YSU’s magical ride comes to an end

Photo Courtesy: Ron Stevens
Photo Courtesy: Ron Stevens

Bloomington, Ind. — Stanford scored six two-out runs in the second inning and got solid pitching after the first inning to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 12-4 on Sunday afternoon in the Bloomington Regional at Bart Kaufman Field.

The Cardinal advances to play Indiana in the championship game this evening while Youngstown State sees perhaps the most memorable postseason run in school history come to a close. The Penguins finish the season 17-38, but they’ll be remembered for capturing the program’s second Horizon League Tournament title and first victory in the NCAA Tournament.

Just as they did throughout last week’s Horizon League Tournament and in Saturday’s victory over Indiana State, the Penguins built an early lead. But the magic from those five historic wins over the last 11 days concluded against the first Pac-12 opponent in school history.

Youngstown State scored twice in the first inning without recording a hit to go up 2-0. Hanewich loaded the bases on two walks and a hit batsman, and two runs came in when Danny Diekroeger mishandled David Saluga’s grounder. Brett Hanewich got back-to-back strikeouts of Josh White and Mike Accardi with runners on second and third to end the inning with only a two-run deficit. Starting with those two strikeouts, Hanwich retired 12 out of 13 batters.

The Cardinal scored six two-out runs in the bottom of the second, four of which came on back-to-back home runs by Diekroeger and Alex Blandino. Ryan Krokos walked two of the first four batters in the inning, but he still had two outs with runners on first and second before the Cardinal registered four straight run-scoring hits. No. 9 hitter Brett Michael Doran lined a single to left, and Tommy Edman followed with a soft single to center that brought in the tying run. Diekroeger then hit a three-run blast to right, and Blandino hit the next pitch over the wall in left to put the Cardinal up 6-2.

The Cardinal then scored three runs on a bases-loaded walk, a sacrifice fly and a ground out in the fourth to go up 9-2. Edman, the second batter of the inning, accounted for the only hit in the winning. Stanford added two runs in the sixth and another in the eighth to go up 12-2.

Phil Lipari doubled and scored on Nick DiNello’s RBI single, and White singled in Brent Gillespie in the ninth for the final tally.

Lipari finished with two of YSU’s six hits in the game and completed his career by hitting safely in 12 straight games. The Horizon League Tournament MVP batted .444 over his final 16 games, including .333 in the Bloomington Regional. White hit a team-high .417 in the NCAA Tournament.

Despite the lengthy first inning, Hanewich ended up holding the Penguins to two runs on three hits and three walks in seven innings to earn the victory. Krokos was charged with the loss as one of six Penguins pitchers to take the mound.

COURTESY: YSU SPORTS INFORMATION

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