UIC hit three home runs and answered two rallies by the Youngstown State baseball team for a 12-6 victory over the Penguins on Friday afternoon at Curtis Granderson Stadium.
The Flames had a pair of three-run homers, one in a four-run first inning and another in the eighth after YSU got within striking distance. Those three long balls accounted for seven of UIC's 12 runs.
YSU starter Brendon Shoemake walked two of the first three batters of the game, and UIC cleanup hitter Jeff Boehm followed with a three-run homer to give the Flames a lead they would never lose. UIC re-loaded the bases, and Mickey McDonald brought in the fourth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly.
The Penguins scored in the top of the third when Kris Moules came in on a two-out error, and a home run by Tyler Detmer and another sacrifice fly gave UIC a 6-1 lead after four innings.
Moules scored on a ground out, and Alex Larivee and Phil Lipari scored on White's two-run single in the top of the fifth to cut YSU's deficit to 6-4. That's as close as the Penguins could get. Jacob McNamara doubled in a run, and Alex Lee brought in two more on a two-out single to make the score 9-4 in the bottom of the fifth.
Lipari scored on White's single in the seventh, and Hix came in on Lipari's infield single in the eighth to get YSU within 9-6. Zenon Kolakowski's three-run homer with two outs in the eighth accounted for the final runs of the game.
Shoemake was charged with six runs on six hits and four walks in 3.1 innings before handing the ball off to Jared Wight, who pitched the remaining 4.2 innings. UIC starter Tomas Michelson allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on six hits while striking out eight in six innings to earn the win.
The Penguins and Flames will play game two of the three-game series on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. Eastern.