Mason, Ohio -- The Youngstown State baseball team banged out a season-high 15 hits, but its bullpen allowed 10 runs in a 14-5 loss at Xavier at Prasco Park on Wednesday afternoon.
YSU led 3-1 after two innings, and the Penguins tied the score at 4-4 in the top of the fifth. The Penguins went to the bullpen, and the Musketeers promptly scored six runs in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the bottom of the sixth.
The Penguins stranded 12 runners overall, including nine in the first four innings. They also grounded into two inning-ending double plays in the first five frames.
"We left too many runners on base early, and that kept us from building on the lead that we had," YSU head coach Rich Pasquale said. "We didn't execute offensively on a consistent basis, and our pitchers have to do a better job of closing down innings."
Xavier took a 1-0 lead in the first, but YSU answered with three runs on four hits in the top of the second. Singles from Jonathan Crist and Neil Schroth and a walk to Greg Dissinger loaded the bases with nobody out, and followed with Phil Lipari an RBI single to center. David Leon drew a walk two batters later to force in a run, and Drew Dosch moved everyone up a base with an RBI single. Jeremy Banks, though, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. That was the only time he was retired on the afternoon.
Ryan Bellamy hit a two-run single in the third for Xavier to tie the score, and back-to-back doubles to start the fourth put the Musketeers up 4-3. David Saluga tied the score in the top of the fifth with a pinch-hit single that plated Neil Schroth.
YSU's Nic Manuppelli, who made his first career start, handed the ball off to the bullpen before the bottom of the fifth, and the Musketeers greeted relievers Erik Okleson and Blake Aquadro with six runs on five hits. Xavier then tacked on four runs on six hits in the sixth to go up 14-4.
Banks singled home Saluga in the eighth for YSU's final run.
Banks finished 4-for-5, and Schroth was 3-for-4 with two runs scored. Lipari, Crist and Saluga all had two hits apiece. Daniel Rod was 3-for-4 with four RBIs to lead Xavier.
Manuppelli finished with four's across in his final line, allowing four runs, hits and walks while striking out four in four innings. Okleson was charged with the loss, allowing five runs in 0.1 innings. Shane Liska earned the win for Xavier by throwing two scoreless innings of relief.
Youngstown State will play four games this weekend at the University of Pittsburgh PSC Panther Classic. Game one will be Friday against Toledo at 3 p.m. YSU will play Pitt and Niagara in back-to-back games on Saturday starting at noon, and the Guins will play Toledo again on Sunday at noon.