Penguins Earn Doubleheader Sweep Over Oakland

Shane Willoughby bats
Shane Willoughby

The Youngstown State baseball team swept a doubleheader from Oakland on Saturday afternoon at Eastwood Field. The Guins used a Nico Padovan home run in game one to win 5-4 before opening game two with seven runs in the first en route to a 12-3 victory.

It marked the first doubleheader sweep for the Penguins in Horizon League play since April 29, 2012 (vs. UIC). The Penguins are now 4-16 overall and 2-4 in Horizon League play while Oakland is 2-18 and 1-2.

YSU is next in action on Tuesday when it plays at Bowling Green. First pitch is set for 3:05 p.m.

Game One Recap / YSU 5, Oakland 4

Nico Padovan belted a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh inning to help lift the Penguins to a come-from-behind 5-4 win in game one at Eastwood Field.

The Guins trailed 4-3 in the seventh when Kyle Benyo walked with one out. Padovan then hit his first home run of the season launching a T.J. Shook pitch into the Golden Grizzlies bullpen in left field putting YSU on top. 

Reliever Alex Bellardini, who worked out of a jam in the top of the seventh, worked through the eighth and Joe King earned the save in the ninth stranding the tying run at second base.

YSU scored twice in the fifth inning to grab a 2-1 lead thanks to some heady base running and Oakland miscues.

Trey Bridis opened the inning with a single to left center before moving to second on a failed pickoff attempt. He moved up to third on a fly out to right by Web Charles.

Cardona replaced Tanner Montgomery and hit a chopper up the middle that deflected off Palm's barehand to Tyler Trovinger at short. But Bridis slid in ahead of Trovinger's throw home to tie the game at 1.

Benyo followed with a ground ball to third that was thrown past first base by OU third baseman Ben Hart. On the play Cardona advanced to third and Benyo reached second. 

Padovan followed with a bouncer up the middle that was mishandled by Trovinger allowing Cardona to score the go-ahead run.

The Golden Grizzlies tied the game at two with a run in the sixth before YSU went ahead 3-2 on a Shane Willoughby RBI single that plated Lorenzo Arcuri

Oakland regained the lead in the seventh after YSU starter Kevin Yarabinec exited the game. Relief pitcher Javier Alvarez faced two batters allowing consecutive singles. Bellardini came on but Oakland scored twice to go on top 4-3.

Yarabinec had a career-high eight strikeouts but earned a no decision. Shook took the loss for Oakland.

Game Two Recap / YSU 12, Oakland 3

YSU erupted for seven runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back in a 12-3 win in game two. Willoughby had four RBI, including a two-run homer for the Penguins.

In game two Willoughby, Anthony Rohan and Alex Larivee all had two hits. Willoughby also had four RBI and Larivee scored three runs.

Thanks to some control issues by Oakland pitchers and a three-run scoring play YSU jumped out to a big early lead. 

To open the game, Oakland starter Connor Fannon hit Padovan and then struck out Arcuri. However, Fannon walked the next three batters he faced allowing a pair of YSU runs before he was replaced.

OU relief pitcher Conor Bowers walked the first batter he faced, Charles, to allow another run to score. Then Anthony Santoro singled through the left side allowing Bridis and Willoughby to score and two errant throws plated Charles.

Benyo's sacrifice fly scored the seventh Penguin run of the inning as Santoro came around to score.

Oakland struck for two runs in the second but YSU was able to get one back as Arcuri doubled and scored on a single by Larivee.

Leading 9-3 in the seventh inning, Willoughby belted a two-run homer and and Benyo had an RBI single as the Penguins tied their season-high for runs (12 at Georgia Tech).

Jeremy Quinlan pitched five innings to earn the win. Bellardini, Gino DiVincenzo and Joe King pitched the final four frames. The trio combined to allow one earned run.