Valparaiso, Ind. - Matt Gillikin, Glendon Seal, Adam Paetznick and Adam Knobel held Youngstown State scoreless in eight of the nine innings as Valpo defeated the Penguins 3-1.
Jeff Rickert and Colin Reynolds had one hit and one RBI each, while Brian Rzepka added two hits for the Crusaders.
After Youngstown State tallied a run in the first inning on Charles Schultz's RBI single, Valpo tied the game in the second when Kevin Kutansky tripled and touched home on Reynolds' RBI single.
Valpo (17-33) took the lead for good in the third with an unearned run. Rzepka belted a one-out double and went to third when Rickert blooped a hit up the middle over the head of the second baseman. Rickert turned the hit into a double by hustling into an uncovered second base. Rzepka scored when the Penguins' shortstop threw wildly to the pitcher, who was late in covering second.
The Crusaders increased their lead to 3-1 by tacking on an insurance run in the fifth. Rzepka led off the frame with a single, stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error by the catcher. Rickert followed with an RBI groundout to the shortstop.
In a pre-determined pitching order, Gillikin (3-2) allowed one run and four hits in 4 innings. The sophomore righty struck out one and walked one. Seal fanned three in 2 hitless and scoreless innings. Adam Paetznick followed with 2 scoreless frames and Adam Knobel hurled a scoreless 9th, striking out two in earning his fifth save.
Frank Santore (0-1) started for YSU (18-30), allowing two earned runs and seven hits. The senior righthander struck out five and walked three.
Valpo hosts Chicago State in Mid-Continent Conference doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday beginning at noon each day. The Crusaders (8-12 Mid-Con) are battling Southern Utah (10-10), Oakland (9-11) and Centenary (8-10) for one of two spots in the four-team Mid-Con Tournament to be held May 27-29 in Shreveport, La. on the campus of Centenary College.