Niles, Ohio – Wright State had two big swings early and scored four runs in the ninth inning to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 8-3 in the series opener on Friday night at Eastwood Field.
Youngstown State had nine hits – just one fewer than Wright State – but bounced into three costly double plays that limited their scoring early.
The Raiders scored four runs over the first four innings before the Penguins countered with one in the fifth and two in the sixth to get within 4-3. Wright State added four insurance runs with two outs in the ninth.
YSU starter Colin Clark allowed four runs on six hits while striking out a career-high eight batters in 6.1 innings of work. Wright State's other four runs came off Chad Coles with two outs in the top of the ninth with the score 4-3.
Peyton Burdick hit a two-run home run inside the right-field foul pole with Orr aboard to put the Raiders up 2-0 in the first inning. The only other Wright State runs until the ninth came when Brandon Giltrow hit a two-out, two-run double to the left-center gap in the top of the fourth inning. Orr followed with a bunt single, but Clark retired the next eight batters he faced to give the Penguins a chance to trim runs off the deficit.
Youngstown State got on the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the fifth. Murray led off the inning with a single up the middle, and Dylan Swarmer followed with a triple to the wall in left center. Wright State starter Bear Bellomy, though, came up with perhaps the biggest three outs of the game to limit YSU to just the one run. The senior right-hander struck out Web Charles and induced consecutive ground outs by Lucas Nasonti and Phillip Glasser. Swarmer was thrown out at home trying to score on Nasonti's grounder to third.
The Penguins got two more runs across in the bottom of the sixth thanks to aggressive baserunning. Wehler singled up the middle and proceeded to steal second and third, and Drew Dickerson followed with an RBI single to right. Dickerson advanced to second when the ball got past the right fielder, and another error on Murray's infield single allowed Dickerson to score from second.
Murray was picked off to end the sixth inning, and Wright State reliever Tristan Haught came on to face the minimum over the final three innings.
With the Raiders up one with two outs in the ninth, Zach Weatherford hit a two-run single with the bases loaded, and Tyler Black followed with a two-run double to make the margin five runs.
Bellomy was charged with all three of YSU's runs, two of which were earned, on eight hits over six innings to earn his sixth win of the season.
Wehler's three steals increased his season total to 25 and his career total to 50. The sophomore now ranks fifth on Youngstown State's career steals chart.