Aquadro's Gem Highlights Doubleheader Split at Kent State

Blake Aquadro
Blake Aquadro

Blake Aquadro did not allow a hit through five innings, and Youngstown State pounded out 14 hits in a 10-4 victory over Kent State in the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday at Schoonover Stadium. Kent State won the night cap 5-2.

The win snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Golden Flashes, and it was the first victory for the Penguins in Kent since 2005.

The Golden Flashes got an unearned run off Aquadro in the first when Derek Toadvine reached on a dropped fly ball and scored on a ground out. Starting with that RBI groundout, Aquadro retired 15 of the next 16 batters he faced, and the offense kicked into gear for the Penguins in the top of the third.

Neil Schroth led off the third with an infield single, and the Penguins loaded the bases with two outs after two batters were beaned. Jason Shirley moved everyone up a base and tied the game with a single to left, and Marcus Heath followed with a two-run double that brought in Josh White and Nick DiNello. Devin Higgins then made the score 4-0 with a single that brought in Shirley.

Higgins kick-started the offense in the fifth as the Penguins erupted for six runs on seven hits to go up 10-1. Higgins led off with a single, advanced on an error and scored on a Mike Accardi single. Singles by Schroth and Drew Dosch loaded the bases, and White brought in a run on a ground out. Phil Lipari's two-run single made the score 8-1, and DiNello added an RBI single and Higgins walked with the bases loaded for the final two runs of the inning.

Aquadro's no-hit bid was broken up on a leadoff single by Jeff Revesz in the sixth, and he walked Sawyer Polen with one out before exiting. Russ Harless gave up a two-run triple to Evan Campbell and a sacrifice fly before getting out of the inning, and he worked around a one-out single in the seventh.

Aquadro was charged with three of the four runs, two of which were earned. He allowed just the single to Revesz, walked a batter and hit another in 5.1 innings to earn his third win of the season. Kent State had just three hits in the contest.

DiNello was 3-for-3 with two runs scored, and Heath, Higgins and Schroth all had two hits apiece. Lipari, Heath and Higgins all had two RBIs.

Kent State starter Nick Jensen-Clagg allowed four runs on five hits in 2.2 innings in the loss.

In game two, the Golden Flashes got the better pitching and held the Penguins to just two hits in the second inning. Offensively, Kent State did all of its damage against starter Josh North in the first inning. The first four batters in the inning reached, and all four scored. Campbell, Tommy Monnot and Joe Koch had RBIs, and the other two runs scored on a wild pitch and a passed ball. Kent State had just two hits the remainder of the game.

North allowed a hit in a scoreless second, and Robert Switka pitched 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Aleex Frey came on with the bases loaded in the sixth and got the only batter he faced to fly out tp emd the inning.

Youngstown State's only two hits came consecutively to start the second. Heath was originally awarded first base for being hit by a pitch but was called back to the batter's box after a conference. He then doubled to right center, and Lipari followed with an RBI triple to left center. DiNello brought in Lipari with a ground out.

YSU had only two base-runners the rest of the contest, a two-out walk to Schroth and in the third and when DiNello reached on catcher's interference with two outs in the seventh.

Youngstown State will host West Virginia on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Eastwood Field.