Cincinnati, Ohio -- The Youngstown State baseball team had its offense ignite late, but Cincinnati built too big of a cushion in the early innings and held on for a 12-9 victory over the Penguins on Friday evening at Marge Schott Stadium.
The Penguins and Bearcats will play game two of their three-game series on Saturday at 2 p.m., two hours earlier than the originally scheduled time. YSU has added a game against Eastern Michigan on Cincinnati's campus at 5:30 p.m. Saturday as well.
Junior Matt Sullivan was 3-for-5 with five RBIs to lead the Penguins offensively, and Mike Accardi had two hits at the top of the lineup. Cincinnati's first two hitters, Matt Williams and Will Drake, both had four hits.
Cincinnati scored two runs in the first, second and fourth innings to go up 6-0 on Penguins starter Patrick O'Brien. Phil Lipari tripled and scored on a Sullivan single in the fifth for YSU's first run, but the Bearcats scored three runs in the seventh to take a 9-1 advantage.
The Penguins shaved three runs off the deficit in the eighth. Jake Fryman brought in Brent Gillespie with a pinch-hit double, and Nick DiNello drove in Kris Moules on a sacrifice fly. Sullivan then followed with a two-out single to plate Fryman. Cincinnati, though, answered right back with three runs in the bottom of the eighth to go on top 12-4.
YSU's final five runs came on four hits, two errors and a walk in the ninth. Accardi and Jason Shirley started the inning with back-to-back doubles, and Shirley scored the second run of the inning when he took third on a wild pitch and came in on an ensuing throwing error. The Penguins loaded the bases when Gillespie reached on an error, Lorenzo Arcuri walked and DiNello singled, and Sullivan followed with a three-run double.
O'Brien was charged with six runs on 11 hits in five innings, and Ryan Smith and Jeremy Quinlan both surrendered three runs in relief. Ryan Atkinson allowed one run on five hits and three walks over six innings to earn the win for Cincinnati.