Flames Win 15-11 Slugfest Versus Baseball in Series Opener

Josh White | Photo by Ron Stevens
Josh White | Photo by Ron Stevens

The Youngstown State baseball team trimmed an eight-run deficit down to one, but UIC scored the next five runs and held on to beat the Penguins 15-11 on Friday afternoon at Eastwood Field.

The Flames held a 10-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh, which is when the Penguins scored seven runs to cut the margin to one. UIC scored three unearned runs in the top of the eighth to turn the momentum, and each team scored two runs in the ninth.

Jason Shirley and Josh White both had three hits for YSU, and the Penguins benefitted from nine walks by UIC's pitchers. Ryan Boss was 4-for-6 and hit a two-run homer in the ninth for the Flames.

Drew Dosch hit a two-run homer off UIC starter Tomas Michelson in the bottom of the first, but the Flames scored four runs in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth to quickly go up 7-2. They had four hits in the second inning, and their next three runs were all unearned. Alex Grunenwald hit a two-run homer as part of UIC's three-run seventh that gave the Flames a 10-2 advantage.

Michelson was cruising for UIC, having retired 12 straight batters heading into the bottom of the seventh. He struck out the first two batters of the inning, but Shirley's infield single started what eventually turned out to be a seven-run rally as the Penguins sent 13 batters to the plate. The Flames walked six batters in the inning and hit another, and Shirley's single was one of only three hits in the frame. Josh White followed a walk to Dosch with an RBI single that brought in Shirley, and UIC pitchers walked the next three batters to force in two runs. Marcus Heath was hit on a 3-1 pitch to force in another run, and Schroth, who led off the inning, made the score 10-8 with a two-run single. Heath scored on a wild pitch, and two more walks loaded the bases for Dosch. Jack Anderson, UIC's fourth pitcher of the inning, struck him out on a pitch that Dosch thought was low and outside.

The Flames scored three unearned runs in the top of the eighth\, and Boss's two-run homer in the ninth put the Flames ahead 15-9. Accardi singled in Heath and later scored on White's single in the ninth for the final tally.

Michelson was charged with six runs on seven hits and five walks in 6.2 innings in the win. Aquadro allowed 10 runs, seven of which were earned, on 10 hits and three walks in six innings. Andersen earned his third save.

The Penguins and Flames will play game two of their three-game series on Saturday at 1 p.m. Sunday's game has been moved up to a 12:10 p.m. start. Both games will be broadcast live on 1390 WNIO and HorizonLeague.com.