Niles, Ohio – Valparaiso scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to answer a Youngstown State rally and defeat the Penguins 6-3 on Saturday afternoon at Eastwood Field.
Crusaders starter Chris DeBoo didn't allow a hit until the fifth and faced one batter above the minimum through six innings as Valpo led 3-0. YSU scored three runs on three hits in the seventh to tie the game, and Valparaiso scored its final three runs with two outs.
Josh White led the Penguins with two hits and a run scored. Kyle Schneider was 3-for-3 with two of Valpo's four sacrifice bunts. Twelve of Valparaiso's 13 hits were singles.
The Crusaders scored an unearned run when leadoff batter Andrew Bain reached on an error and scored on Chris Manning's two-out single. Bain then brought in Schneider with a two-out infield single in the second to put Valpo up 2-0.
White led off the fifth with a single to account for YSU's first base-runner, but DeBoo lucked out when Phil Lipari lined into a double play. Valpo then went ahead 3-0 when Billy Cribbs singled in Spencer Mahoney in the sixth.
YSU got its second hit in the bottom of the sixth, then put together three in the seventh to tie the score. Neil Schroth singled to right on the first pitch of the inning, and White followed a fielder's choice with a double to left. Phil Lipari singled in YSU's first run to knock DeBoo from the game, and Devin Higgins brought in White with a sacrifice fly. Lipari tied the score when he and Nick DiNello executed a perfect double steal with two outs.
Mahoney led off the eighth with a double to left center, and Schneider sacrificed him to third. YSU starter Patrick O'Brien got Cribbs to foul out for the second out, but Andy Burns put the Crusaders ahead with an RBI single to center.
YSU got the leadoff runner on in the eighth and couldn't score, and the Crusaders scored twice on an infield single and a throwing error in the top of the ninth for the final tally. YSU got the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth when DiNello and Higgins had back-to-back singles, but pinch-hitter David Saluga flew out to end the game.
DeBoo was charged with all three runs on five hits in 6.1 innings for Valpo. Reliever Zack Walsh got the final two outs in the seventh and earned the victory. Karch Kowalczyk allowed two hits in the final two innings to earn his third save. O'Brien allowed three earned runs on 11 hits in 7.2 innings, and Nic Manuppelli allowed one earned run in 1.1 innings.
The Penguins and Crusaders will complete their three-game series on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Eastwood Field.