Bridis embraces role as YSU leader
for fourth season
By Brian Dzenis
Trey Bridis brings tenure, leadership and some power to Youngstown State’s baseball team.
The senior outfielder enters the season as the only Penguins player going into his fourth season in Youngstown. At Saturday’s First Pitch Breakfast, he reflected on what that meant.
“It’s amazing, I’m here at the First Pitch Breakfast and I see all the guys who showed me around on my recruiting visit and they laugh around with me about how they won the Horizon League the year before I came here,” Bridis said.
“Now I’m taking guys on visits laughing around with them. When I’m an alumni, I’m going to come back and watch a couple games and I’ll see the guys I showed around.”
Bridis has embraced the role of elder statesman on the team and he’s been pretty busy when comes to showing new players around as of late. Coach Dan Bertolini brought in 23 new players for his second season — 13 freshmen and 10 transfers — in his second season at the helm.
“The four seniors we have, we’re nice guys and we’re accepting of them. We have team dinners. We go bowling together and we’re bring them along,” Bridis said. “It’s like a new chemistry and this team, it’s almost like we’re closer as we’ve never been before. It’s a great team and I love it.”
A mainstay in the lineup since Bridis’ freshman season, a lot is expected from him beside intangibles. His junior season was a revelation, seeing his hit totals double (28 to 15 in 2017), his doubles quadruple (four to 12) and his home runs octuple (one to eight). His homers were tied with fellow outfielder Kyle Benyo for the second most home runs on the team last year behind Andrew Kendrick’s 17. Bridis was named by Collegiate Baseball as one of the players to watch in the Horizon League in 2018.
“We feel like he’s primed for a great year. He really had a breakout year last year. We look for him to be a guy that hits in the middle of our line up,” Bertolini said. “I think a lot of people look up to him because he has the most experience at Youngstown State.”