Zarley Zalewski hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to help Kent State rally for a 5-2 victory over the Youngstown State baseball team on Wednesday evening at Schoonover Stadium.
YSU scored both of its runs in the first inning but went scoreless over the final eight frames. Kent State scored once in the fourth and tied the score with a run in the sixth, and Zelewski's homer came in a three-run seventh.
Shane Willoughby singled and doubled for two of YSU's five hits. Zalewski and Reilly Hawkins had two hits apiece for Kent State, which improved to 23-10.
Youngstown State got double plays in each of the first three innings to help keep the Golden Flashes scoreless. Kent State cut YSU's lead in half in the fourth when Zalewski doubled and scored on Dom Iero's two-out single.
Youngstown State had a chance to get the run back in the top of the sixth when Willoughby doubled and went to third on an error with one out, but Kent State reliever Eli Martin got Jonny Miller and Kyle Benyo to strike out to keep the difference at one. Dylan Rosa then led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run that tied the game at 2-2.
YSU stranded a runner at third again the seventh, and Kent State scored all three of its runs in the seventh with two outs. Zalewski's home run came with Hawkins on first, and Conner Simonetti followed two batters later with an RBI double that plated Rosa.
The Penguins got the first two runners on in the eighth before a double play lessened the rally chance, and they were retired in order in the ninth.
YSU used four pitchers on a day where the bullpen was scheduled to get work. Jeremy Quinlan allowed one hit in two shutout innings, and Collin Floyd allowed one run over three innings. Joel Hake allowed the four runs in the sixth and seventh innings, and Kevin Yarabinec did not a hit in 1.1 innings.
Patrick Dayton earned the win for Kent State despite throwing just two pitches. He got Salem to ground out to end the seventh, and the Golden Flashes took the lead in the bottom of the inning. Zach Spangler recorded the final four outs to record his second save.
Youngstown State will begin a three-game series against Northern Kentucky on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Eastwood Field.