Horizon League regular season champion Milwaukee will be the top seed in the 2013 conference tournament that begins Wednesday at Eastwood Field in Niles, Ohio. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Fifth-seeded and host Youngstown State will play fourth-seeded Wright State in the first game of the tournament on Wednesday at 3 p.m. There will be three games on Thursday, starting with No. 2 UIC vs. No. 3 Valparaiso at 11 a.m. Milwaukee will play the winner of the Youngstown State-Wright State game at 3 p.m. on Thursday, and the first elimination game of the tournament will be at 7 p.m.
The winners bracket final will be the second of three games on Friday at 3 p.m. It will be surrounded by elimination games at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.
The championship game will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and, if the team emerging from the losers bracket wins that contest, a winner-take-all game will start at 3 p.m.
Tickets will be on sale at the Eastwood Field front gate on each day of the tournament. Admission to Wednesday’s single game will be $5, and single-day passes for Thursday, Friday or Saturday will be $10. An all-tournament pass, good for admission to every game, will be $25. Horizon League students with a valid ID and children aged 10-and-under and accompanied by an adult will be admitted free. Fans with questions should call the Youngstown State ticket office at (330) 941-1978.
2013 Horizon League Baseball Tournament (All times ET)
Wednesday, May 22
Game 1 – 3 p.m. – (5) Youngstown State vs. (4) Wright State
Thursday, May 23
Game 2 – 11 a.m. – (3) Valparaiso vs. (2) UIC
Game 3 – 3 p.m. – Game 1 Winner vs. (1) Milwaukee
Game 4 – 7 p.m. – Game 1 Loser vs. Game 2 Loser
Friday, May 24
Game 5 – 11 a.m. – Game 3 Loser vs. Game 4 Winner
Game 6 – 3 p.m. – Game 2 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner
Game 7 – 7 p.m. – Game 6 Loser vs. Game 5 Winner
Saturday, May 25
Game 8 – 11 a.m. – Game 6 Winner vs. Game 7 Winner
Game 9 – 3 p.m. – Game 8 Winner vs. Game 8 Loser** (Only necessary if Game 7 Winner wins Game 8. If Game 6 Winner wins Game 8, the tournament is over)
The Youngstown State softball team fell behind 9-2 after four innings and rallied to get within one, but the Penguins’ comeback attempt fell short in an 11-9 loss to Valparaiso in the 2013 Horizon League Championship Game.
The Penguins’ season ends with an overall record of 19-27, while the Crusaders won their second straight Horizon League Championship and improved to 34-25. YSU won in the first two rounds of the tournament before almost pulling out the big upset in this game.
Senior Caroline Krombach was named the Defensive Player of the Championship. Krombach threw out runners at third base and home plate from right field. Juniors Casey Crozier, Courtney Ewing, Haley Knight, and Samantha Snodgrass were all named to the all-tournament team.
In the fifth, Snodgrass and Ewing led off the frame with back-to-back singles then Rumph doubled home Snodgrass to cut the deficit to 9-3. Ewing scored on a Castiglione line-out double play and senior Sarah Gabel belted a solo home run to cut the lead down to 9-5.
After the Crusaders added a run in the bottom of the fifth, the Penguin plated four in the top of the sixth to get within one, 10-9. Singles by Sarah Ingalls and Krombach and a walk to Knight loaded the bases to start the frame.
Two straight singles by Ewing and Rumph scored pinch-runner Shayla DeCapita and Krombach, and Castiglione’s two-run single plated pinch-runner Samantha Troxell and Ewing.
Trailing 2-0, Ingalls hit a two-out double in the top of the second that scored Castiglione with the Penguins first run.
Rumph tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the third with a triple to center field.
The Crusaders went up 4-2 in the bottom half of the third on Jessica Bouchard‘s two-run home run and then 9-2 by scoring five in the bottom of the fourth.
The Youngstown State women’s track and field team was second while the men placed third at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships which concluded on Sunday at Rynearson Stadium.
Winning individual championships on Sunday were Nina Grambling (100-meter dash), Ciara Jarrett (200-meter dash), Laura Kosiorek (100m hurdles), while that trio teamed up with Alexis Washington to win the 4×100-meter relay with a meet-record time of 45.83 seconds.
In the team race, the women scored 150.50 points and placed second behind Loyola which scored 202 points. The men finished with 87 points trailing Milwaukee (231) and Loyola (171). It marked the fourth time the YSU women placed second at the outdoor meet and was the first title for Loyola in the outdoor circuit.
