Baseball Set For Two MAC Opponents, Three-Game Series at NKU

Kip DeShields (Photo by John Vogel)
Kip DeShields (Photo by John Vogel)

The Youngstown State baseball team is scheduled to play five road games in a six-day span this week. The Penguins will play a pair of non-conference games at Toledo and Ohio on Tuesday and Wednesday. First pitch at Scott Park on Tuesday is set for 3:05 p.m. and the game will be broadcast live on ESPN3/WatchESPN. Wednesday's game at Bob Wren Stadium is slated for 6 p.m.

YSU will also play a three-game, conference set at Northern Kentucky over the weekend. The Penguins and Norse will play Friday at 3 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at noon. All three contests will be broadcast live on ESPN3/WatchESPN. Live stats will be available for all five games this week through links on YSUsports.com.

Kip DeShields is slated to start on the mound for the Penguins on Tuesday while Zack Minney is set to take the ball for Wednesday's contest. Greg Dunham, Collin Floyd and Alex Bellardini are the probable starters for the weekend series at Northern Kentucky.

Quick Notes Around The Diamond

  • Alex Bellardini was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week on Monday.
  • Blaze Glenn has reached base safely in a conference-best 40 straight contests.
  • Glenn homered three times in a doubleheader on April 24, including twice in the second game vs. BGSU.
  • Glenn has hit safely in 30 of his last 37 games and is fifth in the Horizon League with a .327 batting average.
  • Glenn is also third in the league in home runs (10), third in OBP (.445), fourth in walks (31), fourth in hits (50), fourth in RBIs (38) and fourth in slugging (.569).
  • Glenn is batting .324 with 12 hits, four home runs, 12 RBIs and a .703 slugging percentage over his last 10 games.
  • Collin Floyd is second in the Horizon League with a career-high 82 strikeouts this season.
  • Trey Bridis has now hit safely in 30 of his last 37 contests.
  • Bridis ranks second in the Horizon League with 34 walks and is fifth in the conference with 37 runs scored.
  • Bridis also ranks sixth in home runs (7), seventh in steals (10), seventh in OBP (.420) and eighth in slugging (.484).
  • Bridis is hitting .286 with 12 hits, three home runs, eight RBIs, nine runs scored, six walks, 23 total bases and a .548 slugging percentage over his last 10 games.
  • After starting the season just 2-for-23, Bridis is hitting .319 with 44 hits in 35 games played since March 4.
  • Jeff Wehler leads YSU and is second in the Horizon League with 19 stolen bases.
  • Wehler has hit safely in 23 of his last 30 games and is batting .289 with 28 hits and 14 RBIs in league contests.
  • Web Charles is batting .318 with seven hits, four RBIs and six runs scored over his last seven games. He hit the first home run of his career at Oakland on Saturday.

Scouting Opponents

Toledo (16-27, 10-11 MAC) won two of three games at Northern Illinois over the weekend. The Rockets are led by Ross Adolph who leads the MAC with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs this season. Ohio (20-26, 8-13 MAC) has lost five straight games and six of its last seven. The Bobcats are led by Rudy Rott who ranks in the top-five of the MAC with a .366 batting average, 11 home runs and 40 RBIs. Northern Kentucky (13-32, 8-16 Horizon League) dropped two of three games at Milwaukee this weekend. Will Haueter is second in the conference in batting average at .349 and also has eight home runs and 34 RBIs. Chad Roberts leads the Norse with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs; those numbers rank second and third respectively in the Horizon League this season. YSU won two of three games against NKU back in late March at Eastwood Field.

Recapping Last Week

The Penguins lost two of three at Oakland over the weekend. YSU played no mid-week games due to finals week. The Golden Grizzlies bested the Penguins 16-6 in game one of the series on Saturday. YSU got a brilliant start from right-hander Alex Bellardini to earn a 5-1 win in game one of a doubleheader on Sunday before falling 10-3 in the series finale. The Guins had three players homer in game one on Saturday and Trey Bridis hit a pair of two-run shots in the series.

Bellardini Named Pitcher of the Week: Senior right-hander Alex Bellardini was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the first time in his career. The Elmira, N.Y., native scattered five hits over seven shutout innings to lead the Penguins to a 5-1 win over Oakland in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday. Bellardini struck out five batters and walked just two on his way to earning his third victory of the season. He set a new career high with seven innings pitched and his five strikeouts matched a career best. Bellardini was making just his third start of the season after spending most of the campaign in a relief role. The senior was inserted into the weekend rotation due to injuries and has stepped up admirably. Bellardini was also brilliant in his first start of the season against Bowling Green on April 24. He allowed just four hits over six shutout innings on his way to earning the win.

