Penguins Battle Back for 5-4 Walk-Off Win Over Oakland

Kris Moules
Kris Moules

Kris Moules singled home Kevin Hix with one out in the ninth inning to lift the Youngstown State baseball team to a come-from-behind walk-off 5-4 win over Oakland on Thursday night at Eastwood Field.

YSU (7-23 overall and 2-7 in the Horizon League) trailed on three different occasions before Moules's heroics in the ninth. The Golden Grizzlies (6-20 and 1-9) led 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3, but each time the Guins were able to rally.

After working out a jam in the top of the ninth as OU stranded two runners, Hix ripped a single to left field to open the inning. Brent Gillespie executed a perfect sacrifice bunt moving Hix to second. On an 0-1 pitch, Moules singled to right and Hix scooted home with the game-winner.

Moules had two hits while Alex Larivee was a homer shy of the cycle going 3-for-4 with a walk. Alex Frey pitched two scoreless innings to record his first win of the season. Brendon Shoemake started for the Guins and pitched five innings allowing three runs, all earned. Jared Wight, Josh North and Frey allowed just four hits and one run in the final four frames. Oakland's Bryan Jagielo (0-2) was tagged for the loss after coming on to pitch in the bottom of the eighth.

Oakland jumped out to the lead in the top of the first inning when Trent Drumheller led off with a walk and came around to score on a two-out single by Ian Yetsko.

The Penguins answered with a run in the bottom of the first to knot the score at one. Larivee opened the inning with a double and moved to third on a fly out by Lipari. Matt Sullivan struck out, but OU catcher Jake Morton dropped the third strike and Larivee came home to score.

Oakland scored twice in the fourth inning to go in front 3-1. With one out, Jared Theisen walked and moved to third on a single to right by Spencer Marentette. Morton plated Theisen with a single to right to give the Golden Grizzlies a 2-1 advantage. With two outs, Marentette came home on a single to left by Drumheller, but Morton was thrown out trying to advance to third.

The Guins closed within 3-2 in the fifth inning when Mike Accardi walked with one out and came around on a triple into the left-center gap by Larivee. However after Lipari walked, Matt Sullivan grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.

YSU scratched out another tying run in the sixth. With one out, Moules doubled down into the right field corner. Catcher Jake Ross followed with a single back up the middle and Moules came home tying the contest at three.

Oakland went back ahead by a run in the top of the seventh inning. With one out, Robby Enslen singled and advance to second on a wild pitch by White. Mike Brousseau singled through the right side scoring Enslen with the go-ahead run. YSU worked out of a jam when with two runners on, North came on and struck out two Golden Grizzlie hitters to end the threat.

Once again the Guins forced a tie picking up a run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. OU reliever Nate Lewis struck out the first two batters of the inning before striking out pinch-hitter Jason Shirley, but a wild pitch allowed Shirley to advance to first. Accardi followed with a single to move Shirley over to third. Accardi then stole second giving the Guins runners at second and third. Larivee worked the count full and the 3-2 offering from Beath eluded OU's catcher, allowing Shirley to come home with the tying run. 

The Penguins and Golden Grizzlies play the second game of their three-game series on Friday at Eastwood Field. First pitch is set for 5:30 p.m.