The Penguins started five freshmen in a 12-1 victory over Bethany.
& lt;a href=mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org & gt;By PETE MOLLICA & lt;/a & gt;
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Youngstown State extended its winning streak to five games Wednesday, posting a 12-1 non-conference baseball victory over Bethany College at Cafaro Field.
The Penguins (8-9) pounded out 14 hits and got excellent pitching from three freshmen.
Eric Shaffer pitched the first four innings to pick up his second win of the season. The left-hander struck out eight and allowed just three hits and one unearned run while walking none.
The Akron native had four of his strikeouts in the second inning, when one Bethany batter reached first on a passed ball on strike three.
Shaffer was followed by Brian Boone, who threw one scoreless inning, then sophomore Mike Hosterman for one scoreless inning and then freshman Josh Wells for two scoreless innings. Junior Paul Yates pitched the ninth and struck out the side.
The Penguin offense was led by senior Ty Furino with three hits, while junior catcher Adam Cox pounded out a two-run homer and a double, driving in four runs.
"We have some good depth at pitching," said YSU coach Mike Florak. "We have 10 or 11 arms who we feel very confident about when they have the ball.
"Strong pitching is what wins games and in the Horizon League you need all you can get because it is such a good conference," Florak added.
Including Shaffer, the Penguins started five freshmen against the Bisons (3-9).
"Nobody panicked when we started out slowly this season," he said. "We have a lot of young kids and we played a lot of real good teams early on the schedule. We knew we would have our ups and downs this year."
In front early
Bethany helped the Penguins take an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Junior Kendall Schlabach led off the inning with a sharp double down the right-field line and stole third. With one out Adam Cox hit a ground ball to shortstop Billy Deer, who threw wildly to first, allowing Schlabach to score.
With two outs, sophomore Jim Phillips hit a grounder to second and again the Bisons threw wildly to first as Cox came around to score the second run.
The Penguins added a run in the second, when freshman Charles Schultz doubled to deep right, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a wild pitch.
With two outs in the third the Penguins added two more runs as Phillips singled, freshman Justin Banks doubled down the left-field line and Schultz followed with his second hit, scoring both runners.
The Penguins scored three in the fourth and fifth innings. Freshman Brandon Caipen drove in the first run in the fourth with a sacrifice fly and then Cox pounded a home run deep to left-center with Schlabach aboard. Schlabach reached with his second double of the game.
In the fifth the Penguins scored on two walks, a single by Furino, a Bethany error and then Cox's double to left.
The Penguins play host to Binghamton Saturday in a doubleheader at noon. The teams play a single game Sunday at 1 p.m.
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