Grambling was named the Running Newcomer of the Meet. Ashley Wagner, who won the high jump on Saturday, was tabbed the Field Newcomer of the Meet, and Jay Jakovina was named the Men’s Field Newcomer of the Meet. Jakovina won the high jump on Saturday.
The women opened Sunday’s action with a win in the 4×100-meter relay beating Loyola by just over a second.
In the 100-meter dash, Grambling nipped Jarrett, the two-time defending champion in the event, by .03 seconds. Grambling crossed the line in a time of 11.97 seconds while Jarrett was right behind her at 12.00 seconds. Grambling became the fifth Penguin to win the 100m title with her win.
The roles were reversed in the 200m as Jarrett took first and Grambling was second. Jarrett posted a time of 23.83 seconds, eclipsing her own meet record. Grambling had a time of 24.11 seconds finishing just ahead of third place by .01 seconds.
The Penguins went 1-2 in the 100m hurdles on the women’s side. Kosiorek became the fourth YSU hurdler to win the 100m, but first since 2007 by posting a time of 14.03 seconds. Homan was second at 14.33 seconds.
In the 400m hurdles, Nicole Pachol was edged out by Loyola’s Candice Carajohn. Pachol had a time of 1:01.04, but Carajohn clocked in at just under a minute.
YSU concluded the event with a second-place finish in the 4×400-meter relay with a time of 3:48.43.
Allison Roth, who won the shot put on Saturday, placed second in the discus with a throw of 43.62 meters.
The Youngstown State women’s tennis team forced UIC to a final winner-take-all deciding set in the Horizon League Championship match, but came up short falling 4-3 to the Flames on Sunday afternoon at the West Indy Racquet Club.
YSU fell behind 1-0 dropping the doubles point. The Flames earned wins at No. 1 and No. 3 to earn a key point.
In singles, the Penguins tried to mount a comeback and took two leads – 2-1, 3-2.
At No. 1 Paula de Man won for the 16th consecutive time beating Haley Craig 6-1, 6-4. de Man finished the year with a 23-1 mark, all matches at No. 1 singles.
Then at No. 3, Marta Burak defeated Natasha Kuvankina 6-3, 6-3 to put the Guins ahead 2-1. For Burak, it was her 15th straight win and she ended the season with a school-record 28 wins (28-5).
UIC (16-5) tied the match with a 6-3, 6-4 win over the Penguins’ Tijana Raicevic at No. 6.
YSU went back on top when Margarita Sadovnikova defeated Mariana Palacios, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 at No. 2. Sadovnikova won her final 11 matches and ended the year 23-11.
At No. 4, Lauren Hankle dropped a 6-3, 6-0 match to Jana Knoppe tying the dual at 3-all.
The lone remaining match saw Annina Brendel battle all the way until the end. After dropping her first set 6-1 to Kathryn Sharpels, she fended off two match points to win a second-set tiebreaker 9-7.
In the third set, Brendel trailed 4-1, but won the next three points and was on serve at 4-all. However, Sharpels broke her service and went on to serve out the final point for a 6-4 win.
It was the 17th consecutive conference championship win for UIC and the first time since 2008 it was pushed to a 4-3 decision.
The Penguins finished the year 15-10 while advancing to the Horizon League Championship match for just the second time in school history.
UIC 4, YSU 3
No. 1 – de Man (YSU) def. Haley Craig (UIC) – 6-1, 6-4
No. 2 – Sadovnikova (YSU) def. Mariana Palacios (UIC) – 6-3, 3-6, 6-2
No. 3 – Burak (YSU) def. Natasha Kuvakina (UIC) – 6-3, 6-3
No. 4 – Jana Knoppe (UIC) def. Hankle (YSU) – 6-3, 6-0
No. 5 – Kathryn Sharples (UIC) def. Brendel (YSU) – 6-1, 6-7 (7), 6-4
No. 6 – Keti Mebuke (UIC) def. Raicevic (YSU) – 6-3, 6-4
No. 1 – Craig/Palacios (UIC) def. Burak/Sadovnikova (YSU) – 8-6
No. 2 – Hankle/de Man (YSU) vs. Knoppe/Sharples (UIC) – Unfinished
No. 3 – Kuvakina/Sophie Hahn (UIC) def. Brendel/Raicevic (YSU) – 8-3
Carlos Quentin was suspended eight games for charging the mound when hit by a Zack Greinke pitch. Quentin was suspended for eight games, but why? The usual punishment when a player charges the mound is three games.