Weather Woes: Like many teams in the country, Youngstown State's schedule has been greatly affected by weather this season. In fact, YSU's series with Wright State on April 27-29 was its first weekend to go as originally scheduled since they played in Kissimmee, Fla., the first weekend of March. YSU had three-day weekend series consolidated to two days with a doubleheader in seven of the last eight weekends. Youngstown State has also had two of its scheduled home, non-conference games either canceled or moved to the opponent's field.

Road-Heavy Stretch to End Regular Season: Youngstown State is in the midst of playing eight straight road games and 11 of 12 away from home to end the regular season. The Penguins are scheduled to play two non-conference road contests at Toledo and Ohio this week on Tuesday and Wednesday. YSU will then travel to face Northern Kentucky for a three-game, conference set this weekend before playing its final home game against Kent State on May 15th. The Penguins will conclude the regular season with a three-game, Horizon League series at UIC on May 17-19. This road-heavy stretch comes after YSU played eight straight home games. Because of some weather-related shuffling in the schedule, the Penguins have just one more home game remaining. YSU has played 19 of 30 games at home since March 17.

Blazin' Hot: Sophomore outfielder Blaze Glenn has made quite an impression in his first season with the program. The transfer from Sinclair Community College has been one of YSU's most consistent and productive hitters all season. He has reached base in a conference-best 40 straight games and has hit safely in 30 of his last 37 contests. Glenn hit three home runs in a doubleheader sweep on April 24, including two against Bowling Green in game two. He went 4-for-4 with two dingers, four runs scored and four RBIs against the Falcons. Glenn hit his 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot, at Oakland on Saturday. He leads YSU with a .327 batting average, 10 home runs, 38 RBIs, 50 hits, 87 total bases, a .445 OBP and a .569 slugging percentage. He ranks in the top 10 of the Horizon League in eight different offensive categories. Going into the week, he is third in home runs, third in OBP, fourth in walks, fourth in hits, fourth in RBIs, fourth in slugging, fifth in average and eighth in stolen bases. Glenn is batting .324 and slugging .703 with 12 hits, four homers and 12 RBIs over his last 10 games. He is tied for second on the team with 11 multi-hit games this season and leads the squad with 10 multiple-RBI games. Glenn is also the only Penguin who has started all 44 games this season.

Bridis Bolsters Lineup: Collegiate Baseball noted senior outfielder Trey Bridis as a Top Player To Watch in the Horizon League in its 2018 preview edition. Bridis is batting .286 and with 12 hits, three home runs, eight RBIs, nine runs scored and 23 total bases over his last 10 games. He has now hit safely in 30 of his last 37 contests. After starting the season just 2-for-23, Bridis is batting .319 with 44 hits in 35 games played since March 4. The senior had a hit in all three games at Oakland this past weekend and hit a pair of two-run homers. Bridis ranks in the top 10 of the Horizon League in six different offensive categories heading into the week. He is second in walks, fifth in runs scored, sixth in home runs, seventh in stolen bases, seventh in OBP and eighth in slugging. Bridis also leads the team with 12 multi-hit games this season.

Impressive Freshman Season for Wehler: Infielder Jeff Wehler has had an impressive first season as a collegiate baseball player. The true freshman has started 40 of the team's 44 games. He leads the team and is second in the Horizon League with 19 stolen bases. His 19 steals are the third most by a YSU freshman and he is one away from becoming the first Penguin since 1998 to reach 20 steals in a season. He has a team-high nine doubles and is third with 19 RBIs. Wehler has hit safely in 23 of his last 30 games while reaching base in 10 straight and 21 of 24 contests. He is batting .289 with 28 total hits, seven doubles, 14 RBIs and 35 total bases in conference play. Wehler has also recorded 10 multi-hit games and six games with multiple RBIs this season. He went 2-for-4 with two singles and two stolen bases in game two of Sunday's doubleheader at Oakland.

Up Next

After their three-game series at Northern Kentucky this weekend, the Penguins will play their final home game of the season against Kent State on Tuesday, May 15 at 11 a.m. The contest at Eastwood Field will also be a special Kids Day Game in conjunction with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, and more than 4,000 area students are expected to attend.

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