ASU Baseball completes mid-week sweep of Youngstown State - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

ASU Baseball completes mid-week sweep of Youngstown State

The Alabama State baseball team completed a two-game sweep of Youngstown State with an 8-3 win over the Penguins Wednesday night at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

Freshmen Drake Hloska and Patrick Coffin combined to scatter seven hits and three runs over six innings, while positions 5-9 in the Hornets' lineup combined for seven of Alabama State's 10 hits, scoring five times and driving in seven runs.

"I was very satisfied with the effort on the mound from Drake in his first collegiate start," head coach Mervyl Melendez said. "I thought he did a pretty good job, giving up two runs in three innings, and threw the ball well. We knew Youngstown State's approach at the plate was going to be better, so Drake and Patrick, having back-to-back freshmen on the mound, did a good job and we're happy about that."

Trailing 1-0 in the second inning, Emmanuel Marrero was hit by a pitch with one out. After an infield single by Marcus Swint, Branden Castro, who tied a career-high with three hits, singled to right field, scoring Marrero. After Castro advanced to second on a wild pitch, Dexter Price's sacrifice fly scored Swint and moved Castro to third. Einar Muniz' single up the middle on a 1-2 pitch scored Castro to give the Hornets a 3-1 lead.

Tied at 3-3 in the sixth, Alabama State regained the lead for good. Cesar Rivera singled through the left side to leadoff the inning and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Waldyvan Estrada reached on an error and advanced to second on a wild pitch, Marrero was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Rivera then scored on a fielder's choice, followed by an RBI single by Castro, scoring Marrero. Swint, who reached on a fielder's choice, scored on a throwing error for a 6-3 ASU lead.

The Hornets added a pair of runs in the seventh on two-out, two-run double by Marrero.

"We picked our spots tonight to have three good offensive innings," Melendez said. "It was a very good job by the bottom of the lineup. One at bat that stands out was Einar's hit up the middle (an RBI single in the second inning) with two outs. It was a productive at bat. It was good see Branden get three hits and a pair of RBI to set the tone for us. He'd been struggling a bit at the plate, but I think he's finding his groove now."

Alabama State begins Southwestern Athletic Conference play at home this weekend against Mississippi Valley State in a pair of doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday. First pitch each day is at 1 p.m. at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Alabama State Athletics Dept.

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