The Youngstown State baseball team dropped a pair of Horizon League games on Friday afternoon to UIC at Eastwood Field, falling 23-2 in the opener and 6-2 in game two.
Zack Minney pitched a complete game in the nightcap and held the Flames to two hits over the final seven innings. All six of the Flames' runs came in the second inning. He stepped up to eat innings after the Penguins used five pitchers in the opener while having another doubleheader coming on Saturday.
The sophomore right-hander allowed five of the eight hits against him in the top of the second inning, and four of the runs came after Mickey McDonald swung at a ball in the dirt for strike three but reached first on the wild pitch. The bases were empty, and there were two outs when McDonald prolonged the inning, and the next four Flames all reached. Corey Bohanek singled in two runs with the bases loaded to make the score 4-0, and Rob Calabrese followed with a two-run double.
After the second, Minney allowed a one-out single in the third and a bunt single in the seventh. The only other baserunner he permitted over the final seven innings was a hit batter to start the sixth.
Youngstown State's only offense came in the bottom of the third. Web Charles reached on an error to start the inning, and he scored on Kyle Benyo's single. Lorenzo Arcuri then singled in Lou Cardona two batters later for the Penguins' other run.
UIC starter Reid Birlingmair allowed one earned run on six hits while striking out nine Penguins batters. He allowed back-to-back one-out singles in the seventh but was able to work out of the jam as Benyo fouled out and Charles was tagged out trying to advance to third on a ball in the dirt. UIC's bullpen did not allow a baserunner in two innings.
In the opener, UIC did all of its scoring in four innings. The Flames scored five runs in both the second and fourth innings before scoring a dozen times in the seventh.
YSU will host another doubleheader on Saturday against Milwaukee. First pitch of game one will be at noon, and the opener will be streamed live on the YSUsports YouTube channel.