Cookeville, Tenn. - The Youngstown State baseball team took a pair of early leads but ultimately came up short in both games of a doubleheader against Tenneseee Tech on Saturday at Bush Stadium.
The Penguins took quick 1-0 leads in each contest before falling 9-2 in game one and 8-4 in game two as the Golden Eagles completed a three-game series sweep. YSU fell to 0-9 on the season while TTU improved to 6-4 to win three straight after a four-game losing streak.
Trevor Wiersma led the Penguins offensively, hitting two home runs and driving in four runs in the series.
Game 1 | PDF Box Score
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Golden Eagles scored five runs in the second to take control on their way to a 9-2 win in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader.
Dylan Swarmer went 2-for-3 with a single and a double while Blaze Glenn and Phillip Glasser each drove in a run. Lucas Nasonti doubled and scored a run while Zach Farrar and Zach Lopatka each had a base hit. Glenn, Farrar and Jeff Wehler each recorded a stolen base in the contest as well.
Jay Meuse and Anthony Strothschein each collected three hits to lead the Golden Eagles. Meuse, Strothschein and Jason Hogan each drove in a pair of runs.
Wehler drew a two-out walk and stole second before scoring on an RBI double from Glenn to give the Penguins an early 1-0 edge in the top of the first.
Tennessee Tech answered with five runs on four hits in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead. Cody Littlejohn and John Elford each had RBI doubles in the inning while Strothschein hit a two-run homer to left.
A two-out, two-run triple from Jason Hogan and an RBI single by Meuse in the bottom of the fifth provided breathing room as the TTU lead swelled to 8-1. In the bottom of the sixth, the Golden Eagles drew four consecutive two-out walks to add another insurance run.
The Penguins' final run came in the top of the seventh as Nasonti hit a two-out double and scored on Glasser's single.
Travis Perry allowed eight runs, five of which were earned, on 10 hits over 4.2 innings in his first career start on the mound for YSU. Jon Snyder allowed the run in the sixth, and Dalton Earich pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings for the Penguins.
Tennessee Tech starter Mark Leonard picked up the win after allowing two runs on six hits while striking out six in 6.2 innings. Andrew O'Dwyer surrendered one hit over 2.1 innings of relief for the Golden Eagles.
Game 2 | PDF Box Score
The Penguins similarly took a 1-0 lead in game two, but Tennessee Tech scored the next eight runs and went on to win 8-4 and complete the series sweep.
Wiersma finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a home run, and Steven D'Eusanio hit his first career home run during a three-run sixth to lead the Penguins.
Wiersma hit an RBI single that plated Wehler in the top of the first inning as the Penguins scored first once again in game two of the doubleheader.
Tennessee Tech scored eight straight runs in the second through fourth innings, the first six of those runs coming with two outs, to go up 8-1.
The Golden Eagles hit six singles in the bottom of the second, and four of them came consecutively after there were two outs. Elford tied the game with an RBI single down the left-field line, and Gavin Johns put Tennessee Tech ahead with a single to left. Meuse and John Dyer followed with RBI singles to up the advantage to 4-1.
After an error extended the bottom of the third, Johns singled in two unearned runs with two outs to make the score 6-1. The TTU lead increased to seven in the fourth when Dyer scored on a wild pitch and Anthony Carrera scored on Nathan McMeans' RBI single.
Cade Negley entered in the fourth and kept the Penguins in the game with 3.2 innings of scoreless relief, and YSU cut into the lead with a three-run sixth. Glenn led off with an infield single, and Wiersma followed with a two-run blast to center for his second homer in as many days. D'Eusanio then hit an 0-2 pitch over the fence in left center for his first career round tripper, and the back-to-back home runs allowed the Penguins to get within 8-4.
The Penguins got runners on base in each of the final three innings but couldn't push them across. Glenn walked with two outs and was stranded in the seventh, and YSU left two runners on in the eighth as Swarmer walked and Drew Dickerson singled. In the ninth, Wehler reached on an error and Wiersma walked, and they were left at second and third as the game ended.
Starting pitcher Chad Coles was charged with the loss as he allowed the four runs on six hits in the second inning. Negley pitched 3.2 scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing five hits and striking out three. Lopatka came on to pitch a scoreless eighth.
Tennessee Tech starter Thomas Saliba allowed four runs on six hits while fanning seven batters over five innings to earn the win. Three Golden Eagles relievers combined to blank the Penguins over the final 12 outs.
Youngstown State is scheduled to play five games next week, beginning with a contest at Pitt on Tuesday at 3 p.m. That game will be broadcast on YSNLive.com and the ACC Network Extra. The Penguins will then play a four-game series at Miami (Ohio) over the weekend.