Baseball Travels to Bowling Green Tuesday, Hosts Pitt Wednesday at Eastwood Field

Dalton Earich (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Dalton Earich (Photo by Rob Hayes)

The Youngstown State baseball team will begin another busy week with a non-conference contest at Bowling Green on Tuesday before returning home to host Pittsburgh on Wednesday at Eastwood Field.

First pitch for Tuesday's game at Steller Field is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. ET while Wednesday's contest at Eastwood Field will begin at 5 p.m. ET. There will be a Facebook Live video feed available for Tuesday's game at "Warren E. Steller" on Facebook, and Wednesday's game will be broadcast live at YSNLive.com. 

Live stats will be available for both games through links on YSUsports.com, and fans can also follow @YSUBaseball on Twitter for live updates.

Probable Starters:

Promotions

Wednesday's game against Pittsburgh at Eastwood Field will feature another Hot Head Burritos "Home Run Giveaway" promotion. If a YSU player hits a home run, all fans will go home with a Hot Head Burritos gift card.

Previewing Opponents

Scouting The Falcons

  • Bowling Green (7-12, 3-0 MAC) has won five of its last seven contests after sweeping Toledo in a three-game MAC series at Steller Field over the weekend. The Falcons are tied for first place in the MAC standings after one weekend of conference action.
  • Senior infielder Neil Lambert leads the Falcons with a .371 batting average, 23 hits, a .466 OBP and seven stolen bases. Senior pitcher/infielder Brad Croy is hitting .340, and leads BGSU with eight RBIs and a .480 slugging percentage.
  • Senior left-hander Daniel Burrato has a team-best 1.69 ERA in six relief appearances. Sophomore RHP Andrew Abrahamowicz and freshman RHP Tyler Hays have each tossed a team-high 26.1 innings and struck out more than 30 batters.
  • Head Coach Danny Schmitz is in his 29th season leading BGSU, and has led the Falcons to seven conference championships during his tenure.

Scouting The Panthers

  • Pittsburgh (7-15, 1-8 ACC) enters the week on a four-game losing streak after being swept in a three-game ACC series at Virginia this past weekend. The Panthers have dropped 12 of their last 13 games including a 4-2 loss to YSU on March 13 at Charles L. Cost Field.
  • Wednesday is the second of three scheduled contest between the Penguins and Panthers this season. The two teams are slated to play at Charles L. Cost Field again on April 16 to make up a game that was postponed due to weather in early March.
  • Outfielder Connor Perry leads Pitt with a .338 batting average, 25 hits, five home runs and five stolen bases while infielder David Yanni has a team-high 13 RBIs. 
  • Freshman right-hander Billy Corcoran has a team-best 2.19 ERA in 10 appearances and two starts. Junior right-hander Dan Hammer leads Pitt with 41 strikeouts and 27 innings pitched in seven appearances and six starts.
  • The Panthers are under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Bell, who spent the previous seven seasons as associate head coach and pitching coach at Florida State.

Series History

Bowling Green:

  • Overall: Youngstown State leads 12-3
  • Bertolini: 4-0 // Home: 6-1 // Away: 6-2
  • Current Win Streak: 10 by Youngstown State
  • YSU took both matchups between the schools in 2018, winning 9-6 at Steller Field on April 10 and 13-4 at Eastwood Field on April 24.
  • BGSU's last victory was a 6-5 decision on April 17, 1996, in Bowling Green.
  • First meeting: March 21, 1989

Pittsburgh:

  • Overall: Pittsburgh leads 35-8-1
  • Bertolini: 1-2 // Home: 4-12 // Away: 4-23-1
  • Current Win Streak: 1 by Youngstown State
  • The Panthers had won six straight in the series before YSU's 4-2 win on March 13.
  • YSU's last win over Pitt at Eastwood Field came on April 2, 2014, when the Penguins took a 7-6 decision. That was also the Penguins' last win in the series before the first meeting this season.
  • First meeting: April 30, 1986

Last Time vs. Pitt - March 13, 2019 (W 4-2)

  • Four different Penguins drove in a run, and YSU got outstanding efforts from its freshman pitchers in a 4-2 victory at Pittsburgh on March 13 at Charles L. Cost Field.
  • YSU earned its first win of 2019, its second win over a team from the ACC in the last three years, and it beat the Panthers for the first time since the 2014 season.
  • YSU scored the first four runs of the game, and freshman pitchers Brandon MatthewsBrett Souder and Marco DeFalco combined to hold Pitt to one run on six hits over seven innings out of the bullpen.
  • Offensively, Drew Dickerson went 2-for-3 with a pair of walks, and he scored and drove in a run. Lucas NasontiTrevor Wiersma and Dylan Swarmer also had an RBI, and seven different Penguins had a hit. Five of YSU's nine hits went for extra bases, and YSU limited Pitt to seven singles.
  • YSU scored all four of their runs in the first three innings, and Matthews was able to keep them ahead. The freshman came on to start the third inning, and he held Pitt to one run on three hits and one walk over four innings.
  • The Penguins jumped on the Panthers with three runs in the second inning on three consecutive hits and a squeeze play to take a 3-0 lead. Web Charles scored the game's first run when he hit a one-out single, stole second and raced home on Dickerson's double to right. Swarmer then brought in Dickerson on a triple off the wall in left center, and Swarmer scored two batters later on Nasonti's sacrifice bunt.
  • YSU added a run in the third as Blaze Glenn singled and scored on Wiersma's double. Glenn made a great slide to avoid the tag at the plate to put YSU ahead 4-1.
  • Pitt loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the sixth, but Matthews was able to minimize the damage and escape by allowing just one run.
  • DeFalco then got perhaps the biggest outs of the game in the eighth. He came on with two runners on and nobody out, and gave up a single to load the bases and put the go-ahead run at the plate. The freshman left-hander induced a 5-4-3 double play that brought in a run, and got a strikeout to end the inning with YSU still ahead 4-2.
  • DeFalco retired the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, and the next two Panthers reached before a ground out to Wiersma at first ended the game. Matthews earned his first collegiate victory, and DeFalco was awarded his first career save.

A Win on Tuesday Would…

  • Be YSU's third win of the season, and 36th under Head Coach Dan Bertolini.
  • Be YSU's 11th straight victory against Bowling Green and its 13th in the all-time series.

A Win on Wednesday Would…

  • Be YSU's second straight victory over Pittsburgh and its ninth in the all-time series.
  • Be YSU's third win over a team from the ACC in the last three years.
  • Allow the Penguins to win two games against a Power Five opponent in the same season for the second time in the last four seasons. YSU swept both games of a doubleheader at Missouri on March 12, 2016.

Recapping Last Week

Youngstown State dropped a 14-1 decision in a non-conference contest at West Virginia on Tuesday before losing two of three to Oakland in a three-game Horizon League series over the weekend at Eastwood Field.

At West Virginia - Tuesday, March 19 (L 1-14) 

  • YSU fell 14-1 to West Virginia last Tuesday at Monongalia County Ballpark in a midweek non-conference contest.
  • The Mountaineers scored nine runs over the first three innings including six in the second on the way to their third straight victory in the series between the two teams.
  • Blaze Glenn went 2-for-4 with a double and two stolen bases, and Phillip Glasser also had two hits. Dylan Swarmer doubled and scored a run while Lucas Nasonti singled and drove in a run.
  • Eight different Mountaineers recorded at least one hit in the contest.
  • YSU starter Chad Coles was saddled with the loss after allowing one unearned run on no hits and a walk in just one inning of work. 
  • Greg Dunham took over for Coles in the second, and was responsible for three runs after walking all three batters he faced. Cade Negley and Grant Kersheach surrendered five runs over a combined five innings before Kip DeShields and Zach Lopatka each worked a scoreless frame.

