Two-Out Runs Lead Baseball to 9-7 Win over Butler in Rubber Match

Jack Graham
Jack Graham

Indianapolis -- The Youngstown State baseball team scored seven straight runs and held off Butler in the ninth inning to beat the Bulldogs 9-7 in the rubber match of a three-game series on Sunday afternoon.

The Penguins, who swept UIC last weekend, have now won five of their last six games, all of which have been in Horizon League play.

Jason Shirley had three hits, and he scored and hit a two-run double in YSU’s four-run sixth that gave it a lead it would not relinquish. Jack Graham recorded a career-high three RBIs and was one of three Penguins with two hits. All nine of YSU’s runs came with two outs.

Griffin Richeson and Mike Hoscheit had three hits apiece for Butler.

After YSU starter Blake Aquadro allowed five runs in five innings, Kevin McCulloh came in to shut out the Bulldogs for three innings.

The Penguins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second after Graham’s two-run single. Jeremy Banks and Shirley hit singles and went to second and third on a double steal. Graham then brought them in with his single on a 1-2 pitch.

Butler answered with three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Marco Caponi had an RBI single, and he was followed by two sacrifice flies for the Bulldogs. They added a run in the third and another in the fifth to go ahead 5-2.

Butler starter Eric Stout retired the first two Penguins in the sixth, but the Penguins rallied and went on to score four runs in the inning. Banks and Marcus Heath walked, and Shirley followed with his two-run double to left. Dan Hurlimann then singled in Shirley, and Hurlimann scored on a single by Graham.

After Hurlimann walked to start the eighth, reliever Mike Hernandez retired the next two hitters. David Leon, Phil Lipari, Drew Dosch and Banks then hit four straight singles as YSU extended its lead to 9-5.

Butler loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth off Nic Manuppelli, and Richeson followed with an infield single that moved everyone up a base. Radley Haddad brought in another run on a fielder’s choice, and Manuppelli buckled down to strike out the next two hitters to preserve the win.

Youngstown State will play host to Wright State in a three-game series this weekend, starting with game one on Friday at 3 p.m. David Leon and Jeremy Banks will be honored as part of the Senior Day festivities on Sunday.