Baseball To Play Tuesday at WVU Before Saturday's Home Opener vs. Oakland

Phillip Glasser (Photo by Ken Lanese)
Phillip Glasser (Photo by Ken Lanese)

The Youngstown State baseball team will play at West Virginia on Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET before hosting Oakland at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday for its home opener at Eastwood Field to begin a doubleheader and three-game Horizon League series.

The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies are scheduled to play a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m., and a single game on Sunday at 1 p.m. Live audio and video will be available for Tuesday's game at WVUSports.com, and for all three weekend games at YSNLive.com. Live stats will be available for each game through links on YSUsports.com, and fans can also follow @YSUBaseball on Twitter for live updates.

Probable Starters:

Promotions

  • Dunkin' on Belmont Avenue in Youngstown is the presenting sponsor of Opening Weekend at Eastwood Field against Oakland. From 6-9 a.m. on Friday, March 22, fans can win free coffee for a year if they visit the Dunkin' at 4305 Belmont Avenue. Guests can enter by tweeting a picture from the event to @DunkinYtown on Twitter. There will also be cornhole contests, and fans will have the opportunity to win YSU apparel and tickets to YSU's home game against Ohio State on Tuesday, May 14.
  • Saturday's games will feature a 2019 YSU baseball schedule magnet giveaway sponsored by McDonald's.
  • Saturday will also be a YSU Football Appreciation Game as fans will receive a YSU football ticket voucher for the home opener on Saturday, Sept. 7, and a YSU football stadium key chain.
  • The first 150 fans at Saturday's contest will also receive a Hot Head Burritos gift card.
  • Sunday will be the first Hot Head Burritos "Home Run Giveaway" game of the season. If a YSU player hits a home run, fans will go home with a gift card to Hot Head Burritos.
  • The YSU baseball team's official 2019 team poster will also be given away on Sunday to conclude the home-opening weekend.

Recapping Northern Kentucky

  • The Penguins dropped three games to the Norse this past weekend in the opening Horizon League series for both teams at the Bill Aker Baseball Complex in Highland Heights, Ky. 
  • NKU scored 11 runs over their final four at-bats in the opener on Friday in a game that featured four lead changes over the first five innings. The Norse led by just two runs after the seventh before the six-run eighth allowed them to pull away for a 13-5 win. 
  • On Saturday, NKU's Noah Fisher hit a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Norse to a 7-6 win in game two. The Penguins led three different times in the contest and didn't trail until the eighth, but the Norse scored in each of the last three innings. YSU had rallied with a run in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 6-6 before Fisher's walk-off liner that went off the top of Cody Dennis' glove at second base.
  • Jon Snyder tossed four innings of no-hit baseball to lead a great pitching effort, but the YSU came up short in a 2-1 loss on Sunday as NKU completed the series sweep.
  • The contest featured just seven hits between the teams as both got tremendous efforts from their respective pitching staffs. Four YSU pitchers combined to limit the Norse to two runs on just four hits, but a two-run eighth was enough to lift NKU to victory.

Previewing Opponents

Scouting The Mountaineers and Golden Grizzlies

  • West Virginia enters the week at 12-7 after winning two of three games at William & Mary this past weekend.
  • Sophomore infielder Tyler Doanes leads the Mountaineers with a .333 batting average and 25 hits while senior outfielder Darius Hill and senior catcher Ivan Gonzalez each have three home runs and a team-high 13 RBIs. 
  • Oakland begins the week 0-17 after dropping three games at UIC in the opening Horizon League series for each team. 
  • Sophomore infielder Mario Camilletti leads the Golden Grizzlies with a .328 batting average and 20 hits while senior outfielder Myles Zilinsky has two home runs a team-high 11 RBIs. 
  • Sophomore right-hander Beau Keathley paces Oakland with 27 innings pitched and 33 strikeouts over six appearances and four starts.

Series History

  • YSU is 8-21 all-time against West Virginia, and has lost the last two in the series. 
  • The series began in 1990, and the most recent meeting between the teams came on April 19, 2016, with the Mountaineers winning 13-3 in Morgantown. YSU's last win was a 10-7 decision on Feb. 22, 2013, during a tournament at Wake Forest.
  • YSU's win over West Virginia in 2013 was the last time it defeated an opponent from the Big 12. The Penguins' only other victory against a Big 12 foe was a 3-2 win at Missouri in the 2004 season opener.
  • The Penguins are 17-16 all-time against Oakland in a series that dates back to 1999. 
  • The teams each won three times in six meetings last season. YSU took the most recent matchup 4-1 in the first round of the 2018 Horizon League Tournament.

A Win on Tuesay Would…

  • Be YSU's second win of the season, and 36th under Head Coach Dan Bertolini.
  • Snap a three-game losing streak.
  • Be YSU's ninth in the all-time series with West Virginia.
  • Snap a two-game losing streak to the Mountaineers.
  • Give the Penguins their second win over a Power Five opponent this season.
  • Give YSU its third victory against an opponent from the Big 12

A Win on Saturday Would…

  • Be YSU's second straight over Oakland.
  • Give YSU its first Horizon League win of 2019.
  • Give the Penguins their first win in a home opener since 2012.

