Niles, Ohio -- Valparaiso scored five runs in the third inning and got eight strong innings from starting pitcher Kevin Wild in a 10-0 victory over the Youngstown State baseball team on Saturday at Eastwood Field.
The Crusaders scored six runs on seven hits in the first three innings off Nic Manuppelli in his first start of the season. Reliever Ryan Krokos allowed just one hit and did not surrender an earned run in 4.2 innings of relief to give the Penguins a chance, but they missed on several opportunities against Wild.
Wild allowed five hits and two walks while striking out two in eight innings to earn his third win. Three of YSU’s hits came in the ninth against reliever Zack Walsh.
The top four hitters in Valpo’s lineup accounted for seven of its 11 hits, six runs and seven RBIs.
Small things went wrong for YSU in the first two innings, and they resulted in Valpo taking a 6-0 lead. With a runner on first and one out in the second, first baseman David Leon briefly bobbled a double play ball and had to settle for getting one out at first. Spencer Mahoney followed with an RBI single up the middle to put the Crusaders up 1-0.
The Crusaders started the third inning with five straight hits en route to batting around, but the chance for a big inning increased when Andrew Bain singled after fouling off two sacrifice bunt attempts. Tanner Vavra and Will Hagel followed with RBI singles, and Martin delivered a two-run double that made the score 5-0. Martin scored two batters later on Chris Manning’s sacrifice fly.
Down 6-0, YSU put two runners on with nobody out in both the fourth and fifth innings and couldn’t score. Kevin Hix led off the fourth with a double, and Jason Shirley singled sharply to center to put runners at the corners. Shirley was then picked off, Craig Goubeaux fouled out and Jeremy Banks struck out to end the inning. Marcus Heath led off the fifth with a double and Phil Lipari followed with a walk, but Wild struck out Leon and got back-to-back ground outs from Padraic Williams and Drew Dosch.
Valpo got an unearned run in the sixth to take a 7-0 lead, and the Crusaders tacked on three runs in the top of the ninth for the final tally. YSU loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the ninth, but David Saluga was hit by Lipari’s hard grounder between first and second for a dead ball and an out. Leon then fouled out, and Walsh struck out Jack Graham to end the game.
Youngstown State and Valparaiso will conclude their three-game series on Sunday at noon.