Wehler Drives in Four as Penguins Fall 7-4 to Ohio State

Jeff Wehler (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Jeff Wehler (Photo by Rob Hayes)

The Youngstown State baseball team took an early 4-0 lead, but Ohio State scored the final seven runs of the game to win 7-4 on Tuesday evening at Eastwood Field.

The Penguins jumped ahead with four runs off the bat of Jeff Wehler over the first three innings before the Buckeyes evened the score on a grand slam in the top of the fifth. Ohio State took the lead for good with a two-run blast in the eighth, and it added an insurance run in the ninth.

YSU got its leadoff hitter on base in five different frames but left a total of 12 runners on base.

Wehler accounted for half of the Penguins' six hits, going 3-for-4 with a run scored and a career-high four RBIs. Phillip Glasser Trevor Wiersma and Dylan Swarmer also had hits for YSU.

Youngstown State stole two bases in the game to increase its season total to 104. That ties the school record that was set in 1970 for the most in a season.

Conner Pohl was 3-for-4 and hit a game-tying grand slam in the fifth inning to lead Ohio State.

YSU starter Jon Snyder blanked the Buckeyes, who were playing at Eastwood Field for the second time in the series history, over the first four innings. All four runs he allowed came on Pohl's grand slam, and the redshirt-freshman pitcher surrendered five hits and five walks while striking out six batters in five innings.

Gary Clift Jr. pitched a shutout sixth, and Chad Coles shut out Ohio State in the seventh before allowing a a go-ahead two-run homer to Dominic Canzone in the eighth. Kip DeShields got the final two outs in the eighth inning and allowed a run in the ninth.

Nasonti was hit by a pitch to begin the bottom of the first inning, and he stole second to get into scoring position. Wehler then lofted a two-out RBI single over the head of the second baseman to plate Nasonti and give YSU and early 1-0 lead.

YSU missed a great chance to add to its lead in the home half of the second inning. Wiersma hit a leadoff triple down the right field line, but Ohio State starter Jake Vance retired the next three batters to get out of the pinch with no damage done.

The Penguins got their leadoff hitter aboard for the third straight inning in the bottom of the third when Cameron Murray was hit by a pitch. Nasonti moved him up 90 feet with a sacrifice but, and Murray stole third base during the next at bat. The steal allowed YSU to tie the single-season team school record. After Glasser walked and Blaze Glenn flied out, Wehler blasted a two-out, three-run home run over the wall in left field to extend YSU's lead to 4-0.

The Buckeyes loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fifth with a base hit and two walks. After Snyder struck out Brady Cherry for the second out of the inning, Pohl tied the score 4-4 with a grand slam over the wall in right field.

Ohio State started the top of the sixth inning with a walk and a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third with nobody out. However, Clift Jr. retired the next three batters to get out of the jam and keep the game tied at four runs apiece.

The Buckeyes got runners on first and third with one out in the top of the seventh after a double and a single, but Coles got a strikeout and a flyout to get the Penguins out of another tough spot.

YSU's leadoff hitter was hit by a pitch for the third time in the game when Swarmer took a ball off the left shoulder to begin the bottom of the seventh. Pinch-hitter Cody Dennis advanced Swarmer to second with a sacrifice bunt, Nasonti followed with a walk and Glasser singled to load the bases with one out. However, the Buckeyes preserved the tie when Swarmer was thrown out at the plate trying to tag and score on a flyout by Glenn.

After Matt Carpenter walked to begin the top of the eighth inning, Canzone hit a two-run homer to right center to give Ohio State its first lead of the contest at 6-4. The Buckeyes went on to load the bases with one out, but DeShields came out of the bullpen and induced a 4-6-3 double play to limit the damage. OSU added an insurance run on a sacrifice fly by Canzone in the top of the ninth.

Vance permitted four runs on three hits during his three innings of work, and Joe Gahm held YSU scoreless on just one hit over the next 2.2 innings. Mitch Milheim came on with one out in the seventh inning and got the final eight outs of the game for the Buckeyes to earn his first win of the season. Coles was charged with the loss for the Penguins.

Youngstown State will complete its regular season with a three-game series against Milwaukee this week. The series against the Panthers begins Thursday at 3 p.m.