Dayton, Ohio -- Blake Aquadro threw 5.2 innings of shutout relief, and the Youngstown State baseball team got solid contributions throughout the line-up in a 12-7 win over UIC in an elimination game on Saturday in the Horizon League Baseball Championship.
Youngstown State will play another elimination game this evening against the loser of the winners' bracket final between Wright State and Valparaiso.
The Penguins jumped out to an 8-1 lead, and Aquadro brought calmness once UIC got within one after four innings. While the sophomore lefty from Memphis, Tenn. kept putting up zeros, the offense added a run in the seventh and three more in the ninth.
YSU's top five hitters in the line-up combined for 12 hits, eight runs and 11 RBIs. Freshman Chris Mitko drove in a game-high four runs, and leadoff hitter Drew Dosch scored four times. Jeremy Banks and Joe Iacobucci both had three hits and two RBIs.
Jasen Ganek had three hits and scored twice to lead UIC.
UIC starter Tim Suminski struggled with his command early, and the Penguins took advantage by scoring four runs in three hits and four walks in 1.1 innings. A double play got Suminski out of a bases-loaded jam in the first, but he wasn't as fortunate in the second.
After getting the leadoff runner, Suminski walked Jonathan Crist and Dan Hurlimann, and Padraic Williams reached on a bunt single to load the bases. Dosch walked to force a run in, and Suminski handed the ball off to Collin Weyer. Neil Schroth flew out to shallow center for the second out, but Banks drove in two with a single to left. Iacobucci singled on a hard shot right back at Weyer to load the bases, and Mitko came through with another two-run single to left to make the score 5-0.
Turosky allowed an unearned run in the bottom of the second, and an 8-5 double play got him out of a bases loaded jam with one out. A two-run single from Schroth and a sacrifice fly from Mitko in the third put the Penguins up 8-1.
UIC trimmed the lead to 8-4 in the third after a bases-loaded walk and a two-run double by Joe Betcher. The Flames then scored three more in the fourth to cut the margin to 8-7. Ganek doubled in the first run to knock Turosky from the game, and Matt Serna brought in another run on a ground out. Andy Leonard then singled in Ganek with two outs.
Neither team scored over the next two innings, and Iacobucci drove in Dosch with a two-out single in the seventh to make the score 9-7. The Penguins added three more insurance runs with two outs in the ninth. Iacobucci brought in Dosch with a sacrifice fly, Schroth scored on a wild pitch and Mitko drove in Banks.
Aquadro was not charged with a run in his 5.2 innings of work. He allowed just three hits, walked one and struck out two in his first win of the year. Suminski dropped to 0-2 with the loss.
Aquadro continued his recent hot streak in May. He entered the month with a 9.80 ERA, but he has allowed just five earned runs over his last 23.2 innings. He's pitched in all three of YSU's games in the tournament and has allowed one unearned run on six hits over 8.1 innings.