Quick Notes Around The Diamond

  • YSU leads the Horizon League with 10 home runs and 79 walks as a team heading into the week of March 18. 
  • The Penguins rank second in the league with 28 stolen bases and are 28-31 in stolen base attempts this season. They are also second in the conference with a .967 fielding percentage.
  • The Penguins recorded season highs of 10 hits, six runs and six RBIs at Northern Kentucky on Saturday, and have now had at least eight hits in five of their last seven contests. The team had less than eight hits in each of its first 11 games. 
  • YSU has also registered 13 extra-base hits over its last five outings after having 19 over its first 13. The Penguins have hit 10 doubles, a triple and two home runs over ther past five games.
  • Senior first baseman Trevor Wiersma is tied for league lead with four home runs, sophomore outfielder Jeff Wehler is third with three and junior infielder Blaze Glenn is tied for fourth with two.
  • Wiersma is also tied for second in the league with 67 at-bats and tied for fourth with 13 RBIs. Wehler leads the league with 69 at-bats, ranks second with eight stolen bases and fourth with 13 runs scored.
  • Glenn ranks tied for third in the HL with 12 walks, and tied for ninth with 11 RBIs.
  • Glenn was named Horizon League Batter of the Week on Feb. 25 after batting .500 with two singles, a double, a two-run home run and four RBIs in eight at-bats over three games at No. 6/11 Florida State.
  • Sophomore left-hander Colin Clark ranks sixth in the league with 26 innings pitched, and tied for fifth with 22 K's.
  • With its win at Pittsburgh on March 13, YSU earned its second win over a team from the ACC in the last three years, and beat the Panthers for the first time since 2014.
  • After Tuesday's game at West Virginia, the Penguins will have played 10 games in 12 days. Tuesday's contest will also be YSU's 19th straight game away from home to begin the season.

Weekly Notebook

Patience At The Plate

  • After drawing a league-best 272 walks in 2018, YSU has continued to show patience at the plate this season.
  • The Penguins lead the Horizon League with 79 walks entering the week, and have drawn at least five in five straight games including a season-high eight at Kent State and Pittsburgh. 
  • YSU has drawn at least five free passes in 10 different contests, and eight different Penguins have walked at least six times. 
  • Last season, YSU shattered the previous school record for walks in a season of 234 that was set in 2013.

Using The Long Ball

  • The Penguins have continued their home run-hitting ways so far in 2019. Heading into the week, YSU leads the Horizon League with 10 total homers, and four players have hit at least one. 
  • Trevor Wiersma is tied for league lead with four dingers, Jeff Wehler is third with three and Blaze Glenn is tied for fourth with two while Steven D'Eusanio has one round-tripper to his credit. 
  • YSU hit 44 home runs as a team in 2018, which ranked second in the Horizon League and as the third-most in a single season in school history. It also marked the first time in school history the Guins hit at least 40 homers in back-to-back seasons; they hit 50 in 2017.

Smooth Criminals

  • Heading into the week, the Penguins rank second in the Horizon League with 28 steals, and are 28-for-31 in stolen base attempts on the season
  • YSU has four players who rank in the top 10 of the league in steals; Jeff Wehler ranks second with eight, Blaze Glenn is third with six and both Phillip Glasser and Drew Dickerson are tied for eighth with three. 
  • YSU has had at least two stolen bases in nine different games, and set a season high with five on Saturday at Northern Kentucky. The Penguins have swiped at least two bags in four straight games and in six of their last seven. 
  • YSU had 86 stolen bases as a team last season, which ranked second in the Horizon League. That total is also tied for the second-most in a single season in school history. It marked the first season since 1998 in which the Penguins stole at least 80 bases.

Strong Week for Wehler

  • Sophomore outfielder Jeff Wehler batted .381 with six singles, a double, his third home run of the season and two RBIs in 21 at-bats over five games last week. 
  • He recorded 12 total bases, four steals, four walks and five runs scored with an OBP of .480 while slugging .571 for the week. Wehler was also a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. 
  • Wehler went 2-for-5 with a single, a double and a stolen base in a win at Pittsburgh on Wednesday. The sophomore followed that by going 3-for-5 with three base hits, an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored at NKU on Friday. In game two against the Norse, Wehler went 2-for-4 with a single, a solo home run, a walk, a steal and three runs scored. He also singled and walked in the series finale on Sunday. 
  • He leads YSU with 16 total hits, 13 runs scored and eight stolen bases in eight attempts.

