Penguins' Bats Can't Get Going in 10-4 Loss at Norfolk State

Craig Goubeaux
Craig Goubeaux

Norfolk, Va. -- Norfolk State outscored the Youngstown State baseball team 7-1 in the final six innings to defeat the Penguins 10-4 on Tuesday at Marty L. Miller Field.

YSU led 3-1 after the top of the second despite having just two hits, and the Penguins' bats managed six hits for the game.

The Penguins missed opportunities to take a sizable lead early. They had runners on second and third with nobody out in the first and managed just one run, and an inning-ending double play with the bases loaded in the second limited them to two runs.

David Leon and Craig Goubeaux both had two hits for YSU, whose top five batters in the line-up did not have a hit.

Jason Shirley and Drew Dosch walked to start the game and advanced on a wild pitch. Jeremy Banks brought in Shirley on a sacrifice fly, but two more flyouts kept YSU to just one run.

The Spartans also used two walks and a sacrifice fly to score in the bottom of the first, and both teams scored twice in the second. Singles from YSU's Kevin Hix and Goubeaux and a walk to Phil Lipari loaded the bases with one out, and Norfolk State pitcher Horace Smith walked Shirley and Dosch to force in two runs. He then got Banks to hit into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning, and YSU got just one more run the rest of the contest.

Norfolk State's two runs in the second also came without a hit. A sacrifice bunt followed two walks, and Justin Lee brought in a run with a ground out. Another walk ended starter Joey Gajda's afternoon, and the Spartans tied the score on a wild pitch from reliever Josh North.

Neither team scored in the third, but the Spartans scored three two-out runs in the fourth to take a lead they would not relinquish. Shane Hoggard hit a leadoff single and went to third on a wild pitch and sacrifice bunt. After North got a ground out to keep Hoggard on third, James Taylor put the Spartans up with an RBI single. Taylor then scored on a wild pitch, and Chris Warren scored on Ryan Montgomery's RBI single that put Norfolk State ahead 6-3.

Goubeaux doubled in Leon with two outs in the sixth to cut YSU's deficit to 6-4, but that was the Penguins' last hit until there were two outs in the ninth.

North retired the first batter in the seventh, but a double and single in consecutive at bats ended his day. Reliever Ryan Krokos got the second out before allowing back-to-back RBI singles to Hoggard and Tyon Ore that make the score 8-4. Hunter Kenney doubled in two runs in the eighth for the final two runs of the game.

North was charged with the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits in 4.2 innings of work. Although he did not allow a walk, the Penguins issued seven bases on balls as a staff. Jeremy Sandifer earned the win for Norfolk State, holding the Guins scoreless over the third and fourth innings. The Spartans walked eight hitters.

YSU will start a three-game series with Milwaukee on Friday at Eastwood Field. Friday's game will be the Penguins' 2012 home and Horizon League opener.