Special to the Register
The Eastern Kentucky University baseball team cruised past Youngstown State, 18-9, on Wednesday afternoon at Turkey Hughes Field in Richmond.
EKU (7-9) scored a combined 37 runs in its mid-week sweep of YSU (2-12). The Colonels beat the Penguins, 19-14, on Tuesday at Transylvania’s Marquard Field in Lexington.
After Youngstown State took an early 2-1 lead, the Colonels exploded for six runs in the home half of the second and never trailed again. Sophomore Kenny Hostrander started the rally with a two-run single to center, scoring senior Bryan Soloman and freshman Ben Fisher. Senior Sean Hagen highlighted the decisive inning with a bases-clearing double off the wall in right center, scoring Hostrander and fellow sophomores Kyle Nowlin and Doug Teegarden.
The Penguins scored four runs in the top of the third to pull within one run, 7-6. However, a two-out, two-run single by freshman Shea Sullivan in the bottom of that inning gave the Colonels some breathing room, and then Teegarden blew the game open by crushing a grand slam in the bottom of the fourth — EKU’s second grand slam in as many days — to make it 13-6.
Hagen led EKU with five RBIs, while Soloman finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Josh White drove in three runs to pace the Penguins’ offense.
Freshman right-hander Brian Mroz (1-0) earned his first-career victory, tossing 2 1/3 innings of relief and allowing only one unearned run on two hits. Junior right-handers Cameron Langfels (two innings pitched, two earned runs) and Ben Gullo (two scoreless innings) also pitched well out of the bullpen. Freshman southpaw Alex Hamilton started on the hill for the Colonels and went 2 2/3 innings, surrendering six runs on four hits while striking out five batters.
Left-hander Jared Wight (0-3) picked up the loss for YSU, throwing 1 1/3 innings and allowing seven runs on five hits.
EKU will now play host to Ohio Valley Conference foe Southeast Missouri State in a three-game series this weekend at Turkey Hughes Field.