The sixth-seeded Youngstown State baseball team will play the top-seeded Valparaiso Crusaders in a winners' bracket game in the 2012 Horizon League Baseball Tournament this evening at Les Miller Field in Chicago. First pitch is set for 9 p.m. Eastern, and live video and live stats will be available on HorizonLeague.com. The Penguins defeated No. 3 Milwaukee 8-4 on Wednesday to advance in the winners' bracket, and Valparaiso earned a first-round bye.
YSU was swept at Valpo in a three-game series that concluded this past Saturday, and the Crusaders won all six matchups during the regular season. Two of those victories came by one run, including one in 11 innings on Saturday. Valpo has won the last four postseason meetings against YSU, including an 8-6 come-from-behind win to knock the Penguins out of last year's tournament. YSU's last tournament win over Valpo came on May 20, 1999, in the Mid-Continent Conference. The Penguins will be looking to advance to the winners' bracket final for the first time since 2005.
On The Mound
Youngstown State will send junior right-hander Pat Shedlock to the mound to counter Valparaiso's Second-Team All-Horizon League left-hander Tyler Deetjen. Shedlock did not start against the Crusaders last weekend, but he did pitch well in relief. He allowed one run on six hits in 4 2-3 innings on Friday, and he pitched one shutout inning against Valpo on April 15. Shedlock made his ninth start on April 11, but he was out of the rotation until starting against Wright State on May 13. He held the Raiders to three runs on six hits in five innings in that start. He posted back-to-back quality starts on March 11 and March 18 against VMI and Milwaukee, but a string of disappointing outings began at UIC's Les Miller Field on March 25. In that game, UIC scored six runs on eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, and Shedlock went on to allow 15 earned runs in 6 1-3 innings over his next three starts. He will enter Thursday's start having allowed five earned runs over his last 14 2-3 innings. For the year, Shedlock is 0-5 with a 8.59 ERA in 51 1-3 innings.
Deetjen leads the Horizon League with 103 1-3 innings and posted a 6-2 record during the regular season. He struck out 56 and allowed just eight walks, or about one per 13 innings. He has allowed a combined seven earned runs in his last four starts against YSU for an ERA of 2.28 over 27 2-3 innings. He allowed three earned runs (six total) in 15 2-3 innings over two starts this season against the Penguins.
Earlier This Season vs. Valparaiso
- April 13 at Eastwood Field - Valparaiso 7, Youngstown State 4... Box Score | Recap
- April 14 at Eastwood Field - Valparaiso 10, Youngstown State 0... Box Score | Recap
- April 15 at Eastwood Field - Valparaiso 5, Youngstown State 4... Box Score | Recap
- May 17 at Emory G. Bauer Field - Valparaiso 8, Youngstown State 3... Box Score | Recap
- May 18 at Emory G. Bauer Field - Valparaiso 8, Youngstown State 7 (11 innings)... Box Score | Recap
- May 19 at Emory G. Bauer Field - Valparaiso 13, Youngstown State 2... Box Score | Recap
Quick Notes from Wednesday's Win
- Youngstown State won an opening round game as the sixth seed for the third straight season. The Guins also beat Milwaukee last year, and they defeated UIC in 2010. They are now 6-7 all-time as the No. 6 seed in the Horizon League Tournament.
- Jeremy Banks went 3-for-5 and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. He has 17 hits in 38 career at bats (.447) in the Horizon League Tournament.
- Drew Dosch posted three RBIs, two of which came on his first career triple in the sixth that put YSU ahead 4-3.
- Phil Lipari had two singles, walked, scored twice and recorded a sacrifice bunt while batting leadoff for the first time this season.
- YSU's top six hitters combined for 11 of the squad's 12 hits.
- Harless became YSU's first freshman pitcher to earn a victory in the Horizon League Tournament since Aaron Swenson in 2007 at Les Miller Field.
- Milwaukee had only three ground outs in the game, and one of those was on a sacrifice bunt.
- Milwaukee starter Eric Semmelhack struck out 11 batters in his previous start against YSU.