Wiersma Homers as Penguins Drop Series Opener at Tennessee Tech

Trevor Wiersma (Photo by Ken Lanese)
Trevor Wiersma (Photo by Ken Lanese)

Cookeville, Tenn. - Trevor Wiersma hit his second home run of the season, but a four-run fifth inning helped lift Tennessee Tech to a 7-2 win over the Youngstown State baseball team on Friday evening at Bush Stadium.

After the Golden Eagles drew first blood in the third inning, the Penguins quickly responded with two runs in the fourth to move in front 2-1. However, TTU answered with one run in the home half of the fourth and four in the fifth to grab the lead for good in the opener of a three-game series.

Youngstown State falls to 0-7 on the season while Tennessee Tech improves to 4-4 and snaps a four-game losing streak.

YSU managed just three hits in the contest, and was held without a hit over its final five at-bats. After coming out of the bullpen with the game tied, TTU's Nic Dye did not allow a hit and struck out eight batters in five scoreless innings of work. The junior left-hander earned the win to improve to 1-1 on the season.

Wiersma went 1-for-2 with a walk and a solo home run while Drew Dickerson and Lucas Nasonti each collected a single for the Penguins. JD Funk went 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the Golden Eagles while Andrew Swanson and Jason Hinchman each had two hits as well.

YSU pitchers were plagued by walks, issuing eight free passes and walking in a pair of runs with the bases loaded. Three walks in the bottom of the fifth contributed to TTU's deciding four-run inning. The Penguins drew six walks of their own but left a total of seven runners on base in the contest.

John Elford led off the bottom of the third with a single, and advanced 90 feet on a sacrifice bunt by Nathan McMeans. A groundout pushed Elford to third before a single up the middle from Swanson brought him home to give the Golden Eagles a 1-0 lead.

YSU answered immediately as Wiersma led off the fourth with a solo home run to right center that tied the game 1-1. Zach Lopatka drew a walk in the next at-bat and reached third on a single from Dickerson. He was able to score on a throwing error as Dickerson stole second to give the Penguins a 2-1 advantage.

The Golden Eagles responded in the bottom of the fourth as Hinchman doubled with one away, and scored on a two-out single by Funk that tied the game 2-2. Tennessee Tech used three walks and three hits to plate four runs and regain a 6-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Funk and Kevin Strohschein each recorded RBI singles while Gavin Johns walked with the bases loaded.

After two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth, Anthony Carrera drew another base on balls to provide an insurance run and produce the final margin.

Colin Clark (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season after allowing five runs on six hits and matching his career-high with five strikeouts over 4.2 innings.

The Penguins and Golden Eagles will continue their three-game series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 2 p.m. ET.