 Oakland Game 1 - Saturday, March 23 (W 6-5)

  • The Penguins won their home opener for the first time since the 2012 season with a 6-5 win over Oakland in game one of a doubleheader to begin the series.
  • Oakland plated five runs over the first three innings to take an early lead before YSU scored six unanswered runs over the fifth and sixth.
  • Kip DeShields, Brandon Matthews and Brett Souder combined to toss 3.2 innings of scoreless relief to shut down Oakland's bats and secure the victory.
  • DeShields entered in the sixth with one out and runners at second and third, and got a strikeout and a fielder's choice to keep the Penguins within a run. Matthews allowed just one hit over two scoreless frames, and Souder closed things out in the ninth. 
  • DeShields picked up his first win of 2019, and Souder earned the first save of his career
  • Jeff Wehler walked twice, stole two bases and hit an RBI double while Lucas Nasonti singled, drove in a pair and scored a run. Web Charles recorded an RBI single and scored two runs, and Drew Dickerson also had a base hit and scored twice.
  • YSU drew a season-best nine walks, and matched its season high with six runs scored.
  • The Penguins also matched their season high with five stolen bases, swiping at least two bags for the sixth straight contest. Wehler led the way with two steals, and Charles, Dickerson and Nasonti each had one.
  • YSU stater Colin Clark surrendered five runs, two of them earned, on 10 hits over 5.1 innings.

Oakland Game 2 - Saturday, March 23 (L 5-7 - 11 innings)

  • Oakland scored two runs in the top of the 11th inning to earn a 7-5 win and a split of Saturday's doubleheader. The lead changed hands four times and the score was tied on two different occasions.
  • Youngstown State set a new season high with 11 hits in the game, but left 12 runners on base.
  • Dickerson recorded careers highs with four hits and two stolen bases to lead the Penguins on offense. The senior doubled, scored a run and drove one home.
  • Blaze Glenn, Nasonti, Dylan Swarmer and Trevor Wiersma each added an RBI , and Nasonti collected two base hits.
  • In just the second start of his career, freshman left-hander Marco DeFalco put forth an impressive pitching performance. He was charged with two runs, one earned, on just three hits over a career high six innings. YSU led the game 3-1 when DeFalco departed.
  • Dalton Earich pitched 4.2 strong innings of relief, but suffered the loss after giving up the deciding runs in the 11th. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out three batters. He retired the first six batters he faced, and sat down the Golden Grizzlies in order in the eighth and 10th innings.
  • Travis Perry was responsible for three runs on two hits and two walks in a third of an inning before Earich entered.
  • YSU tied the game 5-5 with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, and the score remained the same until the top of the 11th. Oakland's Drew Demumbrum hit a two-out, two-run double to the gap in left center with runners on second and third to put Oakland ahead for good.
  • YSU got the winning run to the plate in the bottom of the 11th after a Wehler walk and a Trevor Wiersma single, but Oakland reliever Austin Sherry got Glenn to fly out to end the game.

Oakland Game 3 - Sunday, March 24 (L 0-8)

  • Oakland starter Beau Keathley tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing just three hits and striking out 13 over nine scoreless innings to lead the Golden Grizzlies to a 8-0 win in the series finale.
  • The sophomore right-hander faced the minimum in the fourth, fifth and six innings during a stretch where he retired 14 straight batters.
  • The Golden Grizzlies out-hit the Penguins 12-3; Wehler had two singles and Wiersma also had a base hit for YSU. Keathley held YSU without a hit between the third and eighth innings as the Penguins' third hit did not come until the bottom of the ninth.
  • YSU starter Chad Coles suffered the loss after permitting two runs on four hits and fanning four over three innings of work.
  • Jon Snyder surrendered a pair of runs on four hits in three innings out the bullpen. Kip DeShields was responsible for one run on two hits over two frames, and Grant Kersh worked a scoreless ninth. 
  • Penguins pitchers combined to record 10 strikeouts in the contest.

