Dayton, Ohio -- The Youngstown State baseball team will try to win an elimination game for the second time today when it plays Valparaiso at 7 p.m. in the Horizon League Baseball Championship at Nischwitz Field.
No. 6 YSU defeated No. 2 UIC 12-7 earlier today to stay alive in the tournament. No. 4 Valparaiso lost 4-3 to top-seeded Wright State today in the winners' bracket final. The winner of tonight's game between the Penguins and Crusaders will play Wright State on Sunday 11 a.m. in the championship round. Wright State would have to be beaten twice on Sunday to not win the title and NCAA Tournament berth.
Youngstown State senior left-hander Cody Dearth will take the hill for the Penguins. He'll be making his first start of the year after appearing out of the bullpen 17 times. In 17.1 innings, he's allowed 16 earned runs for an 8.31 ERA. He allowed one run on two hits at Valparaiso on April 15.
Valparaiso will send freshman righty Kevin Upp to the mound for his fourth start of the season. Upp posted a 2-0 record to go along with a 3.00 ERA in 10 appearances during the regular season. Opposing batters hit .222 against him. Upp did not pitch against Youngstown State this season.
Valpo defeated YSU in all three meetings during the regular season. The Crusaders won the opener 11-1 on April 15 and swept a doubleheader two days later, 4-3 and 5-2.