Pitching Staff Steps Up as Penguins Beat Milwaukee 5-2

Alex Frey (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Alex Frey (Photo by Ron Stevens)

The Youngstown State baseball team got a valiant effort from its pitching staff and manufactured enough offense to beat Milwaukee 5-2 on Sunday afternoon at Henry Aaron Field.

Junior Ryan Krokos made an emergency start and held the Panthers to one run in 3.2 innings. Ryan Smith got the final out of the fourth, and Alex Frey, Robert Switka and Josh North did not allow a hit or a walk over the final five innings. No Panthers reached base against Frey, who earned the victory in a three-inning appearance. North earned his first career save by pitching a scoreless ninth.

Brent Gillespie homered and drove in three runs for Youngstown State, which handed Milwaukee just its second home loss in the last 26 games. Mike Porcaro was 2-for-4 to lead the Panthers.

The Penguins scored in five different innings and didn't have more than one hit in an inning until the ninth.

Alex Larivee led off the game with a single, and he advanced to third with one out after a passed ball and an error. Gillespie plated him with a sacrifice fly to give the Penguins a 1-0 lead. Milwaukee tied the score with two singles and Ryan Solberg's sacrifice fly in the bottom half of the inning.

The Penguins took the lead before putting the ball in play in the second. Kevin Hix was hit by a pitch, and the next three batters walked to force in a run. Gillespie doubled in Matt Sullivan in the third, and Phil Lipari scored on Kris Moules's squeeze bunt in the fourth to put the Penguins ahead 4-1.

Mitch Ghelfi brought Milwaukee within two runs with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but the Panthers only had two baserunners the rest of the contest. Gillespie's solo homer with two outs in the ninth gave YSU an insurance run.

Jake Tuttle, who also made an unexpected start for Milwaukee, left after loading the bases in the second inning. Zach Brenner and Gunnar Eastman both pitched four innings for UWM.

Youngstown State returns home to play Akron on Tuesday at 1 p.m.