My observations of this incident were that Quentin may have had a reason to unleash an attack on Greinke. However, Sportscenter spent a minute of their broadcast the morning after on Don Mattingly pouting about how this ‘idiot’ charged his pitcher and should be banned from baseball for it.
It would have been easier to take if Greinke hadn’t said something, thrown his glove on the ground, and invited the confrontation, even charging forward. Who is the idiot Don? Probably your million dollar free agent pickup who is trying to mend his fractured clavicle from his plush recliner at home.
“There is some history there, you can ask Zack about that”, said Greinke.
I didn’t hear the question asked to Zack. All I got was Donnie Baseball belly aching about how Quentin doesn’t know the game of baseball and how a pitcher wouldn’t dare hit someone with a full count in a one-run game.
Because Greinke was injured, the punishment given to Quentin was extra severe, and I don’t buy it. If Greinke doesn’t break his collarbone, it is a three-game suspension. Had he backed off and given his catcher some time to slow Quentin down, it may have never happened. He is as guilty as Quentin for the melee and I hope that the powers that be have the stones to suspend him for eight games when he comes off of the DL.
On a November-like Friday night, Eric Wolford rolled out the early signs of what to expect in 2013, and it may not have been what people would have guessed. The Red got the best of the White in the 41st Annual Spring Football Game, 17-10.
Defense has been echoed as the weakness since Wolford started at YSU. However, the effort of both defenses was the glaring improvement to give even the biggest pessimist in the barn a pitchfork to help find that buried needle.
“Our defense has been a work in progress and it is a compliment to our coaches that they came out and played the way they did today”, said Wolford. ”Everyone knows that in any sport, you can’t win a championship without a good defense, and that is what we have been working toward.”
Coach Wolford was loose and joked with everyone before the game. I got to descend from the press box to the 1st floor with the coach on the elevator, and he was in great spirits and very optimistic about both, the game, and the 2013 season. During the scrimmage, he applauded the effort of seemingly everyone who played at some point.
As far as the game goes, the Red jumped out to a 10-3 lead at the half. Demond Hymes plunged in from two yards out to put the Red ahead, 7-0. The score was set up when Derek Rivers caught a tipped ball off of a Dante Nania attempt.
New kicker, Joey Cejudo, accounted for the rest of the first half scoring kicking a field goal for each team. Cejudo’s first attempt was good from 43 yards out and gave the Red team a 10-0 lead.
Cejudo then put the White team on the scoreboard with a 43-yard field goal. Could it be a year of field goals?
“I was trying to give him some advice about kicking field goals”, joked honorary coach, Dr. Chet Cooper. ”The kickers did a good job tonight and I think I have him convinced to go for three instead of seven sometimes.”
In the second half, the Red team increased their lead to 17-3 when Aaron Edwards scooped up a fumble and raced 22 yards to the end zone. Tyler Hogan kicked the PAT for the Red team.
Dale Peterman made a big play at around midfield for the White defensive unit. Peterman drilled Hymes on a completion, knocking the ball loose. Jamarious Boatwright pounced on the pigskin and the White team was back in business.
The White team would capitalize on the turnover and cut the lead to 17-10 with 5:02 left to play. Nick Wargo capped the drive with a six-yard toss to Justin Getz.
With two minutes left, the YSU video board was switched to the news of the second terrorist of the Boston Marathon being alive and now in police custody. As I looked to the video board, I saw the flag flying at half mast, and realized that there are things beyond our control that change priorities.
The Red team used the continuous clock to their advantage as they were able to run the clock out and head to the locker room victorious.
“We have stressed competition” commented Wolford. ”When they had bad days, we make changes and wake them up. As soon as a player starts to feel to good about himself, he will get complacent and take a step backwards. So we stress to do the extra things that can make a player special.”
One of the best kept secrets in the ranks of NCAA Women’s Basketball got out of the bag this year. Bob Boldon, who would have received multiple offers if he already hasn’t, has decided to accept an offer from Ohio University to coach the Bobcats.
Boldon, who went 39-46 in three seasons with the Penguins, was lauded as the Horizon League Coach of The Year for guiding YSU to a 23-10 season.
Boldon was outstanding at maximizing the talent surrounding Brandi Brown. Everyone knows Brown was good, it was what he was able to get out of the supporting cast that made him a special mentor.
Boldon will be remembered as the coach who revitalized a basketball program rich with tradition but not getting it done in the past ten or so years. He had a very good staff to help him reach goals that seemed unrealistic to many.
It is our loss Penguin fans, this guy was fantastic. The search for a successor will begin immediately.
Good Luck Bob!
