Niles, Ohio -- The Youngstown State baseball team was held to two hits over the final eight innings, and Pittsburgh used a four-run sixth to defeat the Penguins 5-2 in front of more than 4,600 fans at Eastwood Field on Tuesday.
YSU and Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the Short Season Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, partnered to host the special school day game for Youngstown-area students. It was the second consecutive year for the event, and the number of students more than doubled from last year.
The Penguins got three strong innings from starter Patrick O'Brien, and they led 1-0 after the first inning. YSU, though, did not get another hit until the seventh, and Pitt led 5-1 by that time.
David Leon was hit by a pitch - the fifth time in two games - to start the first for YSU, and he was safe at second on a throwing error by Pitt pitcher Alex Caravella. Drew Dosch grounded into a double play, but Jeremy Banks brought in Leon with a single to left. Marcus Heath then ripped the first pitch of his at bat to the wall in left, and Banks was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.
O'Brien, making his first start in more than a month, worked around a one-out triple in the second inning and handed the ball off to the bullpen with the lead through three innings. Pitt immediately tied the score behind two singles and a wild pitch in the fourth off Ryan Krokos, and the Panthers tacked on four runs on four hits in the sixth to go up 5-1. Evan Oswald and Anthony Defabio both had two-run singles in the inning, Defabio's coming after there were two outs.
David Saluga's one-out single in the seventh inning off reliever J.R. Leonardi broke up YSU's hitless skid, and Lipari scored from third in the eighth when Dosch got caught in a rundown between first and second.
Three Panthers finished with two hits, and they posted 10 as a team. Four different Penguins had hits.
Caravella allowed just the two first-inning hits and walked two while striking out seven in six innings to earn his fourth win. Krokos was tagged with the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits in 2 2-3 innings. The redshirt freshman had strikeouts for five of the eight outs he recorded. Blake Aquadro toss 2 1-3 shutout innings of relief, and Russ Harless added one.
Youngstown State will finish up the regular season with a three-game series at Valparaiso Thursday through Saturday. Thursday's contest will begin at 4 p.m. Eastern.