YSU baseball seeded fifth in Horizon tourney


Staff report


The fifth-seeded Youngstown State baseball team will open the 2018 Horizon League Baseball Championship against fourth-seeded Oakland on Wednesday at noon.

The tournament is being hosted at Wright State’s Nischwitz Stadium after the Raiders secured the top seed in the field.

All games of the tournament will be streamed live on ESPN+, and live stats will be available through links on HorizonLeague.com.

Senior right-hander Alex Bellardini will take the ball for the Penguins against the Golden Grizzlies. Wednesday’s opening-round games will be single elimination, and the tournament will shift to a double-elimination format on Thursday once it is narrowed to four teams.

If the Penguins (17-36, 10-19) win, they will play either top-seeded Wright State or the second seed UIC in the winners bracket on Thursday.

The Penguins dropped four games in the final week of the regular season. YSU fell 5-1 to Kent State on Tuesday in its home finale and a special Akron Children’s Hospital Kids Day game. More than 3,000 students were in attendance at Eastwood Field.

The Penguins finished the season with a record of 5-2 against opponents from the Mid-American Conference.

YSU also dropped three contests at UIC over the weekend. The Flames rode solid pitching to wins of 6-2 on Thursday and 12-0 on Friday. UIC also won the regular season finale 8-5 on Saturday in a game where each team hit three home runs. Trey Bridis hit a pair of solo homers and Andrew Kendrick hit one of his own.

In 2017, the Penguins won 15 games under first-year Head Coach Dan Bertolini.

YSU’s nine Horizon League wins last season tied for its most since 2009. The Penguins have surpassed last year’s win totals with 10 league wins and 17 total victories. The team’s 10 league wins this season are the most since 2009 and its 17 total wins are the most since 2014.

The Penguins have recorded the most conference wins (19) in back-to-back seasons since the 2009-2010 campaigns.

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