The Youngstown State baseball team concluded a productive fall practice season with an intrasquad scrimmage at Cene Park in Struthers on Wednesday afternoon. The Penguins have spent part of the fall working out at Cene Park due to renovations that are currently happening at Eastwood Field.
The Penguins played a pair of exhibition contests this fall against Lake Erie College and Pittsburgh. YSU hosted the Storm at Austintown Fitch High School on October 14 before traveling to face the Panthers at Charles L. Cost Field on October 19. The team also played its annual "100-Inning Game" on Friday, in which the coaches and players dressed in halloween costumers to play an extended game of wiffle ball as a fundraiser for the program.
YSU has a significant amount of experience on this year's roster with 23 total returners from the 2018 season and 19 returning letterwinners. The Penguins also return five players who garnered postseason Horizon League honors last season.The group of 11 newcomers to the program include nine freshman and two transfers. A number of the newcomers are expected to be immediate contributors for the Penguins in 2019.
Thoughts from Head Coach Dan Bertolini: "We are very pleased with how this fall went for our team. This being the first year that we were able to play outside competition, I think it made a huge difference, especially for our new players. They were able to see what things will be like in the spring as well as get those first game nerves out against some very good competition. I really like the way this group attacks each day with energy and preparation. I look forward to our individual periods where we can really focus on areas that we need to improve on."
The Penguins will open the 2019 season Feb. 15 at Mississippi State. The team's home opener at Eastwood Field in Niles is currently slated for March 22 against Oakland.
Returners (23): Austin Butler (RHP, R-Sr.); Nick Caruso (C, Sr.) Web Charles (IF, Sr.); Colin Clark (LHP, So.); Gary Clift Jr. (RHP, R-Jr.); Chad Coles (RHP, So.); Cody Dennis (IF, Jr.); Kip DeShields (RHP, Sr.); Drew Dickerson (IF, Sr.); Greg Dunham (RHP, Jr.); Dalton Earich (RHP, So.); Collin Floyd (LHP, Sr.); Blaze Glenn (IF/OF, Jr.); Joel Hake (RHP, Jr.); Grant Kersh (RHP/UTIL, So.); Nick LaBrasca (1B, So.); Zach Lopatka (LHP/OF, Sr.); Zack Minney (RHP, Sr.); Tanner Montgomery (C, Jr.); Cameron Murray (OF, Jr); Lucas Nasonti (OF, So.); Jon Snyder (RHP, R-Fr.); Jeff Wehler (IF, So.)
Newcomers (11): Blake Benyo (OF, Fr.); Steven D'Eusanio (IF, Fr.); Marco DeFalco (LHP/OF, Fr.); Phillip Glasser (IF, Fr.); Brandon Matthews (RHP/IF, Fr.); Cade Negley (RHP, So.); Travis Perry (RHP/IF, Fr.); John Ritter (C, Fr.); Brett Souder (RHP, Fr.); Dylan Swarmer (C, Fr.); Trevor Wiersma (1B, Sr.)