Penguins Picked Fourth, Four Named Top Players to Watch by Collegiate Baseball

Blaze Glenn (Photo by Trevor Parks)
Blaze Glenn (Photo by Trevor Parks)

The Youngstown State baseball team was picked to finish fourth in the Horizon League, and four Penguins were named Top Players to Watch in the conference by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper in its 2019 preview edition.

Outfielder Blaze Glenn, relief pitcher Joel Hake, infielder Jeff Wehler and first baseman Trevor Wiersma were noted as Top Players to Watch.

Glenn was named Second-Team All-Horizon League last season, his first with YSU after transferring from Sinclair Community College. He finished the campaign ranked in the top 10 of the conference in nine different offensive categories. Glenn led the team with a .325 batting average, 64 hits, 43 RBIs, a .558 slugging percentage and a .445 on-base percentage. He tied for the team lead with 13 doubles while ranking second with 11 home runs, 34 runs scored, 110 total bases, 39 walks and 16 stolen bases. The Toronto, Ohio, native reached base in 46 consecutive games from Feb. 24 through May 15, which was believed to be the longest streak in the country when it ended.

Hake pitched in a team-high 26 games out of the bullpen a year ago, finishing with a 1-1 record and a career-low 4.36 ERA in 33 innings pitched. He struck out a career-best 35 batters while walking only 12 and recorded a team and career-best four saves. Hake's four saves tied for third in the Horizon League and for the sixth most in a single season in school history. The Youngstown, Ohio, native was also named to the Horizon League All-Academic Team in 2018.

Wehler was named Second-Team All-Horizon League and to the league's All-Freshman Team in 2018 after starting 52 games in his first collegiate season. He led YSU and ranked second in the league with 25 stolen bases, the most ever by a YSU freshman. Wehler became the first Penguin since 1988 to record at least 25 steals in a season, and his 25 swipes also rank as the fourth most in a single season in program history. Only three freshmen in the country had more steals at the conclusion of the regular season. The St. Mary's, Pa., native hit .282 with nine doubles, 17 RBIs and 15 steals against Horizon League opponents.

Wiersma, a graduate transfer from Division II Concord University in West Virginia, will be playing his first season with the Penguins in 2019. He played in 145 games and made 140 starts over three seasons with the Mountain Lions, batting at least .320 in each campaign and hitting eight home runs as both a sophomore and junior. The Vancouver, British Columbia, native was named the Mountain East Conference Freshman of the Year in 2016 after hitting .362 with four home runs, 18 doubles and 49 RBIs. He was a First-Team All-MEC selection as both a freshman and sophomore before earning honorable mention honors as a junior.

The publication projected Wright State outfielder Peyton Burdick as the Horizon League Player of the Year and UIC right-hander Jacob Key as the Pitcher of the Year.

The Raiders were tabbed as the preseason favorite, Milwaukee was picked second and UIC was selected third. The Penguins were picked fourth while Oakland and Northern Kentucky were selected fifth and sixth respectively, by Collegiate Baseball.

The Penguins will begin their schedule of full team practices on Jan. 25. The 2019 season opener will be on Feb. 15 at Mississippi State.