Valparaiso scored six runs over the fifth and sixth innings and held off a late Youngstown State rally for a 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the Penguins on Saturday afternoon at Emory G. Bauer Field.
Youngstown State led 4-1 after three innings before falling behind 7-4 after six. The Penguins got the tying run in scoring position in the eighth inning but were turned away in their season finale.
Senior Gerrad Rohan went 2-for-5 with an RBI in his final collegiate game, and Alex Larivee and Shane Willoughby added two hits. Josh Clark and Nolan Lodden, both seniors playing in their final home game, had three hits to lead the Crusaders.
YSU used leadoff singles in each of the first three innings to take its 4-1 lead.
The Penguins led 1-0 after the top of the first as Larivee singled and scored two batters later on Rohan's single. The Crusaders answered with a run in the bottom of the first as Clark singled in James Stea to tie the score at 1-1.
A leadoff single led to another run for Youngstown State in the second as Lorenzo Acruri started the inning with a single. He advanced to third on Kyle Benyo's one-out double, and Willoughby followed with a sacrifice fly to right center to plate Arcuri.
Billy Salem started the offense in the third inning with a leadoff single up the middle, and the Penguins loaded the bases after a one-out walk to Andrew Kendrick and Trey Bridis' single. Arcuri's walk forced in Salem, and Jonny Miller's sacrifice fly to right plated Kendrick as Youngstown State went ahead 4-1.
Clark singled home Lodden with the tying run for Valparaiso in the bottom of the fifth, and Nate Palace's ensuing RBI double that plated Shea Molitor put the Crusaders up 5-4. Valpo increased its lead to 7-4 with a pair of two-out runs in the sixth.
Arcuri reached on an error to lead off the eighth, and Miller followed with a single to get the tying run to the plate. Luke VanLanen retired the next two batters, but he yielded a single to Larivee and walked Salem to force in a run that made the score 7-5. Crusaders reliever Ryan Fritze came on to strike out Rohan, and Fritze worked around a leadoff hit batsman in the bottom of the ninth to record his fifth save.
YSU starter Michael Semonsen allowed five runs in 4.1 innings, and the other two runs were charged to Joel Hake. Senior Jared Wight pitched a scoreless seventh inning in his final appearance, and Kevin Yarabinec did not allow a run in the eighth.
Youngstown State scored all four of its runs off reigning Horizon League Pitcher of the Week Ellis Foreman before he left with one out in the third inning. The Crusaders bullpen combined to hold YSU to one unearned run on five hits over the final 6.2 innings.