Pittsburgh, Pa. -- Pittsburgh scored seven runs in the first inning and held on late to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 11-9 on Tuesday afternoon at Cost Field.
After falling behind 7-1, the Penguins continued to chip away and trailed 9-7 after the top of the sixth. YSU trailed 11-7 after the bottom of the sixth but had the tying run on base in both the seventh and ninth innings.
Jason Shirley finished 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI, and Phil Lipari had two hits for the Penguins, who had 11 as a team. Boo Vazquez had three of Pittsburgh's 12 hits. Both pitching staffs issued eight walks.
YSU starter Russ Harless allowed nine runs on seven hits and five walks in five innings, but seven of those runs came in the first inning. He allowed the Penguins to climb back in the game and saved the bullpen for the rest of the week.
Drew Dosch hit a ground-rule double with two outs in the top of the first and scored when Nick DiNello reached on an error to give YSU a 1-0 lead. Pitt hit back-to-back homers, a three-run shot by Steven Shelinsky Jr. and a solo home run by Sam Parente, in its seven-run first.
Marcus Heath scored on Shirley's two-out single in the second, and Lipari brought in Devin Higgins with a two-out single in the third to make the score 7-3. Casey Roche's two-run home run in the fourth put the Panthers on top 9-3.
YSU made a big dent in the deficit in the top of the sixth despite having just one hit in the inning. Lipari drew a leadoff walk and scored three batters later when Craig Goubeaux grounded out for the second out of the inning. Following a Shirley single and Mike Accardi walked to load the bases, two runs came in on an error on Higgins' grounder. Dosch walked to re-load the bases, and DiNello was hit by a pitch to bring in the fourth run of the inning. Pitt scored twice in the bottom of the sixth to go up 11-7.
Dan Popio brought in Heath with a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh, and that was the Penguins' only run of the inning despite re-loading the bases with one out. Pitt reliever Joe Harvey struck out Higgins and got Dosch to ground out to escape the jam with the score 11-8. The Penguins loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth but had to settle for just one run on David Saluga's sacrifice fly. Harvey induced DiNello into an infield pop-up and struck out Lipari to earn his third save.
J.R. Leonardi earned the win for Pittsburgh, allowing three unearned runs in 1.2 innings. Harvey allowed one run on four hits in three innings.
YSU will play at Toledo on Wednesday at 3:05 p.m. Jared Wight will start on the mound for the Penguins.