Baseball Drops 10-5 Decision at Kent State on Tuesday

Lucas Nasonti (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Lucas Nasonti (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Kent, Ohio - The Youngstown State baseball team dropped a 10-5 decision to Kent State on Tuesday evening at Schoonover Stadium in its fifth game in five days.

The Golden Flashes scored in each of the first four innings to build an 8-1 lead before the Penguins plated one in the fifth and two in the seventh to shave the deficit to four. However, YSU would get no closer as Kent State responded with two runs in the home half of the seventh to push its advantage back to six. The Guins plated their final run in the eighth for the final margin.

Kent State snapped a three-game losing streak and won its fifth straight in the series to improve to 5-10 while Youngstown State fell to 0-14.

Lucas Nasonti matched his career high with three hits including a double and also scored twice. The sophomore outfielder has now recorded seven hits over his last three games. Phillip Glasser went 2-for-3 with a double and two walks. Blaze Glenn doubled, walked and drove in a season-high three runs while Trevor Wiersma hit his league-leading fourth home run of the season. Jeff Wehler walked twice, scored a run and snatched his team-leading fifth stolen base.

YSU set season highs offensively with nine hits and eight walks, and six different Penguins recorded at least one hit in the contest. The Penguins actually out-hit the Golden Flashes 9-8, but left a total of 10 runners on base.

Ben Carew led Kent State with three hits including two doubles while driving in a pair of runs and scoring three times. Pete Schuler went 2-for-3 with a double, two walks, a run scored and a team-high three RBIs. Nick Elsen and Pavin Parks each homered for the Golden Flashes.

The Penguins threatened right away as Nasonti led off the game with a double and Glasser followed with a walk. However, Nasonti was doubled up on a line out to right field off the bat of Wehler to help quell the threat. The Golden Flashes started the home half of the first with a walk, a single and a two-run double from Schuler in consecutive at-bats to jump ahead 2-0.

The Penguins got two runners aboard with a pair of one-out walks in the second, but Kent State got a strikeout and caught Web Charles trying to steal third to end another threat. YSU stranded at least one baserunner in eight of its nine at-bats.

Kent State then used a single between two walks to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the second inning. A two-run double from Carew, an RBI single from Schuler, and a sacrifice fly from Patrick Ferguson pushed the KSU lead to 6-0.

YSU loaded the base paths in the top of the third when Nasonti reached on a one-out single before walks from Glasser and Wehler. Glenn followed with an RBI groundout to produce YSU's first run. The Golden Flashes answered with a run in two straight plate appearances to increase their edge to 8-1. Parks led off the bottom of the third with a solo home run, and Carew scored on a wild pitch in the fourth after reaching with a one-out double and stealing third.

The Penguins crept closer in the top of the fifth as Nasonti hit a one-out single, Glasser doubled and Wehler walked to load the bases. Glenn followed with another walk to drive in YSU's second run. The Guins got even closer in the seventh after Wehler reached on an error, stole second, advanced to third on an error and scored on a groundout from Glenn. In the next at-bat, Wiersma hit his home run over the wall in right center field to cut the KSU lead to 8-4.

However, the Golden Flashes got both runs back in the bottom half of the seventh with a two-run homer by Elsen after Schuler drew a free pass. The Penguins plated the final run of the game in the eighth when Cody Dennis walked, advanced to third base on a failed pickoff attempt and scored on a wild pitch.

Zach Lopatka suffered his first loss after allowing six runs on five hits over two innings in his first start of 2019. Cade Negley and Travis Perry each surrendered two runs in five combined innings out of the bullpen while Kip DeShields did not allow a hit and struck out a season-high three batters during a scoreless eighth. As a team, YSU pitchers also notched a season-high nine strikeouts in the contest.

Max Rippl was awarded the win after allowing just one run on three hits over three innings of work. KSU starter Peyton Deats was charged with one run on two hits in three innings.

The Penguins will continue a busy week by playing their sixth game in six days on Wednesday at Pittsburgh. First pitch at Charles L. Cost Field is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET. The contest will be broadcast live on ACC Network Extra.