Viking Charge Falls Short in Horizon League Tournament
May 24, 2003
Fairborn, Ohio - The Viking baseball team's remarkable postseason ended Saturday night as Cleveland State dropped an evenly-fought 7-6 battle to Butler in the Horizon League Tournament at Nischwitz Stadium. Less than two hours before, CSU sent Youngstown State home with a 10-4 victory to keep their championship hopes alive for one more game.
Sophomore RHP Matt Kaltenbach (Stow, Ohio/Stow) got the nod against the Penguins, working on two days rest after pitching the Vikings past Detroit in the play-in game on Wednesday. YSU got to the righty plating two runs in the second on RBI singles by Jim Lipinski and Jim Phillips.
The Vikings battled back, however, tallying an unearned run in the third after sophomore Ben Smith (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Chagrin) came around on a throwing error by the shortstop. CSU tied the score at two in the fourth on a sac fly by second baseman Mario Angelo (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) and took the lead on after left fielder Eric Schmitz (North Olmsted, Ohio/St.Edward) came home on a wild pitch. The Vikings added an additional run in the fifth on a RBI double by catcher Doug Besozzi (Uhrichsville, Ohio/Claymont).
Youngstown State cut the CSU lead to 4-3 after Phillips tripled and scored on and a RBI single by shortstop J.J. Newman. The Penguins then loaded the bases before Kaltenbach worked a pop-up from Charles Schultz on a 3-2 count to end the threat.
The Vikings began to put the game out of reach in the top of the sixth. With one out and a runner on first, Smith launched a 1-1 pitch over the left field wall to build back the Cleveland State advantage to three. The Vikings never looked back, plating another run in the sixth, two in the seventh and one in the ninth.
Kaltenbach earned the win, yielding three runs on five hits and two walks in five innings. Sophomore right-hander Jimmy Gulden (Lewisburg, Pa./Lewisburg) picked up the save, going four solid innings in relief, allowing one run on three hits. Chris Dennis took the loss, going 4.1 innings giving up four runs on three hits and six walks.
Senior Brian Beaumier (Eastlake, Ohio/Eastlake North) took the hill in the second game against Butler after sitting out the entire tournament with an ankle injury. After allowing three runs in the first, Beaumier settled in to shut out the Bulldogs on two hits over the next three innings.
Meanwhile, the Vikings jumped on Butler starter Jon Olson for three runs in the second. After opening the inning with three straight hits to load the bases, CSU plated runs on a groundout and wild pitch before Besozzi doubled to left to knot the score.
The contest remained deadlocked until the fifth, when Butler scored an unearned run on a bases-loaded walk. The Bulldog lead ballooned to 7-3 after Paul Beck smacked a two-run home run in the seventh.
The Viking offense continued to answer the challenge, posting a three-run eighth to bring them back to within one. The scoring, however, would fall short. Freshman Cory Rojeck (Wickliffe, Ohio/Wickliffe) led off the ninth with a walk and moved to second on a sac bunt but would be left stranded as Randy Miles slammed the door on the threat.