Archive for the ‘YSU Baseball And Softball’ Category

YSU Will Host Horizon Baseball Tournament This Week


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)

YSU Softball’s Magical Tournament Run Ends In Championship Game


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.

YSU Baseball Nips West Virginia To Start Road Trip


The Youngstown State baseball team scored six straight runs to break open a 4-4 tie and beat West Virginia 10-7 in its first of four games this weekend at Wake Forest on Friday afternoon. The Penguins lost 8-2 to the host Demon Deacons in their second game of the day.

Junior catcher Josh White was 3-for-4 and scored twice, and junior third baseman Drew Dosch scored three times for the Penguins against WVU. The baseball team became the fourth YSU program to beat a team from a BCS conference this season. The football and women’s basketball teams beat Pittsburgh, and the men’s basketball team beat Georgia.

Blake Aquadro allowed four runs on seven hits in five innings in a winning effort over the Mountaineers. Lance Horner and Alex Frey combined to allow two earned runs in four innings of relief.

The Penguins will West Virginia again on Saturday at noon. They’ll wrap up the weekend against Wake Forest on Sunday at noon.

YSU Baseball Committed To Turning Things Around


Steve Gillespie is as meat-and-potatoes as it gets.  He is all about turning programs around and winning.  He makes no bones about the fact that the rest of the stuff that goes on (who gets tickets to what, how many extra people can we take, etc.) is not a high priority for him.  Making sure the second baseman rotates to cover first base on a bunt seems a bigger concern.

“We will assess what we have coming back and I have seen a lot of positive things to build on from last season.  There are also things that will need addressed immediately”, said Gillespie.

Gillespie had success at Jacksonville (Ala.) State and later South Carolina, where he spent his last eleven years.  Call him the Bill Parcells of baseball coaches.  It seemed Parcells always turned a struggling team into a contender.

Now that Gillespie is cooking the meal, like Parcells, he will surely want to buy the groceries too.

“Some of the guys had better Summers than they had Springs”, remarked Gillespie.  “We were able to sign a few guys that will be able to contribute immediately.”


The Penguins baseball program has been kind of like the redheaded stepchild of YSU sports the last few seasons.  Last season, the Guins finished 11-44 and in 2011, not much better, at 14-41.  In fact, YSU has not had a winning baseball season since going 29-27 in 2005.  So Gillespie and his staff have their work cut out.

The staff is diverse and the only returning member from past seasons in Craig Antush.  Antush will serve as the director of operations.

“Craig has more than two decades of Division I experience as a player and a coach,” Gillispie said. “His 13 years here at YSU will provide great stability for our program as we make this transition, and I know our student-athletes are happy to see him on staff.”

The Penguins have also added Jason Neal as the recruiting coordinator, Kevin Smallcomb as the associate head coach, and former Cleveland Indians pitcher Jason Stanford will serve as the pitching coach.

“My interview experience here was absolutely phenomenal”, remarked Gillespie.  “I knew how accommodating people were here at that point.  It is a great family atmosphere and I couldn’t be happier to be here.  The Watts is a great tool.  We would have lost ground on the Southern schools without a place like that to practice in when the weather does not cooperate.”

The Penguins are currently assessing on-field personnel and have added seven players to the 2013 roster.  The group of seven includes junior college transfers Mike Accardi, Devin Higgins, Kris Moules, and Josh White; freshmen from the western part of the country Jonas Wellan and Jared Wight; and Boardman High graduate Dan Popio. Accardi and Higgins are outfielders, Popio, Wellan and White are catchers, Moules is a first baseman and Wight is a left-handed pitcher. Accardi, Moules and White all played at Lackawanna College last season and helped lead the Falcons to the NJCAA Division II World Series.

2012 YSU Hall of Fame Inductee: Chris Notareschi


Chris Notareschi is very deserving of her 2012 Youngstown State Hall of Fame induction.  I have the perfect witness to verify her dedication and commitment to women’s softball greatness, me.

