Archive for May, 2012

No Stone Unturned Lobster Boil Tickets Going Fast, Get Yours Now!

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A few tickets remain for what could be called the party of the year.  A charity event will be held at the Covelli Centre on Friday, June 1, to raise money for the No Stone Unturned Foundation.  The cost of a ticket is $85.00, but there is live entertainment and the most expensive seafood money can buy – lobster.  Melted butter will be plentiful and the cause if truly worth supporting.

No Stone Unturned is run by Dr. Melinda Wolford and her husband, YSU Head Coach Eric Wolford.  The charity was named after their son Stone  and focuses on helping people who cannot afford medical priveleges that our health care system cannot account for.  All of the money is used to help people in need and Dr. Melinda keeps very good direction on what is allocated to whom and when.

The event will start at 6 pm and run until 11 pm and will feature live music by Fins To The Left, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band that knows how to get the party going.

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Get your Summer off to a great start this Friday by heading to the Covelli Centre, having a delicious lobster dinner, and supporting the cause.  I fully support the efforts of No Stone Unturned and will continue to do anything asked to make this charity a productive venture.  The Wolfords are top-notch people with very big hearts and this event will be something to behold!

For tickets and reservations, hurry and contact Tiffany Koma via e-mail: tkoma@covellicentre.com or call 330-740-1865.

YSU Baseball Season Ends With 5-0 Tournament Loss

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UIC got a career performance from starting pitcher Tim Suminski to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 5-0 and eliminate the Penguins from the 2012 Horizon League Baseball Tournament at Les Miller Field.

The fourth-seeded and host Flames will move on to the championship round to face No. 1 Valparaiso this afternoon while the sixth-seeded Penguins finished third in the tournament for the third straight season.

Suminski, who made just one start during the regular season, did not allow a hit over the final five innings. He surrendered just four hits in the game and struck out three batters while walking two.

Youngstown State threatened several times against the UIC left-hander, but the Penguins couldn’t come up with the big hit.

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Jeremy Banks was robbed of an RBI single in the first when UIC shortstop Alex Lee made a diving grab on a liner up the middle, and Suminski got Craig Goubeaux to foul out with the bases loaded in the fourth. Kevin Hix then had a potential RBI single taken away in the seventh when his grounder up the middle ricocheted off the rubber to Lee, who threw him out at first with a runner on second.

YSU starter Russ Harless, pitching on two days rest, gave an admirable effort in allowing two earned runs in 4 1-3 innings. Kevin McCulloh, who also had a heavy workload early in the tournament, allowed two runs in 2 1-3 innings.  Nic Manuppelli did not allow a run in the final 1 1-3 innings.

“Those three guys pitched with a lot of heart today, and I’m proud of their effort” YSU head coach Rich Pasquale said. “We played hard all year, but we didn’t always get the results we wanted. It was nice to be rewarded for our hard work this week, and we played hard until the final out.”

YSU Upsets Wright State In Horizon Baseball Tournament

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Behind a memorable performance by pitcher Blake Aquadro, the Youngstown State baseball team knocked off Wright State 5-4 to stay alive in the 2012 Horizon League Baseball Tournament at UIC’s Les Miller Field on Friday afternoon.

Aquadro allowed three runs in the first and a solo homer in the second, but the junior left-hander from Memphis, Tenn., put up all zeroes on the scoreboard the rest of the game. That allowed the Penguins to rally, and Jason Shirley’s RBI double in the sixth brought in Jeremy Banks with the eventual winning run.

Youngstown State advances to Saturday to play another elimination game against the loser of tonight’s winners’ bracket final between UIC and Valparaiso. First pitch of YSU’s game on Saturday is set for noon Eastern. Wright State’s season ends with a record of 37-21 while YSU is guaranteed to finish at least third in the tournament.

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The Penguins, who were 9-42 overall during the regular season and 0-6 against Wright State, continued to be opportunistic with the new life that comes with the postseason. Today’s win was especially emotional because YSU lost three lopsided games to the Raiders in the regular season, including a 32-4 decision on April 5.

“For what we went through against Wright State, in particular earlier in the year, and to be able to have a game like this is great,” an emotional head coach Rich Pasquale said after the game. “We knew Blake would come through, and I’m just so excited for him and our players to come up big. That was a clutch performance by a big-time pitcher.”

