The Youngstown State baseball team had a three-run lead on the three-time reigning Horizon League Pitcher of the Week but couldn't close the deal as Milwaukee scored 13 runs in the final three innings to beat the Penguins 14-4 on Friday afternoon at Eastwood Field.
The Penguins led 2-0 after the first inning and 4-1 through six innings before watching the Panthers scored 13 of their 14 runs and post 12 of their 17 hits in the final three frames.
Phil Lipari had three of YSU's seven hits, and Nick DiNello's two-run homer in the fourth inning gave the Penguins their 4-1 lead on Milwaukee starter Jake Long. Long had not allowed a run in 26 innings coming into today's start.
Ryan Solberg was 4-for-4 with three RBIs, and Michael Porcaro drove in four runs for Milwaukee, which improved to 8-2 in Horizon League play.
YSU starter Blake Aquadro was charged with the loss despite leaving the game with the score tied at 4-4 in the seventh. The senior left-hander allowed nine hits and three walks while hitting three batters.
The Penguins scored twice off Long in the first inning on three hits and with the help of two Milwaukee errors. Mike Accardi singled and scored on a double play ball to break Long's scoreless streak, and Marcus Heath reached on an error and scored on Josh White's two-out single to make the score 2-0.
Milwaukee played small ball to get a run in the third. Luke Meeteer led off with a bunt single, went to second on a ground out and stole third base. He came in to score on Mitch Ghelfi's sacrifice fly. Lipari singled to start the fourth and scored on DiNello's two-out homer to left, but the Penguins had just two more hits the rest of the contest.
The Panthers tied the score in the seventh, and Solberg's two-out, two-run single came after the Penguins failed to turn a double play early in the inning. Milwaukee then blew the game open with six runs in the eighth. The Penguins essentially gave the Panthers six outs in the eighth as they committed two errors and missed a tag on a bunt single. Milwaukee then added four runs on four hits and an error in the ninth for the final tally.
YSU and Milwaukee will play game two of their series on Saturday at 1 p.m.