Web Charles hit a go-ahead two-run single in the bottom of the eighth inning, and the Youngstown State baseball team got solid pitching in a 3-1 victory over Northern Kentucky on Sunday afternoon at Eastwood Field.
With the bases loaded and one out, Charles hit the first pitch of his at bat up the middle into centerfield to plate Alex Larivee and Andrew Kendrick. Northern Kentucky got the go-ahead run to the plate in the top of the ninth inning before Kevin Yarabinec struck out Trey Ganns on a 3-2 slider to end the game.
Charles, Larivee and Anthony Rohan had two hits apiece, and Larivee also scored twice for Youngstown State.
YSU starter Collin Floyd held NKU two one run on two hits and four walks while striking out four batters, and he left with a runner on in the sixth. Joel Hake and Yarabinec both pitched two shutout innings to close out the win.
Youngstown State took an early 1-0 lead when Larivee walked, stole second and scored on Ryan Cordova's two-out single in the bottom of the first.
Floyd worked around baserunners in each of the first five innings to keep the lead, and he hit Ty Amann to start the sixth in what was his final batter. Hake came on and struck out Dominic Mercurio, but NKU executed well in hits next two at bats to tie the score. With Amann running on the pitch, Kyle Colletta poked a soft ground ball through the hole on the left side as Charles went to cover second base. Then with runners at the corners, Brad Bohlen's squeeze bunt plated Amann to tie the score at 1-1.
Hake got the final two outs of the sixth to begin a stretch of 10 straight outs by the Penguins bullpen, which set up Charles' heroics.
After a pair of two-out singles in the seventh that resulted in two stranded runners, YSU got its offense going right away in the eighth. Larivee started with a single inside the third-base bag, and he advanced to third on a balk and a passed ball. Aric Harris struck out Billy Salem for the first out, and Kendrick reached on an error. Larivee had to hold at third on the error with the infield playing in, and Cordova was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Charles then hit the first pitch up the middle for the game-winner.
Youngstown State will be busy next week with six games in a five-day stretch. YSU will play at West Virginia on Tuesday at 6 p.m., and it'll begin a nine-game home stand with a contest against Pittsburgh at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The Penguins will also host doubleheaders against Wright State on Friday and against Oakland on Saturday. First pitch both days will be at 1 p.m.