Bittersweet day for YSU baseball
NILES -- The Youngstown State baseball team lost both games of a doubleheader to Southern Utah, 3-0 and 11-7, on Sunday, but following the game, the Penguins learned their season will continue.
Thanks to Chicago State's win over IUPUI, YSU finished in fourth place in the Mid-Continent Conference standings and will play in the conference tournament, starting Thursday in Tulsa, Okla.
The Penguins (24-28-1, 12-15) will play regular season champion Oral Roberts. Southern Utah (21-35, 19-9) will play Valparaiso in the other first-round game.
Game 1: Southern Utah scored twice in the first inning and added a run in the third. YSU starter Matt Brumit (1-7) struck out a career-high 13 in his complete-game, seven-inning performance. Brumit allowed just five hits and walked three. At one point, he struck out six straight batters.
But, Southern Utah's James Anderson tossed a complete-game shutout, allowing five hits. YSU left seven runners stranded, including five in the first three innings.
In the second game, Southern Utah scored five runs in the first inning, chasing YSU starter Jonathon Smart. In two-thirds of an inning, Smart allowed all five runs on three hits. He walked four and struck out one.
The Thunderbirds added three runs in the third for an 8-0 lead. YSU cut the lead to 8-4, but Southern Utah made it 11-4 before a Penguin rally in the sixth.
Steve Mefferd led off with a walk and scored on an RBI double by Clint Ford. After a strikeout, Ty Furino singled home Ford. With two outs, Kellen Dixon's infield single kept his hitting streak alive at 24 games, tying a school record.
Furino scored on a passed ball, then Todd Santore's single loaded the bases. But, reliever Steve Stoker struck out Jim Lipinski to end the streak.