Penguins End Home Slate With Walk-Off Win Over No. 28 Kent State

YSU Baseball
YSU Baseball

Alex Larivee singled home Jonny Miller with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Youngstown State baseball team an 11-10, come-from-behind victory over No. 28 Kent State on Tuesday afternoon in the 2016 home finale at Eastwood Field. Nearly 3,400 students from area elementary and middle schools were in attendance to root on the Penguins, who beat a ranked opponent for the first time in 17 years.

It was the second-straight walk-off win at Eastwood Field for Youngstown State, whose last win over a ranked team was April 18, 1999, against No. 29 Oral Roberts. The Golden Flashes entered Collegiate Baseball's Top 30 for the first time this week with a 39-11 record, and they were receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches and NCBWA top 25 polls.

The Penguins trailed 6-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning before scoring the next 10 runs to take a 10-6 lead. Kent State tied the game in the top of the ninth to set the stage for Larivee's game-winner in the 11th.

Larivee also hit a two-run homer for Youngstown State, and Nico Padovan had three hits. Zarley Zalewski and Dylan Rosa, Kent State's third and fourth hitters, combined for seven of the Golden Flashes' 13 hits.

Jared Wight was outstanding in relief for the Penguins, holding Kent State scoreless and allowing just one hit over three innings to earn the victory. Joel Hake also pitched two shutout innings.

The Golden Flashes scored twice in the second, and Zalewski's RBI single in the third inning put Kent State ahead 3-0. He then hit a two-run double with two outs in the fourth, and Rosa followed with an RBI double that upped the lead to 6-0.

YSU's first run came on its first hit of the game with two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Billy Salem and Gerrad Rohan walked to put two runners on, and Padovan singled to right to plate Salem with two outs.

The Penguins then scored seven runs on just four hits in the sixth to go up 8-6, and they did not trail the rest of the day. Padovan singled in Rohan, who reached on an error, for the first run of the inning, and Shane Willoughby was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to make the score 6-3. Padovan and Miller scored on wild pitches to cut the deficit to one, and Salem plated Willoughby and Lorenzo Arcuri on a two-out single that gave the Penguins their first lead of the game. Rohan followed with a single off Aaron Tadian, Kent State's third pitcher of the inning, to bring in Salem and make the score 8-6.

Padovan's third hit of the day started the bottom of the seventh, and he scored on Larivee's two-run homer that hit the top of the wall in left and put the Penguins ahead 10-6.

Kent State scored three unearned runs in the eighth, the final two on a two-out single by Rosa, and Tim Dalporto scored on a ground out in the top of the ninth to tie the score at 10-10.

Miller drew a one-out walk in the 11th, and he advanced to third when Willoughby singled to shallow right center with the hit-and-run on. With the infield in, Larivee hit a hard grounder that Rosa had to dive to his left to field at third base, and Miller beat the throw home easily.

Youngstown State will begin a three-game series at Valparaiso on Thursday at 4 p.m. Eastern.