The Youngstown State baseball team endured two dramatic ninth innings to earn an impressive doubleheader sweep at Missouri on Saturday at Taylor Stadium.
The Penguins scored twice in the top of the ninth inning in game one to prevail 4-3, and they got a game-ending double play with the tying run on second in the nightcap to win 3-2. YSU had not beaten a current Southeastern Conference team since a win at Missouri in 2004 when the Tigers were in the Big 12. The Penguins had not beaten a true SEC team since a win at Kentucky in 1988.
Kevin Yarabinec pitched 1.2 innings to get the win in the opener, and he came on to record the final seven outs in game two to earn the save. He allowed two hits and one walk in four total innings of relief work.
In the opener, a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the second by Ian Nelson was the only run that Penguins starter Jeremy Quinlan allowed in five innings. YSU tied the score in the next half inning as Nico Padovan singled, stole second and scored on Lorenzo Arcuri's single.
Youngstown State took its first lead in the eighth when Arcuri led off with a double and scored on a wild pitch, but Missouri scored twice in the bottom of the inning to go up 3-2.
For YSU in the top of the ninth, Dominic Brown led off with a pinch-hit single, and, after a failed sacrifice, Padovan's second hit of the game put two runners on. Hunter Snyder singled up the middle to plate the tying run, and Padovan scored from third on Arcuri's sacrifice fly. Yarabinec retired the Tigers in order in the ninth.
YSU never trailed in game two and held the Tigers to just four hits.
Missouri scored an unearned run in the second to make the score 2-1, and YSU answered with a run in the fourth to go up 3-1. Trey Bridis drew a one-out walk, and Shane Willoughby's double set up a sacrifice fly from Dominic Farina.
Missouri's first hit of game two came with two outs in the fifth inning, and it resulted in a run that cut the margin to 3-2. That ended up being the final run of the game for either team.
Yarabinec came on after Missouri hit a two-out triple in the seventh, and he got a ground out back to the mound to end that inning and retired the Tigers in order in the eighth. Yarabinec allowed a leadoff single to Johnny Balsamo in the ninth, and a sacrifice bunt put the runner in scoring position. Leadoff batter Connor Brumfield reached on an error to put the winning run on base, but Yarabinec got Ryan Howard to line into a game-ending 6-4 double play.
Padovan, Salem and Arcuri all had three hits on the day, and Padovan scored three times.
Quinlan struck out seven batters over five innings in a no-decision in game one, and game two starter Collin Floyd allowed one earned run over five innings to earn his first collegiate victory.
Youngstown State will begin Horizon League with a three-game series at Wright State next weekend. Game one of the series will be Friday at 6:30 p.m.