Niles, Ohio – Milwaukee scored 12 runs in the fourth inning and led comfortably the rest of the way in a 16-6 victory over the Youngstown State baseball team on Friday at Eastwood Field.
Paul Hoenecke and Jonathan Capasso both hit homers in the fourth and drove in four runs apiece for Milwaukee. Joe Iacobucci was 3-for-4 with three runs scored for YSU.
Milwaukee starter Chad Pierce allowed five earned runs in seven innings to earn his fifth win. YSU's Robert Switka allowed six earned runs on nine hits in three innings in a losing effort. Switka held the Panthers to two runs on three hits in seven innings a week ago in his start at Miller Park.
YSU took a 1-0 lead in the second thanks to playing small ball and two bloop singles. Iacobucci singled on a soft fly that landed in shallow left, and he went to second on Drew Dosch's sacrifice bunt. Pierce struck out Jonathan Crist, but Iacobucci scored when Phil Lipari's single landed in front of a diving Capasso in left center.
Milwaukee scored an unearned run in the third to tie the score, and the Panthers blew the game open in the third with their 12-run inning. They sent 15 batters to the plate, and six straight had hits to start the inning.
Dekoning hit a hard liner that caromed off Switka to lead off the inning, and the Panthers had good fortune when Hoenecke's grounder went through to right field with Lipari pulled toward second with the hit-and-run on. Erik Okleson came in and retired the first hitter he faced, and, two batters later, he induced what should have been an inning-ending double play that snuck between David Leon's legs at shortstop. That could have ended the inning with just four runs in, but eight more came in to score. Four came in on Hoenecke's grand slam, and Capasso followed with a wind-aided two-run homer two batters later to make the score 13-1.
With Pierce waiting during the long half inning, YSU loaded the bases before recording an out. Iacobucci and Dosch hit back-to-back singles to start the frame, and Crist was beaned on the first pitch of his at bat. After a wild pitch allowed Iacobucci to score, Pierce minimized the damage by getting an RBI groundout from Lipari and a sacrifice fly from Craig Goubeaux.
Milwaukee tacked on three runs in the sixth to go up 16-4, and YSU scored twice in the bottom half to make the score 16-6. Iacobucci singled and scored on an error, and Dosch singled and scored on a wild pitch.
The Penguins and Panthers will play a doubleheader on Saturday starting at noon.