Alex Lee hit a grand slam with two outs in the seventh inning to lift UIC to a 5-4 victory over the Youngstown State baseball team on Friday afternoon at Curtis Granderson Stadium.
The Penguins lost a one-run game to the league-leading Flames for the second straight day. They held a 5-3 advantage heading into the bottom of the ninth on Thursday in an eventual 6-5 setback.
YSU responded quickly from last night's loss by scoring in each of the first three innings.
Alex Larivee hit a one-out triple in the first inning and scored on Lorenzo Arcuri's sacrifice fly. Ryan Cordova then hit a two-run homer in the second inning to put the Penguins up 3-0, and Larivee scored on an error in the third to make the score 4-0.
YSU starter Josh North allowed baserunners in each of the first three innings, but UIC didn't score off him until an unearned run in the fourth. Conor Philbin drew a leadoff walk, and he scored two batters later when there was an error on Rob Calabrese's single to left center.
North exited after five innings holding a 4-1 lead, and D.J. Carr worked around a leadoff single in a scoreless sixth. Carr loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, and Lee's grand slam came on a 1-2 pitch from Jared Wight.
UIC closer Ryan Hinchley relieved starter Trevor Lane with a runner on in the eighth and promptly got an inning-ending double play, and he struck out three batters in the ninth inning to earn his ninth save. Hinchley had to battle for it, though, as Cordova walked and Matt Sullivan singled with two outs to put the tying run in scoring position.
Larivee and Frank Califano both had two hits to lead Youngstown State.
Youngstown State and UIC will conclude their regular seasons on Saturday at noon Eastern. First pitch has been moved up an hour due to rain in the afternoon forecast.