Baseball

Swenson, Morris Lead Penguins to Split Against Butler

Niles, Ohio -- C.J. Morris knocked in three runs, and Aaron Swenson improved to 3-0 against Horizon League opponents as Youngstown State won game two of a doubleheader 12-5 against Butler on Saturday afternoon.

The Penguins (14-22, 6-5 Horizon) were one strike away from sweeping the Bulldogs (8-22, 4-10) before the visitors rallied for a 5-4 victory with three runs in the ninth.

YSU posted 12 hits in the nightcap - twice as many as the opener - and scored 10 of its runs in the fifth through seventh innings.

Swenson picked up a complete game victory for the third time in four conference starts. He has a 2.70 ERA against the Horizon League in 33.1 innings, and he has struck out 20 batters while walking just four.

"I was impressed with the way we battled back in game two after losing the first game the way we did," YSU head coach Rich Pasquale said. "Aaron, once again, came out and gave us a good outing."

YSU's game one starter Chuck Schiffhauer actually pitched better than Swenson but did receive a decision. He allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, but he blanked the Bulldogs over the next six innings and allowed only four hits.

In game two, YSU scored four runs in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie, and it posted six runs in the next two innings after Butler cut the margin within one in the sixth.

The Penguins took the lead in the first inning of game two and never trailed. Josh Page hit a leadoff double, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Sean Lucas' sacrifice fly.

Butler manufactured a run to tie the score in the third when Michael Letzter hit a leadoff single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Alex Montagano's bloop single to center.

Morris hit a two-run blast in the fifth to break the tie, and the Penguins got two more runs with the help of an error. Page and Lucas hit back-to-back singles to put runners at the corners, and Page scored when Letzter threw wildly trying to throw out Lucas on a steal. Erich Diedrich then brought in Lucas on a sacrifice fly.

Joe Pauley then cut the margin to one when he hit his second of three opposite-field home runs on the day in the sixth with two runners on.

YSU answered with two runs as Morris was beaned with the bases loaded and Page brought in Cory Hornyak on a squeeze. The Penguins then added four runs on two hits, two walks and three straight hit batsmen in the seventh to blow the game open.

Pauley hit a solo homer in the eighth, and Anthony Porter singled in Eric Marzec in the bottom half for the final tally.

In game one, Pauley gave the Bulldogs an early lift with a two-run homer in the first inning. YSU tied the score in the second on RBIs from Mike Turjanica and David Leon, and Porter and Marzec had RBI singles in the fifth and seventh innings to make the score 4-2.

YSU reliever Joe Antinone retired the first five batters he faced - three in the eighth and the first two in the ninth - but Butler rallied with three runs after there were two outs. Antinone had Pauley behind on an 0-2 count before hitting him on the back, and Kyle Ziegel followed with a line-drive home run to left that tied the score. After Rick Betsch walked, he stole second and went to third on an error. Ryan Neat then singled to center off of Marzec for the eventual game-winner.

The Penguins will play another doubleheader Sunday against Milwaukee starting at 11 a.m.