Photo Cred: Karli Bell

Late Burst Leads Youngstown State to Win Over Ohio

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Some late-game heroics helped push the Youngstown Penguins past the Ohio Bobcats with an 8-5 win Tuesday.

After Billy Salem doubled home the tying run in the top of the eighth for Youngstown State, Kyle Benyo stepped in and nailed a two-run home run over the left field wall to give the Penguins a 7-5 lead, which they never surrendered.

The Penguins got things started with a three-run first inning.  Ohio pitcher Nick Kamrada struggled to find the strike zone early, as he walked the first two batters of the game.  Billy Salem then doubled into left center field.  He then advanced and scored on two ground balls to give Youngstown State an early 3-0 lead.

Ohio then responded in the bottom of the second inning, as Tyler Finkler hit a line shot into left field, scoring Anthony Mrosla and Manny De Jesus.  The Penguins then tacked on a run in the top of the third off a throwing error from Finkler with 2 outs.

The Bobcats trailed 4-2 until the bottom of the seventh when they took the lead with a three-run inning.  It all started when Cody Gaertner and Rudy Rott singled.  Ty Black then stepped in a singled into right field knocking in Gaertner.  Spencer Ibarra gave Ohio the lead with a two-run single through the hole between the shortstop and third baseman.

Ohio’s 5-4 lead was short-lived, as the Penguins tacked on three runs in the top of the eighth inning. Salem doubled off the right field wall, knocking in a run to tie the game.  That double set the stage for Kyle Benyo’s two-run shot to give Youngstown State the lead.

Salem singled in another run in the top of the ninth as some insurance for the Penguins.  He was three for four on the night with 3 RBI.  The Penguins scored eight runs on six hits.

Ohio was led by Cody Gaertner who went three for five, extending his hit streak to 17 games. Spencer Ibarra also  batted one for three with two RBI.

The Bobcats scored five runs off of 12 hits.  Ohio Head Coach Rob Smith was pleased with the hitting but would definitely like his team to produce more runs.

“Hitting is great. I like hitting. I like that we get a lot of hits, but the game is won and lost with scoring not hitting,” Smith explained.

“They don’t give the win to the team that hits the most. They give it to the team that scores the most, and that’s something we’re going to have to continue to get better at.”

Kevin Yarabinec (3-1) earned the win for the Penguins and Eddie Fitzpatrick (0-1) suffered his first loss of the season.

Youngstown State improves to 5-12 and will travel back home to host Milwaukee this weekend starting on March 25.

The Bobcats fall to 9-11 and will host Northern Illinois at Bob Wren Stadium on Friday in the first of a three-game series to open up MAC play.