Guins' Offense Awakens to Earn Split With Milwaukee

2010 YSU Baseball
2010 YSU Baseball

Niles, Ohio -- The Youngstown State baseball team had its best offensive output of the season to beat Milwaukee 12-9 in game two of Saturday's doubleheader at Eastwood Field. The Penguins lost game one 3-2 in 10 innings.

Jeremy Banks and Joe Iacobucci both homered and drove in four runs, and every Penguin who stepped to the plate had at least one hit in game two. Nic Manuppelli threw 3.1 scoreless innings of relief to earn his first collegiate victory for YSU.

The nightcap featured 21 runs and 28 hits - as well as seven errors - while the first game had just five runs and 16 hits. The Penguins had 16 hits themselves in game two.

In game one, YSU starter Phil Klein worked seven innings and allowed one run on four hits despite walking four. He struck out four and left with a 2-1 lead after throwing 115 pitches. His opponent, Eric Semmelhack, was also strong as he did not allow a base-runner until Drew Dosch's leadoff single in the fifth.

Iacobucci followed Dosch's single with another single, and Jonathan Crist's sacrifice bunt advanced both runners up a base. Dosch scored on Phil Lipari's soft single to center, and Iacobucci crossed home on Craig Goubeaux's successful squeeze bunt.

Klein finally gave up a run in the sixth when Doug Dekoning and Paul Hoenecke hit back-to-back two-out doubles. YSU had good chances to add a cushion in each of its next three trips to the plate but failed came up empty.

In the bottom of the sixth, Neil Schroth hit a one-out triple to right center but was stranded when Banks grounded out with the infield in and Dosch flew out.

Two singles and an error then put runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Lipari got into a rundown between first and second to avoid getting picked off, and Crist was thrown out at the plate trying to advance with the attention on Lipari.

YSU reliever Kevin McCulloh allowed a leadoff homer to Cole Kraft in the top of the eighth that tied the score at 2-2, and the Penguins' third mishap cost them in the bottom half. David Saluga hit a pinch-hit single to start the inning, but David Leon popped into a double play on a failed sacrifice bunt.

Neither team threatened in the ninth, and Kraft got the Panthers going again in the 10th with a leadoff single. Tess Taylor moved him to second on a sacrifice bunt, and, two batters later, Sam Koenig hit a 1-2 pitch up the middle to bring in the winning run.

Kaleb Engelke earned the win for Milwaukee, and Cuyler Franzke recorded the final out in the 10th to earn his second save. McCulloh was charged with the loss and dropped to 4-7 on the campaign.

Milwaukee jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning of game two off Bill Turosky, but Banks' two-run homer tied the score in the bottom of the first.

Kraft doubled in Ryan Solberg in the second to put Milwaukee back on top at 3-2, but the Penguins erupted for four runs on three hits in the bottom half. Schroth tied the game with a bases-loaded single with one out, and Banks gave the Guins the lead with a two-run single to right. That chased starter Mike Schneider, and Iacobucci brought in Schroth on a sacrifice fly off reliever Cale Tassi.

An RBI double and a sacrifice fly in the top of the third cut the score to 6-5, and Milwaukee regained the lead in the fourth with two unearned runs. Schroth doubled in Leon in YSU's half of the fourth to tie the score at 7-7, and Schroth was called out on a close call at the plate to end the inning. The top of the fifth also ended with a play at the plate when Iacobucci and Dosch's relay came in ahead of Jonathan Capasso.

Chris Mitko's double in the bottom of the fifth brought in Goubeaux with the go-ahead run for YSU, but the Panthers scored twice in the sixth to go up 9-8. Schroth and Banks hit singles to start the bottom of the sixth, and Iacobucci's first homer of the season gave the Penguins an 11-9 lead that they would never lose. Leon singled in Mitko in the seventh for the final run of the game.

The fourth through sixth innings featured four lead changes, but Manuppelli's stability helped the Penguins put up zeroes in the final three innings. Manuppelli improved to 1-3, and Jordan Guth was charged with the loss after allowing the homer to Iacobucci.

The Penguins will take their final exams this week before heading to Butler on Friday for a doubleheader. First pitch at Bulldog Park is set for noon.