Aquadro allowed just one earned run on 10 hits in 8 2-3 innings to earn his third win of the season and his second in as many tournaments. Nic Manuppelli came in to record the final out and record his first career save.

Banks finished 2-for-4, and Craig Goubeaux walked and scored twice. Four different Raiders had two hits.

Wright State got three runs on an RBI single by Garrett Gray and a two-out, two-run double by Zach Tanner in the first inning, and Jake Hibberd hit a solo home run in the bottom of the second to put the Raiders up 4-0.

The Penguins cut the margin to one with a three-run third in which they took advantage of some uncharacteristic miscues by the Raiders defense. Goubeaux drew a one-out walk, and Kevin Hix reached on a bloop single to shallow right that probably should have been caught. Phil Lipari then walked to load the bases, and two runs came in when Tanner threw wildly to first trying to turn a double play. Drew Dosch then singled in David Leon for the lone RBI hit of the inning.

The Penguins have now won at least two tournament games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since joining the Horizon League in 2002.

YSU Offering Men’s And Women’s Basketball Camps

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Both the YSU men’s and women’s basketball teams will be offering Summer camps in June.  The camps both feature great instruction and drills to make the attendees better all-around players.

Jerry Slocum oversees the Youngtown State 2012 Summer Boys’ Basketball Camps in June.  The Full-Court Camp is set for June 11-14 while the Half-Court Camp is slated for June 18-21.

The Full-Court Camp is for kids in grades six through 12 (as of the Fall 2012), runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $140.  The Half-Court Camp, which is for kids entering second through ninth grade, runs from 8:30 a.m. to Noon and costs $95.

For more information on the camps, please call Director of Basketball Operations Jason Pacanowski at (330) 941-3004 or email at jfpacanowski@ysu.edu.

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The women’s basketball staff, led by third-year head coach Bob Boldon, will host two individual camps. The Half-Day Individual Camp will go from June 25-28 and will focus on improving the all-around game. Open to players entering fourth through ninth grade, participants will work on all fundamentals with ball-handling, passing, shooting, defensive and rebounding drills. The camp will go from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. all four days, and the fee is $85.

There will also be an overnight elite camp designed for players getting ready to play at the collegiate level. There will be intense workouts that focus on shooting, ball-handling, passing, post moves and defense. The camp will have competitive games as well as speed and agility drills, and it will be run very similar to a college practice. The camp will be broken into two sessions. The first session will be June 28 from 5-9 p.m., and the second will go from 9 a.m. to noon on June 29. Campers will stay overnight in campus housing, and the cost is $50.

The annual Team Shootout will be on June 2. The camp is a good chance to start the bonding process, and teams are guaranteed four games with certified high school officials. The camp will go from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is available for both varsity and junior varsity teams. The cost is $200 per team.

For more information, call Director of Operations John Cullen at (330) 986-6265 or visit the women’s basketball page at YSUsports.com.

YSU’s Dosch And Banks Named First-Team All Horizon

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Youngstown State baseball players Jeremy Banks and Drew Dosch (above) have been voted First-Team All-Horizon League by the league’s coaches for their standout performances during the 2012 season.

Banks, a senior from Steubenville, Ohio, earned first-team all-conference accolades at designated hitter. Dosch is a sophomore third baseman from Canal Winchester, Ohio.

Dosch was perhaps the Horizon League’s most-improved player in 2012. On the league-leaders list, Dosch ranks second in the league in home runs (8) and third in batting average (.362), total bases (111) and slugging percentage (.536). The sophomore third baseman also ranks fourth in hits (75), sixth in on-base percentage (.420) and ninth in RBIs (38). His six sacrifice flies lead the conference, and his 112 assists in the field rank sixth. Dosch raised his batting average by 100 points, posted 19 more extra-base hits, scored 19 more runs and recorded 27 more RBIs than in his freshman year.

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Banks (above) owns the Horizon League’s top batting average (.386), slugging percentage (.586) and on-base percentage (.471) among players with more than one at bat. He was limited to 145 at bats and 37 games due to an injury, which keeps him out of the league leaders rankings in average, OBP and slugging. Banks still ranks tied-for-sixth in the conference with 14 doubles, and his 42 RBIs and five home runs rank seventh.

