Chicago -- The Youngstown State baseball team's pitching staff held UIC scoreless over the final five innings, but the Penguins' offense couldn't capitalize after scoring five early runs in a 6-5 loss on Friday at Les Miller Field.
All of the scoring in the game happened in the first three innings, and a three-run home run by UIC's Jon Ryan in the bottom of the third was the game-winning hit.
YSU starter Blake Aquadro allowed all six runs in five innings, but only four of those were earned. Redshirt freshman Ryan Krokos allowed just one hit and a walk in 2.1 shutout innings, and Kevin McCulloh came on to get the final two outs in the eighth.
Joey Begel allowed five runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings to earn his third win for UIC. Only four of the runs charged against him were earned. Chris Hoffman allowed two hits and three walks in three innings to earn his second save.
Both of the Flames' runs in the first were unearned, and both scored after there were two outs. Aquadro retired the first batter, and the next two batters reached on a hit batsman and a single. Aquadro struck out cleanup batter Alex Grunewald, but Ryan reached on a fielding error by Phil Lipari at short as Alex De LaRosa scored. Joe Betcher then scored on Alex Jurich's single.
The Penguins struck for three runs in the top of the second to go up 3-2. Craig Goubeaux and Dan Hurlimann hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and Kevin Hix sacrificed both over. Jack Graham then plated both runs with a double to right, and he later scored on David Leon's two-out single.
UIC tied the score in the second on a solo home run by Ryan Boss, but the Penguins answered with two runs in the top of the third to go ahead 5-3. After Marcus Heath hit a one-out single and advanced on a ground out, Hurlimann singled him in for the go-ahead run. Hurlimann went to third on a Hix single and scored on an error.
The lead didn't stand for long, though, as Ryan's three-run home run came with one out in the third.
YSU had the leadoff runner on in each of the final four innings but couldn't string together enough hits to tie the score. The first two batters reached in the eighth on a single and an error, but the next three hitters didn't get the ball out of the infield. The Penguins then stranded runners on second and third in the ninth when Hurlimann grounded out to end the game.
Hurlimann finished with a game and career-high three hits as YSU outhit the Flames 9-7.
YSU and UIC will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 3:05 p.m. Eastern.