Penguins Fall to Flames, 6-5, in 10 Innings

Mike Accardi (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Mike Accardi (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Chicago – UIC scored a run in the bottom of the ninth and another in the 10th to rally for a 6-5 victory over the Youngstown State baseball team on Sunday afternoon at Curtis Granderson Stadium.

The Penguins had scored two runs in the eighth inning to take a 5-4 lead, but UIC got an RBI single from Alex Jurich with one out in the ninth to force extra innings. Mickey McDonald then stole home on a trick play with two outs in the 10th as the Flames completed a three-game sweep.

Mike Accardi was 4-for-5 with three RBIs, including one on a go-ahead double in the eighth, for YSU. Kris Moules added three hits and two runs scored. Jurich was 2-for-4 with four RBIs to lead the Flames.

YSU's Nic Manuppelli had his best start of the season, allowing two runs on four hits and three walks in five innings without factoring in the decision. The Penguins issued eight walks in the game, and UIC's two runners that scored in the ninth and 10th innings reached on walks.

Manuppelli allowed a run on an RBI ground out in the first inning, but it could have been a lot worse. He went to a full count to each of the first four batters, including a 10-pitch at bat to the cleanup hitter, as UIC loaded the bases with one out. YSU's right-hander got Alex Jurich to ground out to Matt Sullivan at third, and Manuppelli got a fly out two batters later to leave the bases loaded. Jeff Boehm put the Flames up 2-0 in the third with a one-out solo homer.

Manuppelli and Robert Switka kept the Flames scoreless over the next three innings, and YSU scored twice in the fifth and once in the sixth to go up 3-2. Accardi brought in Moules with a one-out single, and Phil Lipari's sacrifice fly plated Jason Shirley with the tying run in the fifth. The Penguins then had three straight singles by Sullivan, Moules and Shirley to start the sixth, and Accardi drove in Sullivan with an infield single put the Penguins ahead.

Jurich hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh off Alex Frey to put UIC back on top 4-3, but the Penguins answered with two runs in the top of the eighth to take a 5-4 lead. Sullivan started the inning with a single to left, and Moules reached on an error to put runners on second and third with nobody out. Shirley's sacrifice fly scored pinch-runner Kevin Hix, and Accardi plated the go-ahead run with a two-out double to left.

YSU reliever Josh North walked Tyler Detmer to start the bottom of the ninth, and Alex Lee's sacrifice bunt put the runner in scoring position. North handed the ball off to Kevin Yarabinec, who walked Boehm and surrendered an RBI single to Jurich on a 1-2 pitch that tied the score. Yarabinec retired the next two batters to send the game into extra innings.

Yarabinec walked McDonald to start the 10th, and he walked Jacob McNamara with one out to put two runners on. McDonald advanced to third on a flyout by Detmer, and he stole home when McNamara baited a throw at first.

Youngstown State will play host to a pair of seven-inning games against Kent State on Tuesday at 4 p.m.