Freshman Alex Core hit a bases-clearing double in a six-run fifth inning, and the Youngstown State baseball team held off Oakland in a 7-6 victory at Eastwood Field on Friday afternoon.
The win gave the Penguins a 2-1 edge in the three-game series and allowed them to pull even with the Golden Grizzlies in the win column in Horizon League play. The teams split a doubleheader on Thursday.
Core finished 2-for-4 with three RBIs and a pair of runs scored, and leadoff batter Frank Califano also had two hits. Three Oakland batters had two hits, and the Golden Grizzlies held a 10-8 edge in hits.
Oakland had a sacrifice fly in both the second and third innings to take a 2-0 lead, and that remained the score until YSU’s six-run fifth.
The Penguins sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth, and all six runs scored before an out was recorded. Califano and Jason Shirley had RBI singles to tie the score, and Core’s double down the right-field line put the Penguins ahead 5-2. Brent Gillespie’s RBI single plated Core one batter later to increase the margin to four.
Oakland got a run back in the sixth on an RBI groundout, and Core singled and scored on an error in the seventh to make the score 7-3. Zach Sterry’s two-out, two-run RBI single in the seventh got the Golden Grizzlies within two, and Oakland had the winning run at the plate with nobody out in the ninth. Mike Brosseau and Trent Drumheller started the inning with back-to-back singles off Anthony Konders, but the Penguins reliever got Robby Enslen to ground into a big double play that hurt Oakland’s chances to rally. Konders then struck out Sterry to earn his first save.
Konders was one of five Penguins pitchers to take the mound, and he threw two innings to close the game. Joe King also pitched two innings out of the bullpen, allowing a run on two hits in his first career victory. Oakland starter Nate Green allowed all six runs in the fifth inning and was charged with the loss.
Youngstown State will host Canisius on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Eastwood Field.