless both reached on one-out singles but Kip DeShields would strike out Richard De la Cruz and Carlin Chrisitan to avoid any further damage.

Youngstown State would rally in the ninth as Nasonti singled to start the inning and Bridis followed with a walk. After a pitching change by Radford, Charles advanced both runners 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt but Wehler and Glenn each grounded out to end the threat and the game.

Seven different Penguins recorded hits and YSU had at least one baserunner in seven of nine innings. Austin Trace went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk while Charles went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored.

Bridis went 1-for-3 with his first home run of the season, a run scored and an RBI. Glenn and Lopatka each recorded a single and an RBI while Dickerson drove in a run as well. Wehler singled and scored a run while Nasonti was 1-for-2 with a base hit and two sacrifice bunts.

YSU starter Floyd allowed five earned runs on six hits over six innings in a losing effort. Kip DeShields came on in relief of Floyd in the seventh and gave up one earned run on three hits over two innings of work.

Game 2 Recap | PDF Box Score

Trailing 3-1 and down to its last out, Radford scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to earn a 4-3 walk-off win over Youngstown State in the predetermined seven-inning contest.

The Penguins had a season-high 11 hits in the game and scored all three of their runs in the top of the sixth inning.

YSU starter Lopatka pitched all 6.2 innings and was tremendous. Through six innings, he had allowed just one run on four hits. The junior struck out five and did not walk a batter in the game.

Eight of YSU's nine starters recorded hits in the ballgame. Bridis went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and has now hit safely in five straight games. The senior has also reached base in a team-best 13 consecutive contests.

Nasonti was 2-for-3 with two base knocks of his own. Andrew Kendrick went 2-for-3 with two base hits and a run scored while Nick Caruso had an RBI double. Wehler was 1-for-2 with a single, a walk and a run scored while Dickerson singled and drove in a run. Nick Massey had a single and Glenn doubled in the ball game. Glenn has hit safely in seven of his last nine games and has reached base in 10 straight contests.

The Penguins threatened in the top of the third when Nasonti and Bridis started the inning with back-to-back singles. Wehler flied out to right field with one out, allowing Nasonti to tag and advance to third. Bridis stole second base before Cameron Fritz induced a groundout by Glenn to get out of trouble.

Radford got a leadoff double by Kyle Butler in the bottom of the fourth and he was moved up to third on a sacrifice bunt by Colby Higgerson. Spencer Horwitz followed with an RBI single to left field which broke the scoreless tie and put the Highlanders up 1-0.

Youngstown State got two runners in scoring position with no outs in the top of the sixth when Wehler was hit by a pitch and Glenn doubled down the left field line. After a strikeout, Dickerson grounded out to second base but was able to drive home Wehler in the process to get the Penguins on the board. In the ensuing at-bat, Kendrick hit a fly ball to center field which was dropped, allowing Glenn to score and give YSU a 2-1 lead.

After a Radford pitching change, Caruso scorched a double down the left field line to drive in Kendrick and make it 3-1.

Radford used a two-out rally in the bottom of the seventh to complete the comeback and sweep the doubleheader. Straton Podaras singled with two away and stole second before being brought home on a pinch-hit single by Will Harless. Carlin Christian followed with a two-run, inside-the-park home run down the left field line to give the Highlanders a 4-3 win.

Youngstown State will now travel back north after playing eight games in nine days and spending 11 straight days on the road. The Penguins will play one more road contest at Pittsburgh on Tuesday before their home and Horizon League opener which is scheduled for Friday, March 16 against Milwaukee.

First pitch for Tuesday's game at Pittsburgh is scheduled for 3 p.m.