End of the road

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – One day after making school history, the Youngstown State University baseball team’s season came to an end.

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

YSU finishes the season 17-38, but it will be remembered for capturing the program’s second Horizon League Tournament title and first victory in the NCAA Tournament.

“It’s been an incredible ride,” YSU second baseman and Poland native Phil Lipari said. “Couldn’t trade it for anything. Teammates are phenomenal. Started off the year obviously played good competition, but we just weren’t playing very good baseball. And to finish it like we did, we played pretty much flawless in our conference tournament. A couple games out here were disappointing, but we came out against Indiana State and played much better.

“You know, like I said, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s just an amazing experience and to be able to share it with these guys is awesome.”

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.

Youngstown State scored twice in the first inning without recording a hit to go up 2-0.

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.

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.