Pittsburgh, Pa. -- The Youngstown State baseball team was swept in a Saturday double header at the Panther Classic, falling 7-0 to Pittsburgh and 8-5 to Niagara.
A day after posting 12 hits in a 4-3 victory over Toledo, the Penguins were held to 13 hits combined in Saturday's two games.
Neil Schroth had two hits in the opener against Pittsburgh, and seven different players had singles versus Niagara.
Pitt scored twice in the first inning off Blake Aquadro, but the sophomore lefty making his first start of the year settled down. He didn't allow another hit until the fifth, and the Panthers didn't score again until the sixth.
YSU struggled to support Aquadro offensively and got only one runner in scoring position in the first six innings off of Matt Iannazzo.
The Penguins had a runner thrown out at the plate in the top of the seventh, and the Panthers struck for four runs off the bullpen in the bottom half. Padraic Williams walked three and gave up an RBI single without recording an out, and Cody Dearth walked a run in and allowed a two-run single. All four runs were charged to Williams.
Aquadro was charged with the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks in six innings. Iannazzo threw eight shutout innings while allowing five hits and three walks.
"We got good innings from Blake today," YSU head coach Rich Pasquale said."He kept Pitt off balance for six innings, and we're proud of the way he competed. Iannozzo was very good for Pitt, and they got some clutch hits for him. They are a very disciplined team at the plate."
In the second game, YSU's Kevin McCulloh and Niagara's Drew Fittry both started by throwing five scoreless innings. McCulloh allowed only three hits in the first five frames, but he surrendered five in the sixth as Niagara erupted for seven runs. The final two runs came in once McCulloh handed the ball off to Erik Okleson with the bases loaded and one out.
YSU got back into the game in the eighth by scoring four runs without recording a hit. Matt Meyer walked the first three batters of the inning, and he walked two runs in after recording a strikeout. Reliever Anthony Caringi walked another run in, but he got out of the inning by inducing a sacrifice fly and a ground out to third.
Niagara hit two doubles to score a run in the ninth and go up 8-4, but the Penguins didn't go quietly in their final at bat. Armani Johnson's RBI single made the score 8-5, and YSU had the tying run at the plate when Schroth flied out to left to end the game. Johnson's RBI single was YSU's lone hit with a runner in scoring position in 16 chances.
McCulloh was charged with the loss, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and four walks in 5.1 innings. Bill Turosky retired Niagara in order in the eighth in his first appearance of the season. Fittry improved to 3-1 for the Purple Eagles, surrendering four hits and two walks in five innings.
"McCulloh gave us a solid outing and gave us a chance to win," Pasquale said. "We hit the ball hard and had plenty of chances, but we didn't take good swings on plus counts with runners in scoring position. We left 19 runners on base in the two games, and we need to do a better job of not stranding runners if we want to win tomorrow."
YSU has one more game at the Panther Classic. The Penguins will play Toledo again on Sunday at noon.