Kyle Benyo hit two of the Youngstown State baseball team's four home runs in a 15-8 loss at Northern Kentucky on Friday at the Bill Aker Complex.
The Penguins had a season-high 18 hits and matched their 2017 high with four home runs, but the Norse countered with five home runs in the derby. NKU hit three of its home runs in the first two innings as it built a 7-0 lead. YSU scored the next four runs to get within three, and it later trailed 12-8.
Benyo finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs to go with his two home runs. Andrew Kendrick hit his ninth home run of the season, and Anthony Rohan hit his second for the Penguins. Lou Cardona joined Benyo with three hits, and three Penguins had two hits.
NKU had a 2-0 lead three pitches into the game when T.J. Alas homered to center field, and Mike Moffatt and Chad Roberts hit home runs in a five-run second inning for the Norse.
Alas homered again as part of a three-run fourth inning for the Norse that put them up 10-4, and the Penguins got no closer than four runs the rest of the game.
Benyo's second home run in the top of the sixth made the score 10-5, and Trey Ganns hit a two-run blast for NKU in the bottom of the inning to up the margin to seven. YSU made one more charge in the seventh inning as Trey Bridis, Cardona and Benyo each had RBIs to make the score 12-8, but the Norse scored twice in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 14-8. NKU added a run on a wild pitch in the eighth for the final score.
YSU starter Kevin Yarabinec allowed 10 runs, nine of which were earned over 3-1/3 innings. He walked four batters, and the Penguins walked eight free passes in total.
Youngstown State and Northern Kentucky will play game two of their series on Saturday at 1 p.m.