More than 3,800 fans came out to Eastwood Field on Tuesday evening to watch the Youngstown State baseball team host Ohio State for the first time in program history. The Buckeyes beat the Penguins 7-0 as five Ohio State pitchers limited YSU to four hits in the game.
The Buckeyes scored two runs on two hits and three walks in the first inning, and their pitchers kept YSU in check for most of the night. Ohio State's lead was 4-0 after seven innings before it tacked on three more runs in the final two innings.
Frank Califano extended his hitting streak to 15 games when he beat out an infield single in the sixth inning. That inning ended up being YSU's biggest scoring threat when it had two runners in scoring position.
YSU starter Joe King uncharacteristically struggled with his command, walking five in two innings. He battled, though, and held the Buckeyes to just the pair of first-inning runs. Ryan Krokos and Austin Lujano both allowed one run apiece in two innings to give the Penguins a chance to rally.
Pat Porter singled in the first run of the game with one out in the first, and Zach Ratcliff's two-out RBI double later in the inning put the Buckeyes up 2-0. Aaron Gretz's ground-rule double in the third inning plated Ronnie Dawson, and Porter's second RBI single put the Buckeyes up 4-0 in the sixth.
Califano's infield single came with one out in the sixth, but he was thrown out trying to steal second on a pickoff throw. Jason Shirley reached on an error in YSU's next at bat, and Alex Larivee followed with a double to put runners on second and third. But John Havird struck out Brent Gillespie to end the scoring threat.
Porter added a two-run homer in the eighth, and Craig Nenning's sacrifice fly in the ninth accounted for the final score.
Havrid came on in relief of Ohio State starter Jacob Niggemeyer, who left with an injury after throwing just four pitches. Havrid allowed all four hits while striking out six batters in 5.2 innings.
Porter finished the game going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and four RBIs from the third spot in the batting order.
While this was the first time that Ohio State played at YSU, the Penguins hosted current Big Ten member Penn State at Pemberton Park in 1989. That was three seasons before the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten.
Youngstown State concludes the regular season this weekend with a three-game series at UIC. Game one of the series will be on Thursday at 7 p.m. Eastern. All three games of the series will be streamed live on ESPN 3.