Krokos’ Strong Start Paces Baseball to 8-4 Win Over Akron

Marcus Heath
Marcus Heath

Niles, Ohio -- The Youngstown State baseball team got five shutout innings from starting pitcher Ryan Krokos and scored five runs in the sixth inning to beat Akron 8-4 on Tuesday afternoon at Eastwood Field.

Krokos pitched five scoreless innings in his first career start, holding the Zips to three hits while striking out one. Marcus Heath had two hits and scored twice while Jason Shirley, Drew Dosch and Kevin Hix all drove in two runs.

Tyler Begun and Brady Stewart had three hits apiece for Akron, which outhit YSU 10-7.  Akron pitchers walked nine batters, and four of them came around to score. 

Dosch gave the Penguins the lead early by smacking his third home run of the season in the first inning. David Leon led off YSU’s half of the first with a walk, and Shirley sacrificed him to second. Dosch then hit a full-count pitch into the right-field bullpen to put the Guins up 2-0.

Krokos worked around two-out doubles in both the first and third innings, and he got out of a bigger jam in the fourth. He beaned Begun to start the inning, and a single by Stewart put runners at the corners with nobody out. Begun was then thrown out in a rundown when Dan Burant hit a one-hopper to first. Krokos then induced Bryan White into a 4-6-3 double play that ended the inning.

Akron got an unearned run in the sixth, and Blake Aquadro was able to escape with the bases loaded. He walked Joey Havrilak to start the inning, and he was safe at second when Jack Graham’s flip from second base was wide. YSU got an out at second on a fielder’s choice to leave runners at the corners with one out, and Stewart singled in Havrilak to put the Zips on the board. Aquadro hit Burant to load the bases, but the junior lefty got White to line out to center and struck out Darius Washington to end the inning.

The Penguins answered Akron’s run by scoring five runs and sending 10 men to the plate in the bottom of the sixth. After retiring the leadoff batter, reliever Jason McPeek allowed walks to Craig Goubeaux and Dan Hurlimann and a single to Heath to load the bases. Hix brought in Goubeaux with a weak ground out to second, and Phil Lipari walked to re-load the bases. McPeek then beaned Jack Graham on a 3-0 pitch to plate Heath. Andrew Fanning then came in to pitch and walked Leon on a 3-2 pitch to bring in Hurlimann for the third run of the inning. Shirley then brought in Lipari and Graham with a two-run single up the middle that made the score 7-1.

Heath doubled and scored on Hix’s sacrifice fly in the seventh to give the Guins an 8-1 lead. Akron made it 8-2 when Jared Turocy singled in Devan Ahart in the eighth, and the Zips scored on a bases-loaded walk and a sacrifice fly in the ninth for the final tally.

Akron starter matt Gebacz allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out four in five innings. All five runs in the sixth were charged to McPeek.

YSU and Akron will play again on Wednesday at Canal Park. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.