Penguins Rally Late Again to Beat Valparaiso, Split Doubleheader

Lorenzo Arcuri (Photo by David Dermer)
Lorenzo Arcuri (Photo by David Dermer)

Lorenzo Arcuri hit a two-run double with two outs in the ninth inning to lift the Youngstown State baseball team to a 4-3 victory at Valparaiso in game one of a doubleheader at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Penguins dropped game two 6-2.

The Penguins also beat the Crusaders in their final at bat twice last weekend and finished the regular season winning three of five games against Valparaiso.

Arcuri and Trey Bridis had hits in both games of the doubleheaders, and Bridis' solo home run in the top of the second inning of game one gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Valparaiso scored twice in the bottom of the second and once more in the third, and the Crusaders held the 3-1 advantage until the Penguins rallied late.

Arcuri walked and scored on a Kyle Benyo sacrifice fly to bring the Penguins to within 3-2, and that set up Arcuri's heroics in the top of the ninth. Shane Willoughby started the ninth by being hit by a pitch, and Andrew Kendrick reached on an error to put the go-ahead runner on. Valpo closer Easton Rhodehouse retired the next two hitters, but Arcuri hit a 0-1 pitch into the right-center gap for what turned out to be a game-winning triple.

Joe King retired the Crusaders in order in the bottom of the ninth to earn his sixth save, which is tied for the fourth-most by a YSU pitcher in one season. Joel Hake pitched 2-1/3 shutout innings of relief to earn his first victory of the season for the Penguins.

In game two, Valparaiso scored twice in the bottom of the third inning to go up 2-0. Bridis singled home Arcuri in the fourth inning, and Anthony Rohan's sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth knotted the score at 2-2. The Crusaders with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take the eventual winning margin of 6-2.

Bridis finished 3-for-4 in the night cap, but the rest of YSU's lineup combined to have two hits in 27 at bats.

Youngstown State will travel more than four hours to play another doubleheader on Saturday at Wright State. First pitch of game one will be at 1 p.m.