Northern Kentucky erupted for eight runs in the eighth inning to steal a win in game one, and it scored the first five runs in game two to sweep a doubleheader over the Youngstown State baseball team, 8-7 and 12-8, on Sunday afternoon at the Bill Aker Baseball Complex.
Andrew Kendrick, Alex Larivee, Nico Padovan and Billy Salem all homered for the Penguins in the doubleheader. Larivee's solo homer in the top of the seventh inning in game one gave Youngstown State a 7-0 lead on the Norse. Kendrick also homered in the opener, and Padovan and Salem hit round-trippers in game two.
YSU game one starter Michael Semonsen pitched seven shutout innings, limiting the Norse to four hits and one walk while striking out six. NKU did all of its damage in the eighth off Joel Hake, and the final five runs scored with two outs.
Larivee doubled and scored in the top of the first, and Gerrad Rohan's two-run single in the second put the Penguins up 3-0. YSU scored single runs in four other innings – on a Larivee single in the third, on a balk in the fourth, on Kendrick's homer in the sixth and Larivee's homer in the seventh – to take its 7-0 lead.
Quint Heady led off the bottom of the eighth with a double, his first of two hits in the inning, and he scored on Logan Spurlin's three-run homer that ended the shutout. Hake followed the homer with a strike out of Will Haueter for the second out of the inning, but the Norse followed with six consecutive hits. Heady's RBI single tied the game, and he scored the go-ahead run on Ty Amann's double.
Larivee finished 3-for-4 and scored three times in game one, which saw the Penguins strand 15 runners.
NKU then scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning and another in the second inning in game two to force the Penguins to play from behind.
Youngstown State took a big chunk out of the deficit with a three-run fourth that featured a two-run double by Padovan and an RBI groundout by Hunter Snyder. NKU answered with three runs an inning later to go up 8-3, and the Norse led 10-4 after the sixth.
Salem led off the seventh with a homer, and Rohan reached on an error and scored later in the inning as the Penguins got within 10-6. The Norse scored twice in the bottom of the eighth to go back up by six, and Shane Willoughby's two-run double for YSU in the ninth accounted for the final runs of the game.
Youngstown State will play its home finale on Tuesday as it welcomes Kent State to Eastwood Field for another Field Trip game. First pitch against the Flashes is set for 11 a.m.