Oakland sweeps doubleheader versues Youngstown State, wins series over Penguins


Nowshin Chowdhury // Archived

In the three-game series season opener for Oakland baseball, the Golden Grizzlies won the third game and ended the series with a 1-2 record.

Jordon Banfield and the Oakland baseball team traveled to Niles, Ohio over the weekend to take on the Youngstown State Penguins in the first series of the Horizon League season. The Golden Grizzlies dropped the first game but bounced back in the second and third to steal the series from the Penguins.

Game 1

Oakland was beaten rather soundly in the series opener by a score of 18-3. Bryce Konitzer got the start on the mound for the Golden Grizzlies, and the Youngstown State lineup jumped all over him. 

The Penguins scored a run in the first inning and added three more in the second inning to establish a comfortable four-run lead over the visiting Golden Grizzlies. 

Oakland redshirt senior shortstop Thomas Green flew out in the fourth inning, bringing home redshirt sophomore Drew Collins for the team’s first run of the game.

Youngstown State added two of their own in the home half of the fourth inning, and in the seventh inning, third baseman Brae O’Shaughnessy hit a grand slam to give YSU a 10-1 lead.

Oakland scored again in the eighth inning on a Luke Malmanger single, but the Penguins plated eight in the bottom of the eighth inning to secure the win. The Golden Grizzlies added one in the top of the ninth, but it was all moot.

Youngstown State took the series opener, 18-3.

Game 2

The second game of the series proved much more exciting and competitive than the series opener. 

Leading 7-6 going into the ninth inning, Oakland was in need of a few insurance runs to keep the Penguins at a distance. It had been a hectic, back-and-forth game through eight innings, and the Golden Grizzlies felt far from comfortable.

Malmanger and Reagan Paulina each drew walks, which started a big Golden Grizzly rally. Brandon Heidal singled, bringing home Malmanger, and the flood gates opened.

Oakland scored six runs in the top of the ninth inning, much in part due to the subpar Penguin pitching.

The Golden Grizzlies tallied only three hits in the top half of the ninth, but Youngstown State pitchers gave up three walks, two wild pitches and the catcher let a passed ball go by, too.

It seemed that YSU practically gave the game away, but it stormed back in the bottom of the ninth to make things interesting once again. The Penguins put together a one-out rally, quickly scoring four runs in the home half of the ninth.

As the pressure mounted, junior pitcher Jake Matthaidess worked out of a jam to give Oakland the thrilling 13-10 victory.

Game 3

The first two games of the series featured a total of 44 runs, which is an average of 11 runs per game for each team. The series finale wasn’t nearly as high scoring. 

Collins got things started in the top of the first inning with a leadoff home run to right field. 

The Golden Grizzlies continued to take advantage of opportunities throughout the game. Youngstown State committed five errors, and Oakland scored two runs off the Penguins’ mistakes.

Senior pitcher Travis Densmore was terrific on the mound as he plowed through the YSU lineup. He gave up his first two runs of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning before Banfield elected to bring in fellow senior pitcher Noah Stants.

Stants finished off Densmore’s masterful performance, and Oakland finished the series with a 5-2 win. It was the second consecutive series victory for the Golden Grizzlies, which now sit at 7-10 overall.