Eastern Kentucky opened its remodeled Earle Combs Stadium by scoring the final eight runs and beating the Youngstown State baseball team, 8-3, on Saturday afternoon.
Alex Larivee hit a two-run home run, and Kyle Benyo hit a solo blast in the first inning to give Youngstown State a 3-0 lead. The score remained that way until EKU tied it in the third, and the Colonels went on to score in five straight innings.
Daniel McFarland went 4-for-5 and hit a game-tying two-run single in the third inning to pace EKU.
Willoughby singled with one out in the first, and Larivee followed with his first home run of the season to give the Penguins a quick 2-0 lead. Two batters later, Benyo hit his first homer of 2017 to give YSU a 3-0 cushion.
McFarland's two-out, two-run single tied the score for EKU in the bottom of the third, and the Colonels took the lead on a sacrifice fly in the fourth. An RBI double and a two-out RBI single in the fifth put EKU ahead 6-3, and the Colonels added single tallies in the sixth and seventh innings.
YSU starter Collin Floyd allowed five runs on eight hits and five walks in four innings, and he left with two runners on and nobody out in the fifth. Gino DiVincenzo and Jesse Slinger also pitched in the fifth, and the Penguins ended up using three relievers in the game.
EKU starter Aaron Ochsenbein pitched the first four innings, and Alex Hamilton came on to pitch five scoreless frames to earn the win.
Youngstown State and Eastern Kentucky will play the series finale on Sunday at 1 p.m.