Belmont Takes Game One 4-3 on 12th-Inning Sacrifice Fly

Joe King (Photo by Ron Stevens)
Joe King (Photo by Ron Stevens)

Belmont's Desi Ammons hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 12th inning to help the Bruins outlast the Youngstown State baseball team 4-3 on Friday evening at E.S. Rose Park.

The Penguins rallied with three runs in the eighth to tie the score at 3-3, and their pitchers worked out of several jams before Belmont broke through in the 12th. YSU closer Kevin Yarabinec, who was pitching in his fourth different inning, walked the bases loaded with one out, and Ammons hit the sacrifice fly off Jared Wight.

Lorenzo Arcuri, Alex Larivee and Gerrad Rohan all had two hits for the Penguins, who stranded 12 runners and went 4-for-22 with men on base.

Penguins starter Joe King retired the first 12 Bruins of the game before Ammons led off the fifth with a double. Ammons scored on a double steal for the first run of the game, and Belmont went up 2-0 when Hunter Holland's triple plated Chas Hadden.

Belmont loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh, but Joel Hake relieved King and limited the Bruins to a run. Hake got a force out at the plate on a fielder's choice, and a sacrifice fly accounted for the only run.

Billy Salem and Gerrad Rohan led off the top of the eighth with back-to-back singles to get the Penguins going, and Shane Willoughby drew a one-out walk to load the bases. Andrew Kendrick greeted reliever Tyler Vaughn with an RBI single that got the Penguins on the board, and Jonny Miller was hit by a pitch to force in the second run. Willoughby scored the tying run on Dominic Brown's ground out.

Belmont left a runner on third in the ninth when Yarabinec came in with two outs, and it got the leadoff man on in the 10th and 11th innings before being turned away. Yarabinec struck out Ammons with the bases loaded and one out to preserve the lead in the 10th, and he worked around a leadoff single in the 11th. Yarabinec retired the first Bruin in the 12th, but he walked the next three to set up Ammons' winner.

YSU's best chance in extra innings came in the 11th when Arcuri hit a two-out double and Larivee followed with an infield single. Larivee moved up to second on indifference before Vaughn struck out Salem.

King was charged with three runs on four hits and two walks in six innings in a quality start, and Hake did not allow a run and struck out four batters in 2.2 innings. The winning run went on Yarabinec's record, and the junior righty issued four walks and allowed two hits in 2.2 innings. That trio and Wight held Belmont to six hits, which was impressive considering the Bruins were batting .304 in their first eight games.

Vaugh was the third Belmont pitcher to take the mound, and he did not allow a run while striking out nine batters in 4.2 innings. Starter Aaron Quillen surrendered four hits and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings, and all three of YSU's runs came off Connor Etheridge. The three Bruins pitchers combined for 18 strikeouts.

Youngstown State will try to even the series on Saturday when the teams play at 2 p.m. Eastern.

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