Manuppelli, 18 Hits Lift Penguins to Doubleheader Split with Valparaiso

Nic Manuppeli
Nic Manuppeli

The Youngstown State baseball team tied a season high with 18 hits and beat Valparaiso 12-4 in game two of a doubleheader on a warm and windy Saturday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field. The Crusaders won game one 13-1.

Alex Larivee had five hits in the doubleheader, and Phil Lipari was a single shy of hitting for the cycle in game two to lead the Penguins to the win.

YSU's Nic Manuppelli had his best start of the season to earn his first victory. He allowed three runs on four hits and four walks while striking out six batters in six innings. He worked out of jams in the third and fourth innings and didn't allow the Crusaders to score more than one run in an inning after they had five multi-run innings in game one.

In game two, Brent Gillespie and Matt Sullivan hit back-to-back two-out doubles to give YSU a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and YSU went ahead 3-0 in the second on an RBI double by Lorenzo Arcuri and an RBI triple by Lipari.

Manuppelli struck out three batters and faced the minimum through the first two innings, and the Penguins erupted for six runs on seven hits in the top of the third. Gillespie singled and Sullivan walked to start the inning, and David Saluga's bunt single loaded the bases with nobody out. Kevin Hix brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly, and Mike Accardi and Jake Ross followed with run-scoring hits to put the Penguins up 7-0. A sacrifice fly by Lipari and an RBI single by Gillespie pushed the lead to 9-0.

The Crusaders scored a run in both the bottom of the third and fourth innings, but they stranded two runners in both innings as Manuppelli was able to keep the Penguins comfortably ahead. Larivee made a diving grab for the third out in the third inning to save two runs, and Manuppelli induced a groundout and struck out Mark Johnson once Valpo loaded the bases with one out in the fourth.

Sullivan singled in Lipari with two outs in the fifth to put the Penguins ahead 10-2, and Lipari's solo homer in the seventh made the score 11-3. Johnson homered in the seventh for Valparaiso, and Larivee singled in Lipari for the Penguins in the ninth for the final tally.

Valpo starter Ellis Foreman pitched the first two innings and allowed three runs, but most of YSU's damage came against Drew Hasler. He retired just two batters in the third and was charged with six runs on seven hits before turning the game over to Trevor Haas.

Valparaiso had eight extra-base hits and scored in six different innings in game one's 13-1 Crusaders victory. Valpo starter Dalton Lundeen struck out eight batters and allowed just an unearned run on four hits and a walk in eight innings.

The one run allowed by the sophomore left-hander came in the first inning. Jason Shirley reached on a throwing error by shortstop Spencer Mahoney to start the game, and Larivee singled him over to third with nobody out. Kris Moules followed two batters later with a sacrifice fly that plated Shirley.

Karch Kowalczyk and Michael Morman hit back-to-back two-out RBI doubles for Valparaiso in the bottom of the first, and that's all Lundeen needed. The Crusaders scored two runs in the third, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and three more in both the sixth and eighth innings.

YSU's best chance to cut into the lead early was still in the third when it trailed 2-1. Shane Willoughby led off with a double but was thrown out at third on Shirley's sacrifice bunt attempt. Larivee followed with a single, but the Guins stranded two runners. Johnson and Kowalczyk both hit three-run homers late to increase Valpo's margin.

Larivee had two of YSU's five hits in the opener while Kowalczyk finished 4-for-6 with six RBIs and two runs scored.

Youngstown State will play at Pittsburgh on Tuesday before returning home to start a three-game series with Oakland on Thursday at 5:30 p.m.