Before you get to read about who scored what, or how many blocks Damian Eargle had, or how many threes Blake Allen had, or what magic Kendrick Perry whipped up – a pat on the back goes to YSU Coach Jerry Slocum.
Three years ago when this Penguins program was bubbling under, Slocum’s head was called for by several. For him to have a second consecutive winning season – albeit minus his starting lineup for half of the season- says a lot about where the program has advanced to in three years.
Slocum and staff put yet another exclamation point on a fantastic season with a thrilling tournament run that ended to Canisius. The Golden Griffins overcame a 20-point second half deficit to overtake YSU and end their season, 84-82.
“This is a very disappointing loss”, said Slocum. ”We didn’t take care of the ball and they got 15 points on the defensive side. It is not how we wanted this season to end.”
The Golden Griffins entered the game ranked third in the country for three-point field goals made per game at 9.2. The Penguins made 9 three-pointers in the first half. Credit Slocum for cutting the perimeter with a nifty zone which held the normally high-powered Canisius offense to 28 first half points.
In the first half, Allen and Eargle combined to score 12 of YSU’s first thirteen points. But the storyline of the first twenty minutes was YSU’s defense setting up the offense. The normally explosive Golden Griffins were more than just held in check. Canisius could only muster 15.4 % from three while the Penguins knocked down 9-16 long balls (56.4%) to take 45-28 led to intermission.
Allen, who poured in 27 points for YSU, led the quick start and finished the half with 16 points. Eargle, Perry, and Kamren Belin all added eight points each. Canisius got seven from Jordan Heath.
The second half started much like the first half ended. YSU was drilling threes and had a commanding 53-33 lead at the 18:02 mark. The twenty point lead turned into a two-point edge over the next seven minutes. Canisius used a 18-0 run to get right back into the game and the score was 53-51 with 11:08 remaining. D J Cole made a free throw to break the drought and Belin nailed a three with 9:37 to play and YSU ahead 57-54.
Canisius tied the game at 60 on a Alshwan Hymes three with just over seven minutes remaining in the game.
Eargle and Allen started it and seemed poised to finish it. Allen hit his seventh three of the game and Eargle hit a pair of free throws that staked YSU to a 69-64 advantage with 4:15 left in the game.
Canisius would not go away quietly. They came back from 20 to tie the game and this time they were only down seven and cut the YSU lead to 69-66 with 3:41 left to play. Bill Baron then hit a three to tie the game again.
YSU held a 71-70 lead when Perry drove in from the right for an easy deuce that made it 73-70. Baron again struck for three as the Golden Griffins had a possession in which they got to take three shots from long range.
With the crowd standing, Canisius held the ball for the last shot. Baron dribbled at center but when the Golden Griffins attempted their approach to end it, Belin poked the ball out of bounds. With 0.9 seconds left, Canisius inbounded but could not get a shot off.
In the overtime, Perry got things rolling with a three. Canisius retaliated with a layup to cut the lead to one and then had a chance to nab the lead. Perry was fouled after garnering a rebound. The junior forward nailed both with 3:45 left to put YSU back up by three. Another three tied the game at 3:18.
One of the Heath brothers, Jordan, hit the first of two and then his Canisius teammates got yet another offensive rebound. The Penguins would dodge a bullet as Hymes attempted a three that went over the backboard to give YSU the ball. Perry gave the Penguins the lead at 80-79 with 1:15 left to play.
With just under a minute to play, YSU missed a three and Canisius went back to work. Baron was fouled and hit both free throws to make it an 82-80 lead for the visitors. YSU took a timeout with 36.7 seconds to play.
With Eargle seemingly trapped at the top of the key, he spun and made a drive to the hoop while being fouled. The shot fell, Eargle went to the line, and YSU was in a dogfight. Eargle missed the charity toss setting up Canisius for the last possession.
Baron, who ended up with 30 points, cranked up for another three and what looked like a clean block was whistled a foul with 2.1 seconds left. Barron made two of three free throws to give the Golden Griffins an 84-82 lead. YSU could only muster a Perry desperation heave and the game would end.
“This is the most enjoyable season I have had since I got to Youngstown”, said Slocum. ”They are a great bunch and were all in, all year. It is sad that it ended this way for them.”
Three years ago, Bob Boldon took over a program that lost every game they played the year before. He inherited Brandi Brown and a puzzle that needed to be put together. A few years later, Boldon finds himself leading a team into the NIT Tournament on the heels of a 22 win season.
“We really were at the lowest of the lows”, recalled Brown. ” I am grateful to be a part of this team and feel like we are in a really good place right now.”
