Penguins pound Toledo; league games on Horizon
Youngstown State put the game away with a five-run sixth inning.
NILES -- Hits off the bat, and by pitch, in the middle three innings by the Youngstown State baseball team enabled the Penguins to score 11 runs on the way to a 13-5 win over Toledo at Eastwood Field on Tuesday night.
YSU scored three times in the fourth and fifth inning, and then put the game away with a five-run sixth frame as the Penguins bounced back from a doubleheader loss to Ashland at home on Sunday to improve to 19-15 on the year.
The Penguins finished a six-game stretch of non-league play with a 4-2 record.
YSU hosts Butler in a Horizon League four-game series at Eastwood Field starting Friday at 7 p.m. The two will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 1 p.m. The series finale is slated for Sunday at 1 p.m.
Banks doubles twice
Justin Banks led the attack for the Penguins with two doubles, while scoring three runs and driving in the same.
Charles Schultz, J.D. Hannon, and Josh Page had two hits each for the winners. Page added two RBIs as did Jim Phillips.
Brian Boone, the first of seven YSU pitchers, went three scoreless innings for the victory, his first of the year. He allowed just one hit with two walks and a strikeout.
"Brian [Boone] is a very intelligent baseball player," YSU coach Mike Florak said. "We told him he needed to add a slider to his repertoire and he has been working on that, and it was effective tonight."
For Toledo (12-24), former Warren JFK star Mike Ellis started and suffered the loss, his first decision as a collegian. The former Eagle pitched the first four innings, (a career high), and allowed four runs on five hits.
He walked only one but hit three batters. Toledo pitchers hit a total of five YSU batters, including Phillips twice. Phillips has now been hit by a pitch nine times on the season.
YSU held a 1-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning.
Banks led off with a walk and after Phillips was hit by a pitch Dustin Thomas laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners to second and third.
A wild pitch scored Banks and a single by Schultz drove home Phillips. A two-out double by Page scored the final run of the inning.
After the Rockets scored an unearned run in the fifth, the Penguins' Tommy Nutt walked to start the rally.
Brandon Caipen followed with a single and they both scored on a double by Banks.
The third run scored after Phillips was hit again by a pitch, and back-to-back walks to Mike Turjanica, and Page.
The Rockets scored two times on four hits in the sixth inning, one of only two frames Toledo had more than one hit in an inning before Kevin Libeg came out of the bullpen to get the last out leaving the bases loaded.
YSU allowed the leadoff man to reach base in only two of the nine innings of the game.
Nutt started the five-run sixth when he was hit by a pitch. After an error put runners on first and second, Banks hit his second double of the game scoring Nutt.
A single by Phillips scored two more runs, and singles by Turjanica and Page plated the last two runs for a 12-3 YSU lead.
"We suffered a brain cramp on Sunday," Florak said. "We challenged them and they came back and responded. Take nothing away from Ashland, they played well, but this is how you have to respond if you want to be a champion.
"It was good to get a lot of guys in tonight in a game situation to get them ready for this weekend. Butler is always scrappy, it's going to be four dog fights. I hope we can get a good crowd here to support us."