Baseball Continues Early-Season Road Stretch at Abilene Christian

Gary Clift Jr. (Photo by Rob Hayes)
Gary Clift Jr. (Photo by Rob Hayes)

Series Preview

  • The Youngstown State baseball team (2-4) will continue its early-season road stretch with a three-game series at Abilene Christian (5-3) beginning on Thursday. Thursday's contest will mark the first-ever meeting between the two programs.
  • The Penguins and Wildcats are scheduled to play at 7:35 p.m. ET on Thursday in the opener, at 7:05 p.m. on Friday and at 3:05 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Schedule Update: Thursday's series opener was pushed back from its original start time of 7:05 p.m. ET, and Saturday's contest was pushed back an hour from its original start time of 2:05 p.m.
  • Live stats and live video will be available throughout the series through links on YSUsports.com. Fans can also follow @YSUBaseball on Twitter for live updates.
  • The Penguins are slated to start right-hander Travis Perry on Thursday, left-hander Colin Clark on Friday and left-hander Collin Floyd on Saturday.
  • After winning two of three games at preseason No. 35 Houston on opening weekend, YSU dropped three games at College of Charleston this past weekend. The Penguins fell 5-4 on a walk-off walk on Friday, dropped a 14-4 decision on Saturday and lost 7-3 in the series finale on Sunday.
  • On Monday, senior catcher Nick Caruso was named Horizon League Batter of the Week and junior right-hander Chad Coles was selected as Horizon League Pitcher of the Week. Caruso batted .500 with four singles, a walk, three runs scored and a .556 on-base percentage in eight at bats over three games at College of Charleston. Coles did not allow a hit and struck out three batters over 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in two appearances.
  • The Penguins have now won three of the league's four weekly awards through the first two weeks of the season. Senior left-hander Collin Floyd was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 17 after opening weekend.
  • With two wins at Houston on opening weekend, YSU improved to 2-1 for the first time since the 2001 season. The Penguins also began the season with a series win for the first time since sweeping a doubleheader with West Liberty State on March 7, 2000, at Eastwood Field.
  • Houston was ranked No. 35 in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's preseason rankings, giving YSU three wins over ranked opponents in Dan Bertolini's tenure as head coach. The Penguins also beat No. 17 Georgia Tech 12-3 on Feb. 26, 2017 in what was Bertolini's first win as head coach.
  • Youngstown State is slated to play its first 13 games and 21 of its first 23 on the road. The Penguins will log approximately 8,055 miles of travel before their first home game at Eastwood Field on March 10 against Bowling Green.

YSU vs. Abilene Christian

A Win on Thursday Would...

  • Snap a three-game losing streak.
  • Improve YSU's record to 3-4.
  • Be YSU's first over Abilene Christian.
  • Be the 278th in head coach Dan Bertolini's career and his 49th at Youngstown State.

Scouting The Wildcats

  • Abilene Christian is 5-3 overall after going 1-2 this past weekend at UC-Santa Barbara. The Wildcats lost 7-0 and 6-1 before winning 5-4 in the series finale on Sunday.
  • ACU had lost three straight before its win on Sunday. The Wildcats began the season with four straight wins over Utah Valley before a 4-14 setback at No. 20 TCU.
  • Freshman outfielder Hayden Clearman leads the Wildcats in batting average (.500), slugging (.611) and on-base percentage (.550). Junior infielder Hunter Geiser leads the squad with seven RBIs.
  • Sophomore left-hander Austin Wagner has not allowed an earned run in nine innings over two starts. Sophomore lefty Nate Hawkins has an 0.87 ERA in a team-high 10.1 innings over two starts. Junior right-hander Tanner Riley is 3-0, and has a team-best 14 strikeouts in three relief appearances.
  • Wagner is slated to start the series opener on Thursday while Hawkins is set to start in the finale on Saturday. Junior right-hander Austin Ruesch will get the ball for the Wildcats in game two on Friday. Ruesch is 1-1 with a 2.89 ERA and nine strikeouts in 9.1 innings over two starts this season.
  • After going 26-26 overall and 13-17 in conference play in 2019, Abilene Christian was picked to finish 10th out of 13 teams in the Southland Conference Preseason Poll.

Recapping College of Charleston

Game 1 – Friday, Feb. 21 // L 4-5:

  • The Youngstown State baseball team showed fight again by tying the game in the top of the ninth, but the College of Charleston won on a walk-off base on balls in the bottom half to win 5-4 on Friday at The Ballpark at Patriots Point.
  • The gritty Penguins, who won two extra-inning games in their season-opening series at No. 35 Houston last weekend, came from behind twice to tie the score heading into the bottom of the ninth inning against the Cougars. YSU retired the first two batters of the inning, but CofC drew four straight walks against Joel Hake and Bryce Warwick.
  • In the top of the ninth, Blaze Glenn led off with a walk, and Padraig O'Shaughnessy and Andre Good drew one-out walks to load the bases. Ty Good came on in relief for the College of Charleston and struck out Nick Caruso on a full-count pitch on the inside corner, but Lucas Nasonti hit a 2-0 offering into left field to bring in Glenn with the tying run. With the bases still loaded, Ty Good struck out pinch-hitter Dominick Bucko to keep the game tied.
  • Steven D'Eusanio went 2-for-4, and he was one of four Penguins to score in the contest. Good hit a big two-run single in the seventh and walked twice, including once as YSU rallied in the ninth.
  • YSU starter Colin Clark allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings in a no-decision. CofC's runs in the seventh and eighth were charged to Dalton Earich. Hake was charged with the loss.