Youngstown State had their hands full with an Indiana State team that won 18 games and had a size advantage, nothing new to the YSU Lady Penguins. The host team played hard and enjoyed a 63-51 first round NIT win.
The Penguins raced out to a 29-23 lead at the half. Liz Hornberger (below) had ten points and Brown added nine to lead the YSU offense. The Sycamores got eight from their big post player, Marina Laramie.
YSU got the first points of the second half to take a 31-23 lead, but Indiana State got it back to 31-29 in just two minutes. Heidi Schlegel (below) hit a bucket with 15:27 left to increase the YSU lead to 34-31. Good to see Schlegel back on the floor after missing seven games with an injured knee.
“Two years ago, we only won six games”, said Schlegel. ”Playing Saturday will be something we are used to after a Thursday game because that’s how the conference worked out too.”
You would never know by watching Boldon’s Penguins that the 22 wins they already had eclipsed the previous four years combined.
With 13:09 left in the game, Hornberger went down with what appeared to be an injured right knee. An eerie silence muffled the cheers for a minute or so before Hornberger was helped to the YSU bench.
When play resumed, Brown went into Horizon League Player of The Year mode. She would first hit a basket that would make it 42-37 with 12:33 to play.
YSU seemed to let Indiana State get within arms’ reach and then pull back away. With 10:01 left in the game and YSU ahead 44-41, Karen Flagg drove in from the right side, hit a layup and got fouled. Flagg hit the charity toss to bring the edge back to six points at 47-41.
The Penguins started to put some distance between themselves and the Sycamores when Brown went to the line to shoot a one-and-one and knocked both down to crank the lead up to 49-41 with 9:03 left to play.
Brown (below) was repeatedly guarded very physically. There were several instances throughout the game where a player from either team would be on the deck.
“There aren’t a lot of bad teams still playing basketball right now”, remarked Boldon.
“We have things to work on, if you look at the stat sheet you would think our players shot with their opposite hands. We won’t have a lot of time to prepare for a very good Toledo team, and they won’t have any more time than we do to prepare.”
Brown and company showed their toughness throughout the game. With 3:55 left in the game, Brown again stymied any momentum the Sycamores were building. Brown hit a shot to make the score 54-46 in favor of YSU.
With less than two minutes remaining, YSU held a 56-47 lead. Indiana State would go into foul mode and YSU converted enough chances to get the win.
The Penguins (23-9) got 16 points and 10 rebounds from Brown. Schlegel chipped in with 11, and Flagg contributed 10. YSU was also aided by a technical foul on the Indiana State bench in each half.
Indiana State got a very balanced scoring attack with Natasha Zurek, Laramie, Taylor Whitley, and Anna Munn reaching double figures. Munn was the Sycamores top scorer this season as she averaged 17.1 per game. It was odd to see a top scorer in an Indiana State uniform wearing #33.
YSU will face Toledo in the second round game, in Toledo. YSU is 3-0 against the MAC this season, and as a league the Horizon holds a 16-7 advantage.
The Youngstown State men’s basketball team will host Canisius in the second round of the 2013 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, Saturday, March 23, at 7:05 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
Ticket prices will remain the same as the first round: $10 for reserved, $7 for general admission, YSU students are free with a current and valid ID. Tickets go on sale at 2 p.m. at the YSU ticket office and will be on sale at the YSU women’s basketball WNIT game at the Beeghly Center.
Penguin Club members and season-ticket holder have until 5 p.m. Friday to renew their tickets at the YSU ticket office. The ticket office will be open on Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Gates open at 6 p.m. at the Beeghly Center.
The Penguins (18-15) won the first postseason tournament game in school history by defeating Oakland, 99-87, on March 19 to advance to the second round. Canisius (19-13) moved on by knocking off Elon, 59-53, on March 20.
Youngstown State set a school single-game record with 18 three-pointers against Oakland to secure its 18th win of the season, the most since 2000-01. Junior Kendrick Perry scored a game-high 31 points, and senior Blake Allen tied a career high with 27 points to become the 35th YSU player to score 1,000 career points.
This is just the fourth meeting between the Penguins and Golden Griffins in a series that dates back to 1941. Canisius won all three previous games, the last one a 71-59 at the Beeghly Center on Nov. 26, 2006.
Canisius, who has recorded a 14-win improvement from 2011-12, finished fifth in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with an 11-7 record in and its 19 wins are the most since the 2000-01 season. The Griffs’ 11 conference victories were the most since the 1998-99 campaign.