The Youngstown State baseball team shaved four runs off a five-run deficit at Fresno State but fell 6-5 in game two of a doubleheader at Pete Beiden Field on Saturday evening. The Penguins lost the opener 11-0.
Freshman left-hander Collin Floyd, YSU’s game-two starter, struck out 11 batters over five innings, and the Penguins struck out 16 batters in eight innings. Floyd’s 11 strikeouts were the most by a YSU pitcher since Phil Klein fanned 13 against Toledo in 2011. YSU’s 16 strikeouts as a team were the most since the Penguins struck out 18 batters against Kent State in 2003.
Floyd had eight strikeouts in the first three innings, and Andrew Kendrick gave him a 1-0 lead with a two-out RBI double in the top of the fourth. Ross Dodds hit a two-run double and scored on a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth as Fresno State went ahead 3-1.
A two-out error allowed the Bulldogs to add a run in the fifth, and the Fresno State scored twice on reliever Joel Hake in the sixth to go up 6-1.
YSU had three hits in the first seven innings, but it posted four in the top of the eighth as it made a charge. Ryan Cordova kickstarted the rally with a one-out double, and Shane Willoughby followed with a walk. Kendrick then greeted reliever Ryan Sullivan with an RBI single, and Willoughby scored on a wild pitch to make the score 6-3. Dominic Farina and Web Charles then hit back-to-back RBI doubles to trim the deficit down to one.
With the tying run on second and just one out after five straight Penguins reached base, Fresno State was forced to call on closer Tim Borst. The senior right-hander worked out of the jam in the eighth and retired the Penguins in order in the ninth for a five-out save.
Bulldogs starter Jimmy Lambert pitched a complete game in the opener, allowing three hits and striking out five. Fresno State scored three runs in the first, four in the fifth, three in the seventh and one in the eighth.
Youngstown State and Fresno State will compete its four-game series on Sunday at 4:05 p.m. Eastern.