Wiersma Has Big Day as Penguins Drop Midweek Contest at Pitt

Trevor Wiersma (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Trevor Wiersma (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Pittsburgh, Pa. – Trevor Wiersma had three hits - including a home run - and drove in three runs, but the Youngstown State baseball team was unable to slow down the offense of Pittsburgh in a 16-6 loss on Wednesday at Charles L. Cost Field.

The Panthers scored eight times over the first four innings before the Penguins used a five-run fifth to get back in the game. Pitt then countered with six runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh to pull away.

Pittsburgh improved to 11-24 with the victory while Youngstown State dropped to 8-29. The loss also dropped the Penguins to 2-1 on the season against the Panthers. YSU won the first meeting in Pittsburgh on March 13 before winning 3-2 in 10 innings at Eastwood Field on March 27.

Wiersma went 3-for-5 with his fifth home run of the season and three RBIs to lead YSU offensively. Lucas Nasonti had two hits including an RBI single, and Web Charles and Steven D'Eusanio also drove in runs.

The Panthers scored in six different innings and outhit the Penguins 15-9. Sky Duff, Nico Popa and David Yanni each had three hits to pace Pittsburgh. Connor Perry had two hits including a home run, drove in five runs, scored three times and stole two bases.

The Panthers jumped in front with a pair of runs in the bottom of the first inning. Duff hit a leadoff double, Ron Washington Jr. drew a one-out walk and both advanced 90 feet on a passed ball. Kyle Hess then delivered a two-run double to left field that gave Pitt the lead.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases with a single between two walks in the bottom of the second inning, and scored its third run of the game on a wild pitch. Perry drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the third and proceeded to steal second and third. Two batters later, Yanni brought Perry home with an RBI single to push Pitt's edge to 4-0. The Panthers plated four runs with two outs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 8-0. Nico Popa hit a two-out RBI double and Perry followed with a three-run blast to left field.

The Penguins got back in the game by scoring five runs on four hits and sending 11 batters to the plate in the top of the fifth inning. Cameron Murray hit a leadoff double, Dylan Swarmer walked and both moved up a base on a double steal to set up back-to-back RBI singles by Charles and Nasonti. Later in the inning, Wiersma recorded a two-run single and D'Eusanio drove in a run with a fielder's choice.

However, YSU's comeback bid was short-lived as Pitt answered with six runs on five hits in the sixth to regain a comfortable advantage of 14-5. The Panthers got a two-run single by Perry and a two-run double from Duff during the rally. Pitt's final two runs came on back-to-back sole home runs by Zach Klapack and Popa in bottom of the seventh.

Youngstown State's sixth and final run came on Wiersma's solo home run to left filed in the top of the seventh inning.

The Penguins used six pitchers in the contest, and starter Brandon Matthews took the loss after allowing two runs on two hits in his lone inning of work.

Pitt starter Chris Cappas was responsible for four runs, three of them earned, on five hits and struck out five batters over four innings in a winning effort. Four Panthers relievers held the Penguins to two runs on four hits over the final five frames.

Youngstown State will host Northern Kentucky for a three-game Horizon League series at Eastwood Field beginning on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live at YSNLive.com.