Game 2 – Saturday, Feb. 22 // L 4-14:

  • YSU dropped a 14-4 decision to the College of Charleston on Saturday afternoon. The Penguins took a 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning before the Cougars plated two runs in the third, six in the fourth and six in the sixth.
  • Jeff Wehler went 2-for-4 with a two-run double and a stolen base while Caruso was 2-for-3 with a pair of singles for the Penguins. Glenn singled, stole a base and scored a run while Good drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.
  • College of Charleston outhit YSU 10-5 as seven different Cougars recorded at least one hit.
  • YSU starter Collin Floyd was saddled with his first loss after allowing eight runs, only four of them earned, on seven hits over four innings.
  • Grant Kersh, Nathan Ball and Zack Minney were each responsible for two runs in relief. Casey Marshalwitz did allow a hit and fanned three batters over two scoreless innings in his first collegiate appearance.

Game 3 – Sunday, Feb. 23 // L 3-7:

  • Youngstown State fell 7-3 to the College of Charleston in the finale of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon.
  • The Cougars scored all seven of their runs between the second and fourth innings on their way to completing the series sweep. College of Charleston improved to 5-1 overall with the victory while YSU fell to 2-4.
  • After CofC built a 7-1 advantage following the fourth inning, YSU's bullpen gave the Penguins a chance at a comeback by holding the Cougars scoreless the rest of the contest. Dalton Earich, Gary Clift Jr. and Chad Coles combined for five scoreless innings of relief as CofC had just one hit over its final four at bats.
  • Earich allowed two hits over an inning of work while Clift Jr. and Coles each tossed two innings. Clift Jr. gave up one hit and struck out a pair while Coles did not allow a hit and fanned three during his two frames on the mound. In addition, Joel Hake retired the only batter he faced in the bottom of the third inning.
  • Eight different Penguins recorded a hit as Phillip Glasser had a team-high two hits and scored a run. Turner Grau singled, walked and drove in a run.
  • Snyder suffered the loss after allowing four runs on five hits over 2.2 innings in his first start of the season. Bryce Warwick was responsible for three runs on two hits without recording an out in the fourth inning.

Notebook

Caruso, Coles Earn Horizon League Weekly Honors

  • On Monday, senior catcher Nick Caruso was named Horizon League Batter of the Week, and junior right-hander Chad Coles was selected at Horizon League Pitcher of the Week. Each player earned weekly league honors for the first time in their career.
  • Caruso batted .500 and slugged .500 with four singles, a walk, three runs scored and a .556 on-base percentage in eight at bats over three games at College of Charleston this past weekend.
  • He notched a single and a run scored in YSU's 5-4 loss on Friday before going 2-for-3 with two singles and a run scored in game two of the series on Saturday. In the series finale on Sunday, Caruso went 1-for-1 with a single, a walk and a run scored. Caruso had at least one hit and one run scored in each game of the series.
  • Coles did not allow a hit and struck out three batters over 2.2 innings of scoreless relief in two appearances at College of Charleston.
  • He did not allow a hit over 0.2 innings of work in YSU's 5-4 loss on Friday. He then tossed two scoreless innings, allowing no hits and striking out three, in the series finale on Sunday. Coles' two innings pitched and three strikeouts were each season highs. On Sunday, he retired six of the seven batters he faced and struck out the side in the top of the seventh inning.

Floyd Reaches 200 Career Strikeouts

  • With four strikeouts on Saturday at College of Charleston, senior left-hander Collin Floyd became the eighth player in YSU history to record 200 career strikeouts. The Akron, Ohio, native currently ranks seventh in YSU history with 201 strikeouts, and he is tied for seventh in school history with 40 games started. Floyd needs 65 more punch outs to break Aaron Swenson's record of 265.
  • Floyd was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week on Feb. 17 after putting forth a tremendous performance on Feb. 15 that helped the Penguins to a 6-3 win in 11 innings over Houston. He earned Pitcher of the Week honors for the second time in his career; he also earned the honor on April 2, 2018.
  • Floyd allowed just two runs on two solo homers and only three baserunners while striking out seven over seven innings in his first start since May 5, 2018. The left-hander, who missed all of last season with an injury, retired 18 of the first 20 hitters he faced and 21 of 24 overall while sitting down the Cougars in order in four different frames. The Penguins led 3-2 when he departed after the seventh inning.
  • Floyd was a Second-Team All-Horizon League pick as a junior in 2018. During that campaign, he set team and career highs with 69.1 innings and 82 strikeouts in 12 starts on the mound.
  • Floyd's 82 punch outs ranked fourth in the Horizon League and tied for the seventh most in a season in school history. He became the first Penguin to record at least 80 strikeouts in a season since Phil Klein had 105 in 2011.
  • Floyd made 13 starts in each of his first two years with the program, and fanned at least 50 batters in each of his first three seasons. In 2016, Floyd registered 58 strikeouts, which was the most by a YSU freshman since Justin Thomas struck out 80 batters in 2003.
  • Through 11 innings over two starts this season, Floyd has struck out 11 batters while walking only one. His 11 strikeouts rank second in the Horizon League while his 11 innings pitched rank fourth.

