Penguins Fall to Wright State, Will Look to Stay Alive Later Tonight

Jeff Wehler (Photo by Chris Kilroy)
Jeff Wehler (Photo by Chris Kilroy)

The Youngstown State baseball team took an early lead but fell 11-1 to top-seeded Wright State in a quarterfinal game of the 2018 Horizon League Baseball Championship on Thursday afternoon.

The Penguins will look to stave off elimination tonight at 7 p.m. as they move into the loser's bracket to face the loser of today's other quarterfinal contest between third-seeded Milwaukee and second-seeded UIC.

YSU led 1-0 after the top of the first but the Raiders went on to score in six of eight innings on their way to advancing in the winner's bracket.

Jeff Wehler and Web Charles each doubled, and Wehler drove YSU's only run of the game. Nick Massey and Nick Caruso each singled in the contest. Caruso also caught a pair of Raiders trying to steal second, and he has now tossed out 16 base runners on the season.

Massey singled with one out in the top of the first inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Wehler followed with an RBI double to deep left center that gave the Penguins an early 1-0 lead.

JD Orr hit a one-out double down the right field line in the home half of the first and stole third before scoring on a groundout by Peyton Burdick to tie the game at 1-1.

Zane Harris and Seth Gray hit back-to-back singles to lead off the bottom of the second. After both runners moved up 90 feet on a groundout, Bentley Jones gave WSU a 3-1 advantage with a two-out, two-run single to left.

The Raiders loaded the bases with three walks in the bottom of the third, and Chase Slone increased the lead to five with a bases-clearing double down the left field line. WSU added two more runs in the fourth then one in the fifth and two in the sixth to push the lead to 11-1.

WSU pitchers combined to hold the Penguins to just four hits and post five 1-2-3 innings. Reliever Mitch Gremling was awarded the win after giving up just two hits over five scoreless innings of relief.

Wright State ace Ryan Weiss took a no-decision but was very solid over four innings of work, allowing one run on two hits and striking out six. After giving up a run on a pair of hits in the first, the First-Team All-Horizon League honoree sat down nine straight batters at one point and recorded two strikeouts in the first, second and fourth frames.

YSU starter Kip DeShields took the loss after surrendering six runs on five hits and walking four over three innings. Colin Clark pitched four innings of relief and Chad Coles tossed one.

Orr led Wright State with three of his squad's 11 hits while Slone and Jones each registered three RBIs.

The Penguins will now make the quick turnaround to play the loser of this afternoon's second quarterfinal matchup between No. 3 Milwaukee and No. 2 UIC later tonight at 7 p.m. in an elimination game.