Glasser Establishing Himself

  • Freshman infielder Phillip Glasser has started to establish himself as a regular fixture in YSU's starting lineup.
  • He is batting .318 with seven hits including two doubles and a triple over his last six games. The talented frosh also has five walks, three runs scored, two RBIs and two stolen bases over that stretch. 
  • Glasser went 2-for-3 in back-to-back contests at Miami (Ohio) and Kent State after recording two walks and two runs scored in the previous contest. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI double, a walk and two runs scored in the series opener at NKU on Friday. He also had a single, a walk, a stolen base and a run scored in the finale on Sunday.
  • The Tallmadge, Ohio, native has played in 14 of YSU's 18 games, and made 13 starts at shortstop while hitting leadoff or in the number-two spot in 12 of his 13 starts. Among regular starters, Glasser has a team-high .244 batting average. He also ranks tied for sixth in the Horizon League with 10 walks and tied for eighth with three steals.

Hitters Heating Up

  • In addition to Wehler and Glasser, a number of other YSU hitters have also been starting to find their groove at the plate as of late. 
  • Senior infielder Drew Dickerson has at least one hit in four of his last six games. He is batting .333 with six hits including two doubles, an RBI, seven walks, three runs scored and two stolen bases over that stretch. Dickerson began the season just 3-for-25 over his first eight games. 
  • After starting the season just 3-for-33, sophomore outfielder Lucas Nasonti is hitting .308 over his last seven games. The 2018 Horizon League All-Freshman Team honoree has eight total hits including three doubles and a triple over that stretch to go along with five runs scored, four walks and two RBIs. 
  • Additionally, freshman IF Steven D'Eusanio is hitting .375 over his last four games with three singles and an RBI in just eight at-bats.

Hake Approaching Appearances Record

  • After making his third appearance of the season on Friday at Northern Kentucky, senior pitcher Joel Hake is now tied for fifth all-time in school history with 79 career appearances. 
  • He needs just seven more to break the YSU career record of 85, that was set by Ryan Sellman from 2005-08. The senior has become the first Penguin since Kevin McCulloh (2010-12) to reach at least 79 career appearances. 
  • Hake was YSU's primary closer and led the team with 26 appearances last season. He also led the Penguins and tied for second in the Horizon League with a career-high four saves in 2018. 
  • The Youngstown native finished with a 1-1 record and a career-low 4.36 ERA in 33 innings pitched last season. He recorded a career-high 35 strikeouts while walking just 12 batters.
  • Hake was also named to the Horizon League's 2018 All-Academic Team, holding a 3.65 GPA as a nursing major.

Young Arms Coming of Age

  • In the first three appearances of his career, freshman RHP Brandon Matthews has allowed just three runs on six hits and struck out five with a 2.61 ERA over 10.1 innings out of the bullpen.
  • In his debut at Miami (Ohio), Matthews surrendered only one hit and struck out three batters in four innings of scoreless relief. He followed that by holding Pitt to one run on three hits and one walk over four innings to earn his first collegiate victory last Wednesday. He was charged with two runs on two hits in his first loss at Northern Kentucky on Sunday.
  • Over his last five appearances, freshman LHP Marco DeFalco has allowed five hits and one run over seven innings with a 1.35 ERA. He entered in the eighth at Pitt on Wednesday, and allowed no runs on two hits over a two innings to earn his first career save. He allowed one run on two hits and struck out three over a season-high three innings his first start at NKU on Saturday.
  • Redshirt freshman RHP Jon Snyder did now allow a hit and struck four over a career-high four innings of work out of the bullpen at Northern Kentucky on Sunday. He retired the first seven batters he faced and 12 of 14 overall while striking out the side in the third inning.
  • Over his last three relief outings, freshman RHP Brett Souder has surrendered just one run on three hits over three innings. With YSU trailing 2-1, he entered with the bases loaded and one out in the eighth inning at NKU on Sunday, and induced a double play to avoid a big inning.
  • Sophomore RHP Dalton Earich has allowed just one unearned run on four hits over 4.2 innings in his last four outings. He worked one scoreless inning in his first start of 2019 at NKU Sunday.

Bitten By The Injury Bug

  • YSU has been forced to deal with a number of injuries to key players early in the 2019 season. 
  • The Penguins were already without veteran pitchers Collin Floyd and Zack Minney for the season due to offseason Tommy John surgery. 
  • Junior outfielder Cameron Murray has missed 16 straight games after being hit in the face by a pitch early in the second game of the season. 
  • Senior starting catcher Nick Caruso has been out the last 15 games due to illness, and 2018 Horizon League All-Freshman Team honoree 1B Nick LaBrasca has missed the last nine games with an injury.
  • In addition, relievers Joel Hake and Gary Clift Jr. have also been slowed by injuries throughout the campaign.

Up Next

The Penguins are scheduled to play five games next week beginning with a pair of midweek non-conference contests. YSU will travel to face Bowling Green on Tuesday at 3:05 p.m. before hosing Pittsburgh at Eastwood Field Wednesday at 5 p.m. The week will conclude with a three-game Horizon League series at Wright State beginning on Friday at 3 p.m.