The Youngstown State baseball team got a solid effort from freshman starting pitcher Jared Wight, and the Penguins scored all seven of their runs with two outs in a 7-4 victory over Wright State on Sunday afternoon at Eastwood Field.
Wight, a left-hander from Los Angeles making the first conference start of his career, left with a 5-1 lead in the sixth inning and earned his second win of the season. The Raiders cut the margin to 5-4 in the seventh inning, but YSU got two insurance runs in the eighth and held on to avoid the sweep.
The win allowed YSU to climb into a three-way tie with Wright State and UIC for third place in the Horizon League standings at 8-10. The Penguins also achieved their highest conference win total since 2010.
Josh White was 3-for-4, and Jake Kucek had two hits and two RBIs for the Penguins. Michael Timm had two hits and two RBIs for the Raiders.
Wright State had scored a total of 20 runs in the first four innings of the first two games of the series, but Wight was able to hold the Raiders scoreless until the sixth. He faced one above the minimum through five innings, and Wright State did not have a runner in scoring position until the sixth.
Jason Shirley got the Penguins on the board in the fourth with a two-out single to left that brought in White. Youngstown State then loaded the bases with one out in the fifth and scored four times with two down. Drew Dosch’s sacrifice fly brought in Marcus Heath, and White greeted reliever Logan Blair with a single that scored Mike Accardi. Phil Lipari walked to reload the bases, and Kucek hit a two-run single to left center to plate Devin Higgins and White and put the Penguins up 5-0.
Wight walked the leadoff batter in the sixth, and Sam Picchiotto followed with a double to give Wright State its best scoring opportunity of the game up to that point. John Brodner’s one-out single brought in the first run, and Wight struck out cleanup batter Kody Krizman with the bases loaded. Josh North came in to face right-handed hitter Michael Timm, and Timm hit a two-run single on an 0-2 pitch to cut the margin to 5-3. Justin Kopale tripled and scored on Picchiotti’s sacrifice fly in the seventh to bring the Raiders to within one.
YSU closer Nic Manuppelli came in to start the eighth inning and walked Brodnor and gave up a single to Garrett Gray to start the inning. He settled down and got Kruzman to fly out to right, and Lipari turned a big 6-3 double play to end the inning.
Youngstown State added two insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth when Lipari and Neil Schroth scored when Jack Graham’s soft grounder to third scooted under Brodner’s glove. Manuppelli got another double play in the top of the ninth en route to earning his seventh save.
Wight was charged with three runs on four hits and two walks in 5.2 innings in the winning effort. Wright State starter Robby Sexton allowed four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings, and the Raiders went on to use six relievers.
The Penguins will be off this week for finals, and they’ll start a three-game series at Milwaukee on Friday at 4 p.m.
Courtesy: YSU Sports Information