Kendrick Ties Home Runs Record as Penguins Beat Bowling Green, 9-6

Andrew Kendrick (Photo by Trevor Parks)
Andrew Kendrick (Photo by Trevor Parks)

Andrew Kendrick tied the school record for career home runs, and the Youngstown State baseball team scored multiple runs in three innings to beat Bowling Green 9-6 on Tuesday afternoon at Steller Field.

Kendrick's 27th career home run that tied Erich Diedrich's mark set in 2008 came in the top of the second inning, and it knotted the score at 1-1. Kendrick later scored the go-ahead run in YSU's three-run fourth, and the Penguins went on to win for the eighth time in the last 11 games.

Kendrick finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored, and Trey Bridis and Drew Dickerson joined him with two hits. Blaze Glenn also homered for his third round-tripper in as many games.

Bowling Green outhit YSU 14-10, but its pitching staff issued 11 walks and beaned two others. Derek Drewes paced the Falcons with three hits.

The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the first on Randy Righter's RBI double, and they had a chance to have a big inning with runners at second and third with one out. YSU starter Zach Lopatka, the first of six Penguins pitchers used in the contest, got a big strikeout of Drewes and got a ground out to minimize the damage.

Kendrick's one-out homer to left center in the top of the second inning tied the score at 1-1, and Drewes hit an RBI single in the bottom of the third that gave the Falcons their final lead at 2-1.

The Penguins scored three runs in the top of the fourth to go up 4-2, and Cody Dennis delivered the go-ahead hit. Dickerson and Kendrick hit back-to-back singles, and Lopatka was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Nick Caruso then walked to force in the tying run, and Dennis plated Kendrick and Lopatka to give YSU its two-run advantage.

YSU then added three more runs in the sixth to create an insurmountable lead. Dennis walked and scored on a Trey Bridis double, and Bridis scored the Penguins' sixth run on a double steal with Lucas Nasonti. Jeff Wehler's sacrifice fly then brought in Nasonti to up the margin to 7-2.

Bowling Green shaved two runs off the deficit on Joe McGuinness' pinch-hit, two-run homer in the seventh, but Glenn's solo blast and Nick Labrasca's RBI single in the eighth made the score 9-4.

Joel Hake retired two straight batters out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the eighth to protect the lead, and he allowed two runs in the ninth before closing out his third save.

Lopatka pitched four innings and allowed two runs, one of which was earned, while striking out three. Alex Bellardini was awarded the win after pitching a scoreless fifth.

Youngstown State will begin a three-game series at Wright State on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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