Erich Diedrich was the last Youngstown State designated hitter to earn first-team all-conference honors in 2006, and Randy Ryan was the only other first-team Penguin DH in 1988. John Koehnlein was YSU’s last first-team all-league third baseman in 2007, and Justin Banks, Jeremy’s brother, is the only other Penguin third baseman who earned first team honors. He did it in 2005.

YSU Baseball To Face Milwaukee In First Round Of Horizon Tourney

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The Youngstown State baseball team will enter the 2012 Horizon League Baseball Championship as the No. 6 seed and play No. 3 Milwaukee on Wednesday at 5 p.m. EST at UIC’s Les Miller Field in Chicago.

The Penguins finished the regular season with a 9-42 overall record and a 7-23 mark in Horizon League play. Milwaukee garnered the No. 3 seed with its 26-25 overall record and 18-11 ledger in conference games. The Panthers won their final eight conference games of the regular season, including a sweep of Wright State in the season’s final weekend. UWM won five of the six meetings against Youngstown State during the regular season. Two of those UWM victories were by one run.

Valparaiso, which swept the Penguins over the weekend, will be the tournament’s No. 1 seed and will earn a first-round bye. The Crusaders won 18 of their final 21 league contests and have won 24 of their last 28 games. Wright State, which went 36-19 overall and 20-10 in league play, will also receive a bye as the No. 2 seed.

No. 4 UIC, which finished 19-32 overall and 12-17 in league play, will play fifth-seeded Butler (22-32, 10-20) in the first game of the tournament on Wednesday at noon Eastern.

If YSU wins its opening round against Milwaukee, it will play No. 1 Valparaiso on Thursday at 9 p.m. Eastern. If the Penguins lose their first game on Wednesday, they will play an elimination game against the loser between UIC and Butler on Thursday at 11 a.m. Eastern.

All games throughout the tournament will be shown live on the Horizon League Network.

Dealing With Adversity, Part 2: Kelly Pavlik

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When I talked with Kelly Pavlik about writing an article focusing on athletes dealing with adversity, he could have easily dodged the conversation knowing I would have had a million other things to ask him.  However, the former champion embraced the idea and gave me very honest and well-thought out answers.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Pavlik shocked the boxing world and pulled himself up nearing a ten-count to storm back and beat Jermaine Taylor.  Many years later, Pavlik has found himself trying to get up from a different ten-count, the soap opera that his life was becoming.  Pavlik couldn’t sneeze and wipe his nose properly before one of his many critics would verbally insult him.

After the first Taylor victory (he beat him twice), Pavlik couldn’t walk into a bar where people would not be lined up waiting for their chance to buy the new champ a drink. The new champ, by the way, was barely of legal drinking age.  Most guys his age have the same trips and frequent the same places, they just don’t take the same criticism for doing any of it.

After a loss to Bernard Hopkins, Pavlik may have turned to the bottle for comfort to ease his mind.  Still not 25 years old, the pressure associated with the fame he was garnering might stress any mortal out a bit.  After this loss, the bar crowd, some of the die hard fans who rode his coattails, and even people he thought he could trust started yapping about what a big problem Pavlik had, how he was just an alcoholic, or how his best days were behind him.

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“You really learn a lot about your friends and family during a period like that”, said Pavlik.  ”People you thought you could trust, people you thought had your back no matter what, you hear things and are shocked to hear where others got their information, and it isn’t even accurate most of the time.”

Pavlik has faced plenty of adversity included a well-documented trip to rehab, a family squabble with his brother, a bitter separation from longtime trainer Jack Loew, and everybody running their mouth as fast as they could about what the former champions next gaffe would be.

So how does The Ghost deal with these issues?

“Adversity is a tough thing, really tough”, commented Pavlik.  ”Everyone will have something in their life that they need to deal with, and we all know I have had my share.  Getting through the tough times are something you have to find within yourself.  I did a lot of soul searching these past couple of years and what matters most to me are my wife and kids, my family, and my friends.  For those fans that have stuck by my side, I am truly grateful and hope to make them happy again real soon.”

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Pavlik still considers Youngstown home, but is now training under Robert Garcia in California.  He has a fight coming up on ESPN in just a couple of weeks against someone who typifies exposing the adversity of someone else when they are down.  Scott “Cujo” Sigmon (22-3, 12 KO’s) has drawn the ire of Pavlik with his tireless self-promoting rants on Facebook and to any media outlet that would listen.

