Cary, N.C. -- Youngstown State senior starter Patrick O'Brien pitched six strong innings, and Alex Larivee was 3-for-4 with a run scored as the Penguins beat Appalachian State 2-1 in the first game of the second annual USA Baseball Irish Classic at Coleman Field.
O'Brien held the Mountaineers to one run on five hits and two walks over six innings in leading the Penguins to their first win of the season. Alex Frey surrendered just one hit and struck out three in two innings of relief, and freshman Kevin Yarabinec struck out the side for his first career save.
Dillon Dobson was 2-for-4 to lead Appalachian State.
The Penguins stranded five runners in the first three innings, and the Mountaineers took the lead in the bottom of the third when Tyler Zupcic doubled in Brian Bauk.
YSU scored both of its runs in the fourth, and O'Brien and the bullpen took charge from there. Larivee got this going with a one-out infield single, and he went to third on Shane Willoughby's single. Kurt Laver, who was named the game's top performer, brought in Larivee on a bunt single to tie the score. Laver and Willoughby advanced on Phil Lipari's ground out, and Willoughby scored the game-winning run on Dobson's throwing error from shortstop.
O'Brien retired nine of the last 11 batters he faced, and he did not allow more than one baserunner in any of his final three innings.
Frey worked around a two-out walk in the seventh and a one-out single in the eighth, and Yarabinec struck out the sixth through eighth batters in Appalachian State's order in the ninth.
Youngstown State will play Notre Dame tomorrow at 4 p.m. in its second game of the Irish Classic. Brendon Shoemake will make his second start this season against the Fighting Irish.