Kyle Benyo's first career home run capped a three-run eighth inning that helped the Youngstown State baseball team beat Ohio 8-5 on Tuesday evening at Bob Wren Stadium in Athens.
The Penguins led 3-0 after an inning and held a 4-2 advantage before Ohio scored three runs in the seventh to take its first lead of the game at 5-4. Billy Salem doubled and scored to tie the game in the eighth, and Benyo's two-out homer to left proved to be the game-winning hit. YSU added an insurance run in the ninth for the final tally.
Salem went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs, and three other Penguins had one hit. The Bobcats held a 12-6 edge in the hits column, but YSU made its hits count. Andrew Kendrick also drove in two runs for the Penguins, who were playing their first midweek game of the season.
Lorenzo Arcuri and Alex Larivee both walked and stole a base to start the game, and they came in on Salem's two-run double in the first. Salem advanced to third on Gerrad Rohan's and scored on Andrew Kendrick's RBI groundout to put the Penguins up 3-0 early.
The Bobcats got within one in the bottom of the second when Tyler Finkler's single with two outs plated two runners who had reached on walks. YSU went up 4-2 in the third when Larivee both reached and scored on throwing errors.
Jared Wight loaded the bases with one out in the sixth and escaped without allowing a run, but the Bobcats came up with big hits in the seventh. Ty Black singled in Cody Gaertner to make the score 4-3, and Spencer Ibarra's single, Ohio's fourth straight hit, brought in two runs that put the Bobcats ahead for the first time at 5-4.
YSU answered immediately in the next half inning as Salem led off the eighth with a double, and Rohan's single put runners at the corners with nobody out. Salem scored on Kendrick's fielder's choice, and Benyo's two-run blast came two batters later.
Web Charles walked to start the ninth, advanced on Arcuri's sacrifice bunt and scored Salem's two-out single to put the Penguins up 8-5.
YSU starter Michael Semonsen surrendered two runs in 1.2 innings, and Joel Hake pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. Kevin Yarabinec came on and allowed the Bobcats' go-ahead hit in the seventh, but he allowed just one more hit and did not have a run go on his record in 2.2 innings.
Youngstown State will open the home portion of its schedule on Friday at 3 p.m. against Milwaukee at Eastwood Field. The home opener was originally scheduled for Thursday, but it was postponed to Saturday due to rain in the forecast. The Penguins and Panthers will play a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday.