Bloomington, Ind.- The Youngstown State baseball team dropped a 10-2 decision to No. 4 national seed Indiana on a warm Friday evening at Bart Kaufman Field in the opening round of the Bloomington Regional.
Indiana scored three runs in three different innings - the first, third and fifth - while the Guins picked up single runs in the second and sixth innings. The Hoosiers, who have won 31 of their last 34 games, added a lone run in the bottom of the sixth.
Youngstown State will now play an elimination game against second-seeded Indiana State on Saturday at 2 p.m. while Indiana will advance to play Stanford in the winners bracket at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Stanford beat Indiana State 8-1 in Friday's early game. The Guins will be the home team in the contest.
The Hoosiers scored five of their runs on home runs by Kyle Schwarber and Sam Travis and finished the game with 15 hits. Youngstown State (16-37) had hits in seven innings and had base runners in the final eight frames but couldn't string enough hits together to keep up with the Hoosiers (43-13). YSU left 11 runners on base to IU's 10.
Indiana scored six of its runs off Penguins starter Jared Wight (1-3) and gave its starter, Scott Effross (5-2), plenty of early run support. Effross, making his first career start, surrendered one run on three hits in four innings to earn his fifth victory of the season. Evan Bell allowed one run over the next 3.2 innings as Indiana started to pull away.
Schwarber finished 4-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs, and Dustin DeMuth added three hits for the Hoosiers. Josh White and Kevin Hix had two hits apiece for the Penguins and each drove in a run.
Wight caught a tough break in the first inning that led to three Indiana runs. With two outs and runners on first and second, the sophomore left hander allowed a two-run double to DeMuth that dropped between three fielders in right center. Brad Hartong then plated DeMuth with a double just inside the bag in third to put the Hoosiers up 3-0.
Youngstown State got a run back in the top of the second inning when David Saluga drew a four-pitch walk and scored on White's triple to right center. Effross followed with a big strikeout of Hix on a high fastball, and he got Shane Willoughby to pop out to end the inning with allowing just the one run.
The first two pitches of the bottom of the third resulted in a triple by Schwarber and a two-run homer by Travis as Indiana built a 5-1 lead. Indiana then loaded the bases on back-to-back singles and a one-out hit batsman off Wight before Jeremy Quinlan came on in relief. The freshman righty got a fly out for the second out, but he walked Tim O'Conner on an eight-pitch at bat to force in another run.
Indiana added three more runs, all of which were unearned in the fifth, to go up 9-1. Nick Ramos hit a one-out single to right, and O'Conner reached on an error by Willoughby as the shortstop tried to hurry with Ramos running on the pitch. Casey Rodrigue then beat out a double play ball to extend the inning, and Schwarber capitalized by hitting a three-run homer to right center.
The Penguins' second run came in the top of the sixth when Brent Gillespie walked and scored on Hix's two-out single. Saluga also had a single in the inning that moved Gillespie into scoring position.
Quinlan pitched 1.2 innings, while Anthony Konders, Alex Frey, Robert Switka and Josh North closed out the contest throwing one inning each. North, Switka, Frey and Quinlan each had one strikeout in their NCAA debuts.
STEVE GILLISPIE: Well, obviously that was a good get‑our‑feet‑wet type of experience for us.
I'm very disappointed we didn't play a better brand of baseball and didn't show more of what we had shown at the end of the year. But still, we kept fighting and we kept competing pitch by pitch, and that absolutely was a trademark of this club during the entire year.
That doesn't surprise me that we did that but obviously disappointed we didn't make that a bit more of a close ballgame and give some of our guys at the back end of the bullpen a chance to hold it tight.
Q. In the first inning on the fly ball, what happened there, and was it miscommunication with the two‑out play?
KEVIN HIX: We had our freshman outfielder back there. He hasn't played there a lot. I think he was just playing a little too deep on that particular play yeah, yeah, I couldn't get there in time. I was shading to his opposite gap side so I couldn't get there in time. I tried my best effort and it dropped.
