The Youngstown State baseball team dropped its first two games of the 2013 season at Samford on Friday, losing 5-3 in game one and 17-3 in game two of the doubleheader.
Drew Dosch hit a two-run home run in the first game and followed that up with a double and a single in the night cap. Phil Lipari also had three hits over the two games, and Kris Moules and David Saluga also posted two RBIs.
"We are obviously disappointed with today's outcomes, but there were some positives that we can build upon," coach Steve Gillispie said. "We have two more opportunities this weekend to compete."
The Penguins were hurt by a three-run homer and two unorthodox runs in the 5-3 loss to the Bulldogs in the seven-inning opener. Samford, which went 41-23 and won two games in the NCAA Tournament last year, jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third when Zeth Stone hit a two-out, three-run home run to right off Penguins starter Blake Aquadro.
Dosch answered with a two-run homer to left-center in the top of the fourth, bringing in Mike Accardi. Ryan Krokos relieved Aquadro and worked out of a jam in the fourth, and he handed the ball to Alex Frey with runners on the corners and one out in the fifth. Samford's first run of the inning came in when Frey balked, and the other scored on a two-out passed ball.
The first two Penguins reached in the sixth, but YSU was limited to just one run. Two hit batsmen and a walk loaded the bases with one out, and Accardi came in to score on Saluga's sacrifice fly. On the same play, Hix was thrown out to end the inning trying to advance to third. The Penguins also had a runner thrown out at third in the fifth.
Arthur Strauss came in and retired the Penguins in order in the seventh to earn the save.
In game two, Samford scored an unearned run in the first before plating seven runs on eight hits in the second. The Bulldogs led 11-0 through four innings before Moules got the Penguins on the board in the sixth with a two-run double. Frankie Navarrete hit a two-run homer for Samford in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 13-2, and Preseason All-American Phillip Ervin led off the two-run seventh with a homer. Ervin also hit a two-run homer in the eighth. Lipari hit a leadoff double in the ninth and scored on Saluga's fielder's choice for the final tally.
Youngstown State and Samford will play game three of their four-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m. Eastern.