Quick Notes Around The Diamond

  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 104 walks as a team heading into the week of March 25.
  • YSU ranks second in Horizon League with 39 stolen bases, and leads the conference with a success rate of .848 (39-for-46) in stolen base attempts.
  • The Penguins' 39 steals also rank 41st nationally, and their 1.77 steals per game rank second in the HL and 42nd in the nation.
  • YSU has four players who rank in the top 10 of the Horizon League in stolen bases. Jeff Wehler ranks second in the league with 10 steals, Blaze Glenn is third with eight, Drew Dickerson is tied for fifth with six and Lucas Nasonti is tied for ninth with four.
  • The Penguins recorded a season-high 11 hits in the second game of a doubleheader with Oakland on Saturday. They also set a new season high with nine walks in each of Saturday's games while matching their season high with six runs in game one. 
  • YSU also matched its season high of five stolen bases in game one. The Guins have swiped at least two bases in seven of their last eight games, and in 12 of 22 games overall.
  • Trevor Wiersma is tied for the league lead with four home runs, Wehler is tied for fourth with three and Glenn is tied for eighth with two.
  • Left-hander Colin Clark ranks seventh in the league with 31.1 innings pitched, and tied for sixth with 25 K's.
  • Glenn was named Horizon League Batter of the Week on Feb. 25 after batting .500 with two singles, a double, a two-run home run and four RBIs in eight at-bats over three games at No. 6/11 Florida State.
  • According to the NCAA's statistical rankings as of March 22, Youngstown State had played the 40th toughest schedule in the nation out of 299 Division I teams.
  • With its win at Pittsburgh on March 13, YSU earned its second win over a team from the ACC in the last three years, and beat the Panthers for the first time since 2014.
  • With a 6-5 win over Oakland on Saturday, YSU won its home opener for the first time since the 2012 season.
  • The Penguins have led in 16 of their 22 games this season. They have held eight first-inning leads, and have scored first in 13 contests.
  • Inclement weather or the threat of it has caused schedule changes to be made to five of the Penguins' first six weekend series of the 2019 season.
  • YSU played its first 19 games of the season on the road before its home-opening series with Oakland this past weekend.

Weekly Notebook

Patience At The Plate

  • After drawing a league-best and school-record 272 walks in 2018, YSU has continued to show patience at the plate this season. 
  • The Penguins lead the Horizon League with 104 walks as of March 25, and have drawn at least three in 12 straight, including a season-high nine in both games of Saturday's doubleheader with Oakland.
  • YSU has drawn at least five free passes in 12 different contests, and five different Penguins have walked at least 10 times.
  • Three Penguins rank in the top 10 of the league in walks; Blaze Glenn ranks fourth with 15 walks, Jeff Wehler is tied for fifth with 14 and Trevor Wiersma is tied for eighth with 12.
  • Last season, YSU shattered the previous school record for walks in a season of 234 that was set in 2013. The Penguins set the single-season walks mark in a win at Toledo on May 8, 2018, and ranked as high as 30th in the nation in base on balls.

Smooth Criminals

  • As of March 25, YSU ranks second in Horizon League with 39 stolen bases, and leads the conference with a success rate of .848 (39-for-46) in stolen base attempts.
  • The Penguins' 39 steals also rank 41st nationally, and their 1.77 steals per game rank second in the HL and 42nd in the nation.
  • YSU matched its season high of five stolen bases in game one of Saturday's doubleheader against Oakland. The Guins have swiped at least two bases in seven of their last eight games, and in 12 of 22 games overall.
  • Four Penguins rank in the top 10 of the Horizon League in stolen bases going into the week. Wehler ranks second in the league with 10 steals, Glenn is third with eight, Drew Dickerson is tied for fifth with six and Lucas Nasonti is tied for ninth with four.
  • After stealing a team-high 25 bases last season, Wehler now ranks tied for ninth in YSU history with 35 in his career. He is one of just 12 players in program history to swipe at least 35 bags.
  • His 25 steals last season ranked second in the Horizon League, and were the most ever by a YSU freshman. He became the first Penguin since 1988 to reach at least 25 swipes in a season, and his total was also the fourth-most in a single season in school history. Only three freshmen in the nation had more steals than Wehler at the end of the 2018 regular season.
  • YSU had 86 stolen bases as a team last season, which ranked second in the Horizon League. That total is also tied for the second-most in a single season in school history. It marked the first season since 1998 in which the Penguins stole at least 80 bases.