Q. Just to follow up on that, how important is it, a start like that, to play for your pitcher that could have made a difference in a start for you guys?
KEVIN HIX: Oh, yeah, it's very important. I mean, we didn't make that play but all year we would have made that play any other day. Just happened that it happened, dropped tonight.
Q. Talking about Indiana's starting pitcher making his first start, Scott Effross, what did you think of his performance?
JOSH WHITE: He did a pretty good job of changing speeds and worked off his fastball, which whenever a pitcher can work off his fastball and locate like that, it's tough.
I thought we actually did a pretty good job of hitting the ball hard. Some balls didn't fall early in the game, hit some balls hard, put some runners on base. But he did a good job of keeping us off‑balance.
Q. It seemed like they were swinging a lot early in counts, especially early on. Did you feel like they were really aggressive in the batter's box from the go tonight?
STEVE GILLISPIE: Yeah, they were and we knew they would be. We tried to keep the ball out of the middle of the plate and did a pretty good job for the most part. Obviously they didn't really hit a ball hard that first inning and came out with three runs after a missed play that we had, and you know, that kind of really put us in a hole.
But they were very aggressive and then when they did hurt us going off ‑‑ getting off swings early in the count, we definitely got too much at the plate with what we were trying to do. We were trying to expose and open up some holes or trying to see if we couldn't open up and expose some holes, and we missed right in the middle.
Q. You left 11 runners on base. Was it just a matter of not being able to get that timely hit when you needed it?
STEVE GILLISPIE: Yeah, we had some issues with that during the course of the year where we did leave some people on base, and you know, a lot of it, maybe we didn't get them there early in the inning to where we could move them up to where we could get something happening without having to have a base hit. But like I said, our guys, they are going to compete and they are going to go pitch to pitch, inning one to inning nine.
But just a base hit here or there and it might have been a little different. Obviously some of the missed plays we had; the first inning ‑‑ or the third inning when they scored three. We hit a runner with two outs. We walked in a run with two outs. The fifth inning, we made an error, and then didn't turn the double play. Then, you know, another three‑run inning.
So I think in a lot of ways, the game was much closer than maybe what the score said but in a lot of ways, that was some evidence of where we've had struggles in the course of the year.
Q. What did you see from your starter, Jared Wight, especially in the third inning with the first two pitches, a triple and home run, was he just missing his spots?
STEVE GILLISPIE: Yeah, we tried to go in, tried to open up a hole away and he threw it right in the middle of the plate. Schwarber is definitely a wrong guy to throw the ball in the middle of plate. And then we left a chest‑tight change‑up to Travis, and that really kind of turned the game. I think it really, you know, that was kind of where it was going to be really difficult for us.
Q. What were your impressions of Effross, what did he do well?
STEVE GILLISPIE: He's a strike‑thrower and he has some arm‑side run. He threw a couple nice changeups to a couple of our left‑handed hitters. And I think early on, maybe he probably wasn't as sharp with the breaking ball as he may have been during the course of the season.
But he did a really nice job of limiting what we did and then we did hit a couple balls hard that were outs to, you know, just kind of let him just keep on pitching and throwing strikes. There was enough there, our guys came back and were talking, it was a little harder than what they thought and what it looked like and it was getting on them a little bit, so they were trying to make some adjustments, and we did all right.
But he was a guy that you were going to have to be really locked in to do something with, because he does have some sink and some run and some deception.
Q. This is the first time Accardi had played in quite some time. What did you see from him in the couple of at‑bats he did get and what's your plan for him tomorrow?
STEVE GILLISPIE: Well, we'll have to see how he feels as far as playing tomorrow. He is coming off injury and that's his first at‑bat in five or six weeks probably.
He did a nice job with the double down the line, but the fact that it was a double, not a triple, he's not 100 percent. And the chopper to third, most of his career, you know, there when they threw him out, it wouldn't have been close. You could tell, you can tell, he's not at 100 percent.
But we'll see how he feels and see if we can't get him back in there, maybe as a starter, and get him out if he's having some issues or do like we did today and bring him in late.
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