Wright State scored five runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to pull away for a 9-4 victory in game one of a three-game series with the Youngstown State baseball team on Friday night at Nischwitz Stadium.
The Raiders, the Horizon League preseason favorites, scored the final six runs of the ballgame after YSU had taken a 4-3 lead in the top of the sixth. Wright State leadoff batter Mitch Roman delivered the game-winning hit on a one-double with the bases loaded in the eighth off YSU closer Kevin Yarabinec.
Billy Salem singled three times and walked, and Lorenzo Arcuri had a pair of RBI singles. The top three hitters in the Penguins' lineup combined for six of the team's 10 hits, and YSU held a 10-9 edge in the hits column.
Wright State starter Jesse Scholtens was coming off a perfect game against Dayton last week, and Salem broke the ice with a two-out single in the first inning. Arcuri and Nico Padovan then hit back-to-back RBI singles in the top of the third to put the Penguins up 2-0. Scholtens got a big strikeout of Alex Larivee with Padovan on third and one out, and he got Andrew Kendrick to pop out to escape more damage.
Two doubles and two walks in the bottom of the fourth helped Wright State take a 3-2 lead on YSU starter Joe King. King allowed a leadoff double, then followed that up with back-to-back walks. JD Orr brought in two runs with a double just inside the third-base bag, and a third runner was thrown out at the plate on the play. Orr scored the go-ahead run on a Jason DeFevers groundout.
Youngstown State regained the lead in the sixth at 4-3 when Hunter Snyder and Arcuri hit back-to-back RBI singles with two outs. Kendrick led off the inning with a double, and Trey Bridis walked with two outs to set the stage for Snyder.
John Brodner doubled and scored on a passed ball in the bottom of the sixth to allow Wright State to tie the score at 4-4, and the Raiders sent nine batters to the plate in the eighth. Orr led off with an infield single, and Yarabinec came in and beaned Peyton Burdick to advance the go-ahead runner into scoring position. DeFevers sacrificed the runners, and Yarabinec intentionally walked Matt Morrow to set up a double play or force chance. Yarabinec got ahead 0-2 on Roman before allowing the two-run double, and Ryan Fucci followed with a triple to right center that plated two more runs. Fucci scored on a ground out for the final run of the game.
King allowed three runs in five innings for the Penguins, and the bullpen was tagged with six runs in three innings. Jared Wight was charged with the loss as he allowed the infield single that started the eighth.
Scholtens allowed four runs on nine hits in six innings, and Raiders reliever E.J. Trapino surrendered just one hit in three shutout innings to earn the win.
Youngstown State will try to even the series on Saturday at 2 p.m.