Baseball Drops Home Opener to Oakland, 10-6

Kyle Benyo
Kyle Benyo

Oakland scored nine consecutive runs to spoil the Youngstown State baseball team's home opener with a 10-6 victory on Friday afternoon at Eastwood Field.

Youngstown State led 5-1 after three innings but didn't score again until it trailed 10-5 in the ninth. The Penguins had eight hits through three innings, but the Golden Grizzlies limited them to four the rest of the game.

Andrew Kendrick went 2-for-2 with an RBI single and a two-run home run, his eighth of the season, but had to leave in the fifth inning with an injury. Kyle Benyo tripled and added a solo blast to center in the ninth inning, and Nico Padovan, Anthony Rohan and Web Charles each had two hits.

Tyler Pagano went 5-for-5 to pace Oakland's 16-hit attack. The Golden Grizzlies scored eight of their runs after there were two outs.

Both teams scored in the first inning, and the Penguins had back-to-back two out hits in the second inning to go up 3-1. Charles reached on a one-out single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tanner Montgomery. Benyo then tripled to center to plate Charles, and Padovan followed with a double inside the third-base bag to bring in Benyo.

Kendrick's home run in the third inning cleared the second tier of the left field wall at Eastwood Field, and it put the Penguins up 5-1. It was his Horizon League-leading eighth round-tripper of the season.

Oakland scored two runs with two outs in the fourth inning to cut the lead in half, and the Golden Grizzlies scored twice more in the fifth to tie the score at 5-5.

Youngstown State had an opportunity to regain the lead in the sixth when Charles hit a one-out triple, but he was stranded on third. Oakland starter Jake Lee struck out Montgomery, then hit Benyo and Padovan on consecutive pitches. Reliever Nate Schweers came on to get Rohan to ground out on a full-count pitch to end the threat.

With the score still 5-5, YSU's Jesse Slinger retired the first two Oakland hitters in the eighth inning before the next four batters all reached. Zach Sterry singled, Myles Zilinsky walked and Pagano singled in Sterry for the go-ahead run. Pagano then stole second base to put two runners in scoring position for Matt DiLeo, who delievered a two-run single up the middle.

Tyler Trovinger hit a solo homer, and Emerson Misch walked and scored for Oakland in the ninth. Benyo's home run to lead off the ninth accounted for the final run of the game.

YSU starter Collin Floyd allowed four runs on eight hits in 4-1/3 innings in a no-decision. The loss was charged to Slinger, who surrendered three runs in 2-2/3 innings. Schweers allowed just two hits over 3-1/3 innings to earn the win in relief for Oakland.

The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies will play a doubleheader on Saturday at noon.