The Youngstown State baseball team tied a school record with nine stolen bases and had four pitchers combine for a six-hitter in a 5-3 win over Toledo on Wednesday evening at Eastwood Field.
The Penguins stole at least one base in five different innings, and they scored in four of those. Lucas Nasonti was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and three stolen bases from the second spot in the lineup, and the top three batters in the order combined for seven steals. Youngstown State had seven steals in the first four innings, and the first time it was thrown out trying to swipe a bag was in the fifth.
The only other time YSU has stolen nine bases in a game in its history was May 2, 1970, at Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Cameron Murray stole two bases in the first inning and scored on a sacrifice fly for the first run of the game. The Penguins' leadoff batter walked, and he stole second and third with one out to set up the sacrifice fly by Phillip Glasser.
YSU then stole four bases in the third inning as it took a 3-0 lead. After the first two batters in the inning flew out, Nasonti singled up the middle and stole second and third. After Glasser walked, Glenn drove in Nasonti with a single to left. Glenn and Glasser then combined on a double steal, and Glasser went the final 90 feet on a wild pitch.
The eighth steal of the contest came in the fifth inning when Glasser singled and stole second to set up the Penguins' fourth run. After Glasser's steal, his second of the game, Glenn followed with an RBI single to center to put Youngstown State up 4-0.
Toledo had two hits through the first five innings, but the Rockets doubled that total and scored twice in the sixth to get within 4-2. Brad Boss led off with a single, and he scored from first on a triple to right center by Chris Meyers. After a walk, Meyers scored on a fielder's choice from Darryn Davis. Zach Lopatka came on in relief with two outs and runners on first and second, and he proceeded to get the final 10 outs of the game for the Penguins.
Youngstown State gave Lopatka some insurance in the seventh inning to take a 5-2 lead. Nasonti drew a one-out walk, and he stole second base for his third swipe of the game and YSU's record-tying ninth steal. Nasonti then scored on Glasser's single and an ensuing error.
Toledo loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the ninth with back-to-back singles and a walk, but Lopatka was able to escape allowing just one run. The senior left-hander got a big strikeout of Zach Schwartzenberger for the first out, and Thomas Eitniear hit a weak grounder to second base that resulted in an out and Toledo's only run of the inning. With runners on second and third, Lopatka struck out Boss on a full-count pitch to end the game.
Lopatka retired the first seven batters he faced before allowing the three straight baserunners in the ninth inning. He struck out three batters in his 3.1 innings as he earned his first career save.
YSU starter Gary Clift Jr. struck out two batters and allowed just one baserunner on an error in his lone inning of work. The junior right-hander was on a pitch count and was awarded the victory. Clift Jr. made his first career start and his first appearance since Feb. 16, 2018. Brandon Matthews took over in the second inning and allowed just two baserunners in his four innings of work. Aaron Williams allowed the two runs in the fifth inning before Lopatka relieved him.
Toledo starter Axel Bueter allowed three runs on three hits and four walks over four innings in a losing effort. Bryce Davis allowed the runs in the fifth and seventh innings, and Austin Calopietro did not allow a hit over the final 1.2 innings for the Rockets. Davis was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI to lead Toledo offensively.
Youngstown State will begin a three-game Horizon League series at Milwaukee on Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern.