YSU BASEBALL Schlabach's single gives Penguins first Horizon victory
In the second game of a doubleheader, Corey Ohalek pitched all 10 innings in 30-degree temperature.
By PETE MOLLICA
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- Sophomore Kendall Schlabach singled home Kyle Penrod with the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning as Youngstown State posted its first-ever Horizon League baseball victory, 3-2 over Illinois-Chicago Saturday in the second game of a doubleheader at Cafaro Field.
The Penguins (7-10, 1-1 Horizon) lost the opening game, 7-0.
The teams will meet today in another doubleheader of seven and nine innings, beginning at noon.
Junior Corey Ohalek (3-3) pitched all 10 innings in 30-degree temperature and shut out the Flames over the final nine. He allowed nine hits, struck out four and walked two.
Wanted more: "I loved it out there," Ohalek said. "I was ready to go out for the 11th, but Kendall ended it.
"I love long games because the more I pitch the stronger I get."
The Penguins trailed 2-0 going into the eighth inning, but rallied for two runs, which included a disputed play that ignited the rally.
With one out, junior Ty Furino hit a grounder to third, but Nelson Gorb threw wildly to first base and Furino headed to second, but in the process collided with first base umpire Greg Patoray. Furino was then thrown out at second.
YSU coach Mike Florak argued the play and after a long conference between the three umpires and coaches, Furino was awarded second base.
Schlabach then sacrificed Furino to third, almost beating out the throw to first. Then freshman Adam Cox doubled into the left-center field gap, scoring Furino, and sophomore Jim Lipinski followed with a single up the middle, scoring Cox with the tying run.
After both teams went out 1-2-3 in the ninth, Ohalek retired the Flames in order in the 10th. In the bottom half of the inning freshman Penrod pinch-hit for Jim Phillips and singled to right field.
Getting a break: Flames relief pitcher Bill Bernabei tried a pickoff attempt that got away from first baseman Mike Lorenzo, putting Penrod on second. Furino laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt moving Penrod to third with one out.
The Flames drew the infield in and Schlabach hit the first pitch right up the middle for the game-winner.
"Coach told me to be looking fastball early on and that's what he threw me," Schlabach said. "They had the infield in so once it got past the pitcher I knew it was through."
The Penguins finished with nine hits, with Lipinski and freshman designated hitter Mark Nightingale each getting two.
"I'm so proud of these kids, they just never quit and guys like Corey Ohalek and Matt Brumit will do just about anything they can to help this team," said Florak.
"That's a very good team we beat today," he added. "The three pitchers they threw against us are the three best we've seen all year and they've got a couple of hitters I think we'll be watching on television in a couple of years."
Granderson is one: One of those hitters was junior right-fielder Curtis Granderson, who had five hits in the doubleheader, including a double and triple, and four stolen bases.
"We're still so young," said Florak. "What we need is to play every day and we haven't been doing that with the weather."
In the opening game UIC pitcher Larry Banks blanked the Penguins over seven innings, striking out six and walking none while allowing just five hits.
The Penguins had very few scoring opportunities in the game, and when they did Penrod got thrown out at home plate on Nightingale's single in the second. YSU had only one other runner get as far as second base when they got back-to-back singles from Nightingale and Kyle Smith in the fifth with two outs.
Nightingale had two hits in both games. Brumit went six innings in the opener and suffered the loss.