“He made this personal, and I wanted this fight really bad.  I don’t think he has been in the ring with a fighter of my caliber yet and I am going to show up ready, I really want to shut him up live and in-person.  He is going to feel it when I hit him.”

As Pavlik trains for the fight, rumors are already circulating that with a good performance, The Ghost can look forward to a big-time fight in September or October either on HBO or on a Pay-Per-View card.  He returned to California a couple of weeks early to start training and to promote himself as a rekindled spirit in a sport that buries itself in adversity.

“I have made some mistakes and I am in a much better place in my life right now.  I feel great and I am rededicated to the sport of boxing.  I will be making a lot of noise in the near future and I can’t wait to prove my critics wrong again.”

YSU Softball’s Coach Campbell Awarded Horizon Coach of The Year Honors

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Youngstown State Head Coach Brian Campbell was deemed the 2012 Horizon League Coach of the Year in a vote by the league’s head coaches, the league announced on Tuesday (May 8).

Campbell, who is in his fourth season at Youngstown State, guided the Penguins to their most overall wins since 2004 with 28 victories. He led the Penguins to a seven-win improvement in Horizon League play with a record of 12-10, and YSU’s fourth-place finish was four spots higher than the league’s coaches predicted in the preseason. Last season, YSU placed eighth with a 5-16 Horizon League record.

Coach Campbell enjoys his position with the Penguins and has really started to carve out his legacy as a winner.  The girls always hustle and have a good mix of hitting and pitching that pushed the 2012 version of Lady Penguins softball over the top.

Congratulations Coach Campbell on a great season!

Scrappers Unveil 2012 Promo Schedule

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The Mahoning Valley Scrappers are proud to announce their most action packed promotional schedule in team history.  Highlighting the 2012 schedule will be seven post-game fireworks shows, five giveaway nights highlighted by a Jason Kipnis bobblehead giveaway on August 18 and celebrity appearances by Days of Our Lives Star “Brady Black” on July 28 and wresting superstars Matt Hardy and Carlito for a post-game wrestling show on July 29. The 2012 New York-Penn League All-Star Game will also be held at Eastwood Field for the first time on August 14.

Every Monday Matters presented by Grace Fellowship Church.  Bring a donation of new books, non-perishable food items, or clothing for a free ticket to the game.

$2 Tuesdays presented by Pepsi, Handel’s Ice Cream and Hershey’s. Fans can enjoy $2 hot dogs, 16 oz. drinks, appetizers and ice cream sandwiches all game long.

Military Wednesdays presented by Carter Lumber.  Show a Military ID at the Scrappers box office for 2 free box seat game tickets.

Thursday Buck Nights presented by PNC Bank.  Fans can enjoy $1 General Admission tickets, hot dogs and 12 oz. drinks throughout the game.

Fridays feature a Post-Game Fireworks Extravaganza presented by 21 WFMJ and WBCB.

Saturdays include the Scrappers Night Live Series, with a live performance or entertainment act each Saturday Night presented by House Medic.

Sundays are Family Fun Days presented by Vlad Pediatrics. Come out and enjoy family friendly entertainment all game long.  Be sure to stick around for post-game kids run the bases after each game.

 

YSU Drops 3-0 Decision To Butler In Horizon Softball Tournament

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Sophomore Casey Crozier (above) scattered seven hits and struck out six, but the Youngstown State softball team dropped a 3-0 decision to Butler in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament at the Valparaiso Softball Field.

Crozier was out-dueled by Butler’s Leah Bry, who allowed just three hits to the league’s top offense and struck out four.

Senior Jordan Ingalls, junior Caroline Krombach and sophomore Sarah Ingalls each collected hits for the Penguins.

The Penguins fall to 28-20-1 and will play the loser of the No. 6 Green Bay-No. 2 Loyola contest, Thursday, at 5 p.m. (EDT). The Bulldogs improve to 24-30 and advance to play top-seeded Valparaiso, Thursday, at Noon (EDT).

Butler’s Erin Falkenberry hit a solo home run in the top of the second and that is all the offense Bry needed.

The Bulldogs added runs in the top of the fourth and top of the seventh to seal the victory.