By Kyle Wills
The Youngstown State University baseball team capped off its 10-game homestand with a doubleheader sweep of Oakland University on April 22.
In game one of the twin bill, junior Matt Brosky gave the bullpen the game off as he pitched a seven-inning complete game, allowing one run and striking out seven in the 2-1 victory. This outing also marked his second-straight tossing seven frames.
Offensively, the Penguins received a pop in their lineup with the return of senior outfielder Dominick Bucko as he put the team on the board with an RBI base hit in the second inning. The Golden Grizzlies tied the game in the fourth inning, but junior infielder Braeden O’Shaughnessy put the Penguins ahead with an RBI hit down the right field line.
Head coach Dan Bertolini said having Bucko back in the lineup has brought more stability to the team.
“It’s huge for us. Just a mature guy with a lot of experience in our lineup. It gives everyone around him a lot of confidence too. Anytime we can get him in the ballgame, it makes us a better team,” Bertolini said.
Youngstown State carried that success into game two, when it once again topped Oakland by a score of 2-1.
Senior Travis Perry pitched his way into the sixth, tossing 5 ⅔ innings while allowing one run. Senior Chad Coles closed the sixth frame before junior Casey Mashalwitz set down the Golden Grizzlies in the seventh and eighth. Junior Nathan Ball closed the game in the ninth to earn his eighth save of the season.
Bertolini said the team played great, all-around baseball in both games.
“That’s two great wins. Two 2-1 ballgames. I thought we played great defense, pitching was outstanding, got some timely hitting. Really a recipe for success. I’m glad we came out on the good side,” Bertolini said.
With an off-day April 23, the club played again two days later in Wisconsin for a doubleheader against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
In game one, Youngstown State received six strong innings from Coles, in which he gave up two runs while striking out five.
Braeden O’Shaughnessy continued his scorching 2022 season with a perfect 4-for-4 at the plate while senior infielder Steven D’Eusanio hit 2-for-5 while driving in two runs. Junior outfielder Andre Good and sophomore infielder Seth Lucero also had multi-hit games.
In the nightcap, the Penguins struggled to field the ball as six errors led to six unearned runs. However, Milwaukee couldn’t swing and miss with 15 hits as a team in the 17-4 defeat.
Freshman Lane Rhodes made the start, allowing eight runs with three earned in 2 ⅔ innings. Through the remaining five frames, Penguins’ pitching gave up nine runs.
Bucko continued his success since returning to the lineup with a 2-for-2 performance with a double and an RBI. D’Eusanio also hit well again versus the Panthers, hitting 2-for-5 while scoring three runs.
The baseball team traveled to New York on April 26 to take on Niagara University, where the men fell to the Purple Eagles by a score of 3-1. Sophomore Nick Perez made the start on the mound, pitching 5 ⅔ innings and allowing two runs while striking out seven.
However, the bats were silent as the Penguins only mustered four hits in the game.
The baseball team will be in Horizon League play April 29-May 1 when it travels to Wright State University to take on the Raiders before making the trip to Ann Arbor to face the University of Michigan on May 3.