NKU Gets to YSU's Bullpen to Avoid Sweep

Jeff Wehler (Photo by Trevor Parks)
Jeff Wehler (Photo by Trevor Parks)

Northern Kentucky scored eight runs in the final two innings to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 12-5 on Sunday at Eastwood Field.

The Penguins led 5-3 after five innings and were in position to follow up their two wins on Saturday with another victory on Sunday to complete the series sweep. The Norse got a run in the sixth, took the lead with two runs in the eighth and pulled away with six runs in the ninth.

Four different Penguins had two hits, and Youngstown State outhit NKU 12-11 in the contest. Jeff Wehler was 2-for-5 and hit a three-run double in the YSU's four-run fourth that put it ahead 5-3. Trey Bridis, Drew Dickerson and Nick Caruso also had two hits for the Penguins.

Dickerson, Nick Massey and Caruso hit three straight singles to start the second inning and give Youngstown State a 1-0 lead. NKU answered with three runs in the top of the third when Chad Roberts hit a two-run double and another run came in on the first of four Penguins errors in the game.

Youngstown State took the lead in the fourth with four runs on five hits, the biggest coming from Wehler. Dickerson led off with a double and scored on a Caruso sacrifice fly, and the Penguins did the rest of their damage with two outs. Cody Dennis restarted the offense with a single on an 0-2 pitch, and a Bridis single and Web Charles walk loaded the bases. Wehler hit the first pitch of his at bat into the left-center gap, which plated all three runners and gave Youngstown State its 5-3 lead.

Griffin Doersching led off the top of the sixth with a home run that made the Penguins go to the bullpen.

Youngstown State stranded a runner in the bottom of the sixth and two more in the seventh as it couldn't build on its lead. NKU scored both of its runs in the eighth on a bases-loaded walk and an error after there were two outs. YSU had runners at the corners with one out in the eighth and didn't get the tying run in, and NKU scored six runs on three hits and two errors.

Zach Lopatka allowed four runs in five hits while striking out five, and he handed the ball to the bullpen with a 5-4 lead. Joel Hake allowed two baserunners in the seventh that ended up scoring and ended up with the loss.

Youngstown State will play at Eastern Michigan on Tuesday at 6 p.m. before returning home to host a three-game series against UIC Thursday through Saturday at Eastwood Field.

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