Baseball Mounts Furious Rally But Falls in 11 at Valpo

Pat Shedlock
Pat Shedlock

Valparaiso, Ind. -- The Youngstown State baseball team rallied from a five-run deficit to force extra innings, but Valparaiso scored on a two-out error in the 11th to win 8-7 on Friday at Emory G. Bauer Field.

Valparaiso clinched at least a share of the Horizon League title with the victory, which was its 21st in conference play.

Youngstown State trailed 4-0 before recording an out, 6-0 after two innings and 7-2 through the sixth. The Penguins then scored three runs in the seventh and twice in the ninth to force extra innings.

Drew Dosch finished 4-for-5 and drove in the tying run with a single in the top of the ninth. He nearly missed hitting a go-ahead homer to center field in the 11th but had to settle for a double. Three Penguins relievers combined to allow one earned runs in 9 1-3 innings.

Tanner Vavra and Spencer Mahoney had four hits apiece for Valparaiso, and they were the batter and runner on the Crusaders' winning run.

The first six Valpo hitters of the game singled, and the Crusaders went on to post five runs on seven hits in the first inning. YSU starter Blake Aquadro then allowed singles to two of the first three hitters in the second, and Pat Shedlock came on in relief to limit the damage by surrendering just one run.

Jeremy Banks brought in Phil Lipari and Dosch with a one-out single in the sixth to make the score 6-2, but Valpo scored a run in the sixth to take a 7-2 advantage.

The Penguins started their charge in the seventh with three runs, two of which were unearned. Dan Hurlimann hit a leadoff double and scored when David Saluga's fly ball to center was dropped. Saluga then scored on David Leon's single, and Dosch followed two batters later with an RBI single that made the score 7-5.

YSU's Kevin McCulloh came in with two runners on and nobody out in the seventh and struck out the side, and the Penguins were able to tie the score in the ninth. Saluga and Leon both reached on one-out infield singles, and Saluga scored on an error on Lipari's grounder. Dosch then singled in Leon to tie the score at 7-7, but Valpo closer Jarad Miller was able to strike out Banks and Marcus Heath to keep the game tied.

After Dosch's RBI single, the Penguins went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position the rest of the game.

Mahoney started the 11th with a bunt single, but Nic Manuppelli was able to retire the next two hitters without Mahoney advancing. Andrew Bain then singled to right to move Mahoney to third, and Mahoney came in to score when Vavra hit a hard one-hopper to Lipari that bounced off the shortstop's chest.

Shedlock allowed one earned run on six hits in 4 2-3 innings to give the Penguins a chance to rally, and McCulloh allowed one hit in 1 2-3 shutout innings. Nic Manuppelli was the hard-luck loser, surrendering an unearned run on four hits in three innings.

Valpo starter Kevin Wild allowed five runs, three of which were earned, on seven hits in 6 1-3 innings in a no-decision. Sean Kennedy pitched a scoreless 11th to earn the win.

Youngstown State and Valparaiso will finish the regular season on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern.