Alex Core and Brent Gillespie delivered clutch RBI singles with two outs in the fifth innings, and Youngstown State earned its third straight victory with a 4-1 win over Canisius at Eastwood Field on Tuesday evening.
Core's infield single plated the go-ahead run, and YSU's bullpen had more than enough cushion. Four Penguins relievers combined to hold the Golden Griffins scoreless over the final five innings while surrendering just three hits.
Youngstown State took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Califano walked and scored two batters later on Alex Larivee's fielder's choice.
Canisius' run came in the top of the third when Anthony Massicci scored on Connor Panas' sacrifice fly. Massicci reached with a one-out single, and he helped Canisius avoid a double play when he went in motion on Alex O'Donnell's grounder that snuck through with Kevin Hix covering second.
The Golden Griffins were in position to take their first lead in the top of the fifth when YSU's Jared Wight came in to relieve starter Joe King. The first two batters reached on a single and a hit batsman, and they advanced on a ground out. Wight then walked O'Donnell to load the bases with one out, but the junior left-hander got out of the inning by striking out Panas and getting Brett Siddall to pop out.
The Penguins carried the momentum into the bottom of the inning by scoring three runs with two outs to go up 4-1. Califano slid under a tag on a bunt single to star the rally, and Shirley followed with a walk to put two runners on. Califano advanced to third on Larivee's fly out to right, and Core plated the go-ahead run with an infield single. Brent singled in Shirley, and Core scored from third when Gillespie got caught in a rundown.
Canisius was never able to get the tying run to the plate over the final four innings.
King allowed a run on four hits while striking out three batters over four innings. Wight was awarded the victory in his one inning of work. Ryan Krokos pitched two scoreless innings, and Austin Lujano tossed a scoreless eight. Anthony Konders struck out two batters in the ninth to earn his second save.
Youngstown State will play four road games in the next five days, starting with a contest at Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 3 p.m.