YSU rallies to sweep Vikings





Next: YSU vs. Cleveland State, today, 3 p.m.

By Jim Flick



The Youngstown State University baseball team used a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth inning to complete a doubleheader sweep over Cleveland State on Saturday at Eastwood Field.

“We’ll take ‘em any way we can get ‘em,” said coach Rich Pasquale after a 3-2 win in the second game. “They outhit us, but we played smart.”

The Penguins (10-27, 5-6 Horizon League) won the opener, 6-3.

CSU collected 18 hits in the twinbill, compared to 11 for YSU.

In the second game, the Vikings smacked 11 hits, compared to two hits for the Penguins, and neither of the YSU hits figured in the scoring.

The Vikings (7-28, 1-13), burst out to a 2-0 lead in the second game. YSU tied the game in the third inning and repeatedly stymied CSU scoring attempts.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Jonathan Crisp led off with a walk. After Craig Goubeaux sacrificed Crisp to second, Phil Lipari tapped an infield grounder that was thrown to third base as Crisp retreated to second.

CSU pitcher Clayton Ruch walked Padraic Williams to load the bases and Armani Johnson on five pitches to end the game.

In the first game, YSU took a 1-0 lead after Joe Iacobucci singled then scored on a Goubeaux hit.

YSU boosted the lead to 2-0 in the second after Williams walked and scored on a hit by Neil Schroth.

An error by CSU catcher Alex Gnezda gave YSU two more runs in the fifth inning. Gnezda tried to pick Johnson off third base, but threw the ball into left field, allowing Johnson and Schroth to score for a 4-0 lead.

YSU struck for two more runs in the sixth. The rally started when Iacobucci was hit by a pitch and advanced to third on two groundouts. Williams singled to score Iacobucci. Johnson singled to bring home another run.

CSU’s John Calhoun doubled to drive home two runs in the eighth inning.

The win went to Robert Switka (2-5) while Anthony Sambula (2-6) took the loss.

The Penguins were in early trouble in the second starting pitcher Phil Klein hit two batters in the first inning. Three hits produced two runs for the Vikings.

YSU fought back in the third inning, tying the game without a hit. Lipari walked to open the inning and Williams was hit by a pitch. An infield error scored Lipari. A sacrifice allowed Williams to score.

The win went to reliever Kevin McCulloh.

Pasquale said McCulloh has solidified the back end of the bullpen in recent days, and has become an important weapon for the Penguins.

The loss went to Brandon Cooper (3-2), CSU’s second pitcher.

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