By Kyle Wills
The Youngstown State University baseball team won three of four games against Wright State University at Eastwood Field last weekend. The victory gives the team their first series win against the Raiders since the 2015 season.
On Friday, the team defeated Wright State by a score of 12-10. Senior catcher Nick Caruso went 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs and a three-run triple in the fifth inning. Junior infielder Phillip Glasser went 2-for-4 with a solo home run. Senior outfielder Dominick Bucko went 3-for-5 with two RBIs while his fellow senior Jeff Wehler, infielder, was 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored.
Sophomore outfielders Turner Grau and Andre Good each recorded two hits as eight different Penguins notched a hit in the contest. Right-handed pitcher Gary Clift Jr., a senior, performed in the ninth and retired the Raiders in order to record his fifth save of the season.
On Saturday, the baseball team earned a 4-0 win in the first game before losing 20-8 in the second game of a doubleheader. Redshirt pitcher senior Collin Floyd scattered five hits and struck out nine batters. He did this over seven scoreless innings in his second complete game shutout of the season, leading the victory over Wright State in game one of the doubleheader. His performance earned him Nike Horizon League Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season and the fourth time in his career.
With his nine strikeouts, Floyd passed Dave Dravecky (251) and Phil Klein (258) to move into second place on the YSU all-time strikeout list with 260 in his career. He needs just six more punch-outs to break Aaron Swenson’s career record of 265, which has stood since 2010.
In game two of the doubleheader, senior infielder Blaze Glenn and junior catcher Dylan Swarmer each had three hits for the Penguins while Bucko went 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and three RBIs. Sophomore infielder Braeden O’Shaughnessy also contributed going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBIs. YSU starter junior Jon Snyder took his second loss pitching of the season after allowing three runs on four hits and striking out three over 2.2 innings.
On Sunday, YSU battled back from a six-run deficit to earn a 11-10 victory and the 3-1 series win over Wright State in the series finale. With the victory, the team won their first series against Wright since taking two of three games at Eastwood Field in 2015.
In the bottom of the eighth, Wehler reached on a throwing error to begin the inning and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Glasser. After Wehler advanced to third on a groundout by Caruso, junior infielder Steven D’Eusanio hit a hard ground ball that ricocheted off Wright State shortstop and into center field for a single allowing Wehler to score the game-winning run.
Head coach Dan Bertolini talked about how the team needed a different approach after being swept by the Raiders earlier this season.
“After we played Wright State the first time, we had to make some adjustments to our plan and how we played, and I thought our players responded really well,” he said. “We were much better with two strikes. We didn’t chase out of the strike zone. We wanted to make it difficult for the pitchers from Wright State and I thought our guys did a great job of that.”
The men improved to 11-12 overall and 6-6 in Horizon League play while Wright State drops to 13-8 and 13-3 in conference action. The Penguins are now 6-1 at Eastwood Field for the first time since 2003. YSU started 5-0 at Eastwood Field for the first time in program history.
Up next, the baseball team will take on University of Illinois in Chicago in a doubleheader Friday and another one on Saturday at Eastwood Field. First pitch for game one is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday and noon on Saturday. All games will be available on YSN’s website