Early Offensive Outburst Leads Penguins to 10-8 Win at Wright State

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

Dayton, Ohio — The Youngstown State baseball team scored a season-high 10 runs over the first four innings of play, and withstood a late charge to earn a 10-8 win over Wright State on Saturday at Nischwitz Stadium.

Trailing 10-7, the Raiders got their first two hitters aboard in the bottom of the ninth with a single and walk. After Brett Souder retired the next two batters on a fly out and a strikeout, another walk loaded the bases to bring the potential winning run to the plate. In the next at bat, Chase Slone also walked to drive home a run and cut the YSU lead to two runs. However, Dalton Earich came out of the bullpen and struck out Connor Regan looking to end the game and even the series at a game apiece.

After an extra-inning walk-off win over Pittsburgh on Wednesday, the Penguins have now won two of their last three contests. Saturday's victory also snapped a 10-game losing streak to Wright State, and was YSU's first win over the Raiders in Dayton since April of 2015. The Penguins improved to 4-22 overall and 2-5 in Horizon League play while the Raiders fell to 17-8 and 5-3.

WSU hit four home runs, scored in seven different innings, and plated the final six runs of the game, but could not overcome YSU's early offensive outburst. The Raiders jumped ahead 1-0 in the bottom of the first before the Penguins scored all 10 of their runs over the next three innings. YSU led 10-2 after the top of the fourth, but Wright State scored in five of the final six innings to create the late-game drama.

Eight different Penguins had a hit, and Jeff Wehler, Steven D'Eusanio and Dylan Swarmer each had two. Wehler was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored, three RBIs and a career-high four stolen bases. Phillip Glasser drove in a pair of runs and scored twice while D'Eusanio, Blaze Glenn and Cameron Murray also had an RBI. In addition to their season-high 10 runs, the Penguins also matched a season high with 11 hits.

Wehler became just the third player in YSU history to steal at least four bases in a game, and the first since Nick Gesacion stole four bags against Alliance on April 27, 1968. The sophomore's four steals were one shy of the school record of five, set by Ron Aulet in 1964. He is now one of only three players in school history to steal three or more bags in a game twice in their career. Wehler swiped three bases in a game at Toledo last season.

YSU starter Marco DeFalco allowed four runs, three of them earned, on five hits over 5.2 innings to earn his first-career win. Earich was awarded his first save of the season after his game-sealing punch out in the ninth. Brandon Matthews surrendered three runs on three hits over two innings, and Kip DeShields recorded the final out of the eighth before Souder and Earich came on in the ninth.

Peyton Burdick had three hits including a solo home run and scored three runs to lead Wright State offensively. Tyler Black, Seth Gray and Zane Harris also hit solo homers, and Gray added two RBIs.

The Raiders got runners to first and third in the bottom of the first inning with a pair of two-out singles from Burdick and Gray. Zach Weatherford then reached on an error that allowed Burdick to score the first run of the game and put Wright State ahead 1-0. Wehler hit a leadoff single to begin the second inning and stole second before a one-out single by Web Charles. Wehler then stole third and scored on a wild pitch to tie the contest 1-1.

The Penguins scored four times with two outs in the top of the third to take a four-run lead. Cody Dennis got the rally started with a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Glasser walked, Glenn delivered a two-out RBI single that plated Dennis to put YSU in front. Wehler followed with a two-run double and swiped third base for his third steal in as many innings. That set up an RBI single by D'Eusanio that pushed the Penguins' edge to 5-1.

Wright State shaved the deficit to three with Burdick's two-out solo home in the third before the Penguins came right back with five runs on two hits and two walks in the top of the fourth. Travis Perry drew a leadoff walk, Swarmer singled and Dennis reached on an error to load the bases with nobody out. After a pitching change, Murray walked home a run and Glasser followed with a two-run single. WSU reliever Tristan Haught tossed two wild pitches during the next at bat, the second of which allowed Murray to score YSU's ninth run and Glasser to reach third. Wehler then drove home Glasser with an RBI groundout to extend YSU's advantage to 10-2.

The Raiders began their comeback bid with two more solo home runs over the next two innings. Black's four bagger came with two outs in the bottom of the fourth inning, and Gray's with one-out in the fifth to cut the Penguins' edge to 10-4. WSU crept even closer with two runs on two hits in the bottom of the seventh. Pinch hitter Quincy Hamilton was hit by a pitch to begin the rally, and Damon Dues doubled to put runners and second and third with nobody out. JD Orr followed with an RBI single, and Gray hit a sacrifice fly later in the inning to bring the Raiders within four at 10-6. Harris led off the bottom of the eighth with Wright State's fourth solo blast of the contest to make it a three-game run game going into the ninth.

Wright State starter Zane Collins was responsible for eight runs, seven of which were earned, on seven hits over three innings in his second loss of 2019. Haught allowed two runs on one hit during one inning of work before Henry Von Hollen, Riley Perlich and Bradley Deboutte combined to hold YSU scoreless over the final five frames.

The Penguins will go for the series win against the Raiders tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. First pitch for Sunday's series finale was pushed back from the original start time of 1 p.m. following Saturday's contest.