Wehler and Dickerson Catching Fire

  • Sophomore outfielder Jeff Wehler has had a hit in seven of his last eight games, and in 10 of his last 13. He has also notched six multi-hit games over YSU's last 13 contests.
  • Over his last eight games, Wehler is batting .375 and slugging .542 with 10 total hits, two doubles, a home run and three RBIs. He has also drawn seven walks, scored four runs and stolen five bases in seven attempts while posting an OBP of .487 over that stretch.
  • Wehler leads YSU with 20 total hits, six multi-hit games, 13 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 12 attempts. He has also reached base in nine straight contests.
  • The sophomore ranks second in the league with his 10 steals, and had not been caught until being thrown out twice in this weekend's series with Oakland.
  • Wehler is also tied for the league lead with 83 at bats, tied for fourth with three home runs, tied for fifth with 14 walks and ninth with 13 runs scored.
  • Senior infielder Drew Dickerson is hitting .417 and slugging .542 over his last eight games with 10 total hits, three doubles, two RBIs, seven walks, six runs scored, 13 total bases, five stolen bases and a .548 OBP.
  • As of March 25, Dickerson leads YSU with a .255 batting average and ranks second with a .373 OBP. He began the season just 3-for-25 at the plate over his first eight games.
  • The senior recorded career highs with four hits and two stolen bases in the second game of Saturday's doubleheader against Oakland. He went 4-for-5 with a double, an RBI and a run scored to go along with the two steals.
  • Dickerson currently ranks tied for the fifth in the Horizon League with six stolen bases. He totaled only four steals all of last season.

Relying on Young Arms

  • With veteran pitchers Collin Floyd and Zack Minney out for the season due to Tommy John surgery and senior reliever Joel Hake continuing to battle a nagging injury, YSU has had to rely on a group of young pitchers this season.
  • The Penguins have nine underclassmen who have made at least six pitching appearances and another who has made four. In addition, sophomores Colin Clark and Chad Coles have each made a team and league-high six starts on the mound.
  • In the first four appearances of his career, freshman RHP Brandon Matthews has allowed just three runs on seven hits and struck out six with a team-best 2.19 ERA over 12.1 innings out of the bullpen.
  • In his debut at Miami (Ohio), Matthews surrendered only one hit and struck out three batters in four innings of scoreless relief. He followed that by holding Pitt to one run on three hits and one walk over four innings to earn his first collegiate victory on March 13. Most recently, he allowed one hit over two scoreless innings of relief to help lead YSU to a win over Oakland in game one of Saturday's doubleheader.
  • Over his last six appearances, freshman LHP Marco DeFalco has allowed just two earned runs on eight hits over 13 innings with a 1.38 ERA. He entered in the eighth inning at Pitt on March 13, and allowed no runs on two hits over a two innings to earn his first career save.
  • In just the second start of his career, DeFalco put forth another impressive pitching performance in game two of Saturday's doubleheader with Oakland. He was charged with two runs, one earned, on just three hits over a career high six innings. YSU led the game 3-1 when DeFalco departed.
  • Over his last four relief outings, freshman RHP Brett Souder has surrendered just one run on four hits over four innings with a 2.25 ERA. He pitched a scoreless ninth inning in YSU's 6-5 win on Saturday to earn the first save of his career.
  • Sophomore RHP Dalton Earich has allowed just three earned runs over 13.1 innings for an 2.02 ERA over his last seven outings. He has also struck out 10 batters during that stretch. 
  • Earich pitched 4.2 strong innings of relief in game two versus Oakland on Saturday, but suffered a hard-luck loss after giving up the deciding runs in the 11th. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out three batters. He retired the first six batters he faced, and sat down the Golden Grizzlies in order in the eighth and 10th innings to give the Penguins a chance late.
  • Redshirt freshman RHP Jon Snyder did now allow a hit and struck four over a career-high four innings of work out of the bullpen at Northern Kentucky on March 17. He retired the first seven batters he faced and 12 of 14 overall while striking out the side in the third inning.

Up Next

The Penguins will conclude the week by playing a three-game series Horizon League series at Wright State beginning on Friday at 3 p.m. ET. The Penguins and Raiders will also play at 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.