Valparaiso Holds Off YSU to Win 10-7 in Series Finale

Lou Cardona
Lou Cardona

Valparaiso scored in six different innings and broke a tie with four runs in the ninth to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 10-7 on Sunday at Eastwood Field.

The Crusaders led 4-0 and 6-4 before Youngstown State tied the game twice. The Penguins, which won on their final at bat twice in a doubleheader sweep on Friday, could not find the same magic Sunday.

After Lou Cardona's RBI single plated Lorenzo Arcuri in the bottom of the eighth to tie the score at 6-6, Jake Hanson was hit by the first pitch of the top of the ninth to start Valparaiso's rally. Pinch-runner Steven Fitzsimmons scored the go-ahead run on a one-out double by Giovanni Garbella, and Jayden Eggimann hit a three-run homer with two outs to blow the game open at 10-6.

Youngstown State got the first two batters on in the bottom of the ninth as Web Charles walked and scored on Shane Willoughby's double, but Valpo reliever Easton Rhodehouse retired the next three batters to allow the Crusaders to avoid the series sweep.

Andrew Kendrick and Nico Padovan both had three hits, and Youngstown State finished with 16 hits as a team in the loss.

The Crusaders built a 4-0 lead by scoring once in the second, fourth, fifth and sixth innings. Giovanni Garbella singled in Sam Shaikin in the second for the first run in the game, and Shaikin scored on a two-out wild pitch in the fourth. Jacob Stea led off the fifth inning with a solo home run off YSU starter Alex Bellardini, and Scott Kapers' sacrifice fly off of Jesse Slinger in the sixth made it 4-0.

Youngstown State scored in each of the final four innings, starting with four runs on five hits in the sixth inning. Four of those hits came in succession as Kendrick and Padovan singled, and Bridis followed with a two-run triple to center. Lou Cardona followed with a single to plate Bridis, and Kyle Benyo doubled in the tying run.

YSU had two errors in the top of the seventh as Valparaiso scored twice, and the Crusaders had a chance to open up a larger lead before Anthony Rohan made a nice play in left field to end the inning. With the bases loaded and one out, he made a diving grab on Riley Dent's fly ball and doubled up Hanson at second base as the runner strayed too far off the bag.

Kendrick doubled and scored on a Padovan single in YSU's half of the seventh to make the score 6-5, and Arcuri and Cardona started the eighth with a triple and a single to tie the game at 6-6.

Bellardini allowed three runs on four hits and four walks in five innings in a no-decision. Slinger allowed one run, and Joe King allowed Valpo's two runs in the seventh. Joel Hake came in to induce a double play to get out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, but he allowed the four runs in the ninth.

Valpo starter Ellis Foreman surrendered 13 hits in seven innings, and YSU scored once apiece on relievers Hayden Kissee and Rhodehouse in their innings.

Youngstown State will not play any midweek games this week due to spring semester finals. The Penguins will play a doubleheader at Valparaiso on Friday and another doubleheader at Wright State on Saturday.