Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Penguins swept by Cleveland St.
The second game went 14 innings before YSU dropped a 6-4 decision.
By PETE MOLLICA
STRUTHERS Things are just not going well for the Youngstown State baseball team.
Tuesday the Penguins dropped a doubleheader to Cleveland State and fell to 10-19, 3-7 in the Horizon League.
The Vikings (7-21, 4-4) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opener and then held on for a 3-2 victory, while they had to score two runs in the top of the 14th inning in the nightcap to complete the sweep 6-4.
"We just have to get better," said a disappointed YSU head coach Mike Florak.
"We just aren't getting it done," Florak added. "We not hitting when we need to and our pitching is hitting way too many batters. Before today we had hit something like 45 batters and you just aren't going to win doing those things."
Rough first inning
In the nightcap the Penguins fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, but starting pitcher Chuck Schiffhauer recovered from that start and then pitched eight shutout innings, at one time retiring 16 straight batters.
The Penguins came back with two runs in the fourth and then tied it up in the bottom of the ninth on three singles. Sophomore John Koehnlein drove in the tying run with a single between first and second.
The Vikings regained the lead in the top of the 11th without getting a hit. They were aided by one of the Penguins' six errors in the game.
Koehnlein sparked Penguins
YSU came right back to tie the game again in the bottom of the inning and it was again Koehnlein driving in the run with his fourth hit of the game.
In the 14th inning the Vikings opened with Theo Hudson reaching on an error and then Nate Radtke and Matt Madrid, a Boardman native, followed with bunts that just blooped over the mound and fell in for hits to load the bases on YSU freshman reliever Corey Vukovic of McDonald.
After Vukovic struck out former Howland standout Vasili Pahoulis, Bobby Cash singled in one run and when the ball got past YSU's Tom Clayton in right another run scored.
The Penguins couldn't answer off reliever and winner Michael Pabin in the bottom of the 14th.
Five area starters
Cleveland State started five former area standouts in the opener including starting and winning pitcher Stephen Procner of Girard, catcher Josh Geric of Canfield, designated hitter Marc Sikora and second baseman Madrid and outfielder Pahoulis.
Procner (2-4) was at his best this season as he limited the Penguins to just six hits while tossing his third complete game, striking out six with one walk and one hit batsman.
The 6-2, 200 pound senior retired the first 10 Penguins in order, even though he gave up a first inning single to Josh Page. He picked Page off first to end the inning.
Procner said that he's really pitched well in his last three starts, winning two of them.
"I've been pitching really well lately, but this was another good outing," he said.
"The cold weather really doesn't bother me," he added. "But then when you are pitching back home and all your family and friends are hear, it really makes it a lot nicer."
Took 3-0 lead
Procner's teammates staked him to a 3-0 lead, scoring twice in the second inning of YSU starter Aaron Swenson as Geric knocked in one with a single and Pahoulis brought in the other with a sacrifice fly.
The Vikings made it 3-0 in the third as Bobby Cash doubled and scored on Rich Ranells' single.
The Penguins made it 3-1 in the fourth when Koehnlein singled and scored on Lou Gattozzi's double down the right field line.
YSU scored again in the third when Ryan Dunlap singled to led off and came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Rayce Robinson.
The Penguins will be in action again today when they travel to meet Akron in a 3 p.m. contest.