I was fortunate enough to grow up two doors down from the Notareschi family.  I would get home after football practice at dusk on a school night and could see the silhouettes of Chris and her father throwing softballs around.  Chris would be pitching and Dave would be catching and working with her to assist her in pursuing a dream most Lowellville residents never get to see, a chance to play college sports.

“I am really honored by the induction”, said Notareschi.  “Hopefully I won’t be too nervous when I have to talk, but I truly am honored and my family is thrilled.  I am looking forward to seeing many people, especially those who will be inducted with me.”

Lowellville didn’t have baseball or softball in those days, so Chris had to go to Poland to play the sport she was best at.  The bloodlines of her father, Dave, and mother,  Debbie (Koss) are full of athletic tradition and greatness, especially football.  Chris was never one to suit up and run sweeps, so softball was the chosen sport.

“My father was a huge influence on my career, if it wasn’t for him, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did with softball”, said Notareschi.

Notareschi practiced pitching for all those years, but her legacy will be left in the hitting department.

Notareschi was a four-year letterwinner and a three-time first-team all-conference pick. She finished her career as YSU’s career home run and RBIs leader with 18 and 103, respectively, and is currently tied for third in home runs and ranks fourth in RBIs. She set the single-season home run mark with eight and the RBI record with 33 in 1998. She now ranks tied for sixth all-time with 169 hits.

“The most rewarding thing about playing at YSU was that my family was close and got to come and watch me play.  I have been able to maintain the friendships I made with teammates, and obviously, getting my degree and allowing me to be where I am today.”


“I try to keep up on the internet with what the team is doing today, but I have not been on campus since I graduated, so I am really looking forward to going back”, said Notareschi.

“I played ball with Stacy Banfield at Poland.  We went on to play together at YSU.  She lives in North Carolina now but we still talk once a week.  Facebook is the best way for me to keep contact with all of my former teammates.”

Pretty much the entire Notareschi clan has headed West to Las Vegas, Nevada.

When asked if she still wears Youngstown State apparel in Sin City, Notareschi had a good response.

“When I am wearing Youngstown State stuff there, people are always coming up to me and asking me if I know so-and-so, or if I was really from Youngstown, Ohio.  There is always somebody.  As big as our country is, it is weird that someone knows your friends or your relatives back home.”

Notareschi is a teacher in Las Vegas but swears that the students don’t learn about football lines before fractions.

“If I had one career regret, it would be that we never won a championship”, reflected Notareschi.  “The fact that the teams were always getting better each year was pretty rewarding.”

So I can vouch wholeheartedly that my friend has earned the honor to be inducted.  She is a good representative of the product that Youngstown State turns out as an academic model and as a person.

** Photos courtesy of YSU Sports Information / Jamie Hall




YSU Terminates Pasquale, Search For New Coach Begins


Youngstown State University has parted ways with Rich Pasquale.  Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics, Ron Strollo, said that the Penguins will begin to search for a new mentor immediately.  Pasquale coached from 2008 until this season.

“I want to thank Coach Pasquale for his service to our department, the university, and the community in his five seasons as our head baseball coach,”said Strollo.  “We experienced several successes under his direction, and we are looking forward to experiencing many successes in the future.”

The Penguins went 86-187 in Pasquale’s five seasons as the skipper.  In 2012, they finished with an 11-44 mark but did manage to pull together for a third-place finish at the Horizon League Tournament.


“I appreciate the opportunity that Youngstown State gave me to coach at the Division I level,” said Pasquale.  “I was fortunate to coach and develop some great young men both on and off the field, and I thoroughly enjoyed who I worked with.”

Three YSU players were drafted to the Major League system under Pasquale’s tenure, including two in one year – a program first.  Seven players earned all-conference first team honors during the five seasons he coached.

Pasquale was the Horizon League’s Co-Coach of The Year in 2008 when the Penguins posted 23 wins and had a 13-12 record in league play, which were both his best marks over the span.

YSU Baseball Season Ends With 5-0 Tournament Loss


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.


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


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.


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’s Dosch And Banks Named First-Team All Horizon


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.


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


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.