D'Eusanio Doing Damage at The Plate

  • Sophomore infielder Steven D'Eusanio is batting .375 and slugging .667 through YSU's first six games. He leads the Penguins with nine hits and 16 total bases, and he is tied for the team lead with two home runs. The Willoughby, Ohio, native has hit safely in five of his first six games this season, and he has reached base safely in each contest.
  • Through two weekends of play, D'Eusanio ranks in the top 10 in the Horizon League in six different categories. He is tied for the league lead with two home runs while ranking second with nine hits, third with a .667 slugging percentage, fifth with five runs scored and five RBIs and ninth with a .375 batting average.
  • D'Eusanio batted .462 and slugged .923 with six hits including two home runs and five RBIs over 13 at bats in three games at preseason No. 35 Houston on opening weekend. He also recorded four runs scored, 12 total bases, one walk and a .500 on-base percentage.
  • He went 3-for-5 with a single, two home runs, two runs scored and a career-high five RBIs in YSU's 6-3 win in 11 innings on Feb. 15. D'Eusanio hit a two-run inside-the-park home run in the top of the sixth inning before hitting the go-ahead three-run homer in the top of the 11th. It was the first multi-homer game of the sophomore's career.
  • D'Eusanio then went 2-for-4 with two singles, a walk and two runs scored in the Penguins' 8-6 win in 10 innings on Feb 16. He hit leadoff singles to ignite YSU's four-run ninth inning and its two-run 10th as it came from five runs down to win.

Let The Good Times Roll

  • Freshman outfielder Andre Good leads the Horizon League with an .846 slugging percentage and seven RBIs through the first two weekends of the season. He is also tied for the league lead with two home runs, and he ranks eighth with a .385 batting average and a .471 on-base percentage.
  • Good went 3-for-4 with two home runs, a walk, three runs scored and four RBIs in his first-career game as part of YSU's 8-6 win in 10 innings at Houston on Feb. 16.
  • Good hit the first pitch of his first-career at bat over the wall in right field for a solo homer in the top of the second inning. He also hit a solo home run in the top of ninth that tied the game at 6-6 to force extra innings. Good then came through clutch again, this time with a two-run single up the middle in the top of the 10th inning, that proved to be the game-winning hit.
  • The Munhall, Pa., native recorded two hits, two walks and three RBIs over three games at College of Charleston this past weekend.
  • Good is tied for the team lead with three walks, and he is second on the squad with 11 total bases and four runs scored.
Hake Approaching Career Appearances Record
  • With five appearances over the first two weekends of the season, senior right-hander Joel Hake now ranks second in YSU history with 84 career appearances. He is one of only five players in program history to appear in 80 or more games.
  • Hake needs just two more appearances to break Ryan Sellman's record of 85 that was set from 2005-08. Hake led the Penguins with 26 appearances and four saves as a junior in 2018. He also pitched in a team-leading 28 games as a freshman in 2016.
  • The Youngstown, Ohio, native was limited to just three appearances all of last season because of a leg injury. He already leads the Penguins with five appearances through six games this season.
  • Hake is one of only three players in school history to make at least 26 appearances in two different seasons. The other two are Sellman and Kevin McCulloh (2010-12). His 28 appearances in 2016 are tied for the sixth-most in a single season in YSU history.
  • Hake has a chance to become the first player in school history to make at least 25 appearances in three different campaigns.

Quick Notes

  • Sophomore first baseman Padraig O'Shaughnessy leads the Horizon League with a .571 on-base percentage, and ranks fourth in the league with a team-best .400 batting average.
  • Junior infielder/outfielder Jeff Wehler ranks second in the league with three stolen bases in as many attempts. Wehler now ranks fourth in YSU history with 58 career steals, and he needs two more to become just the third player in program history to amass 60 or more.
  • Sophomore infielder Phillip Glasser has reached base safely in each of YSU's first six games, and he is tied for the team lead with three multi-hit games.
  • Senior right-hander Gary Clift Jr. has eight strikeouts and a 1.69 ERA over 5.1 innings in two appearances out of the bullpen. Opponents are batting just .111 against him.
  • After missing all of last season due to injury, senior right-hander Zack Minney made his first appearance since May 24, 2018, on Saturday at College of Charleston.
  • Nathan Ball and Casey Marshalwitz each made their first-career appearance on Saturday at College of Charleston.

Up Next

The Penguins will play at Pittsburgh on Tuesday, March 3, at 3 p.m. before beginning a three-game series at N.C. Central on Friday, March 6, at 6 p.m. Tuesday's contest at Pitt will be broadcast live on YSNLive.com and ACC Network Extra.