The Youngstown State baseball team recorded 15 hits and Alex Bellardini provided another phenomenal pitching performance in a well-rounded 14-7 win at Northern Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. The Penguins scored eight runs over the first two innings to grab an early lead and never looked back on their way to evening the three-game series at a game apiece.
The Penguins have now won three of their last four games and four of six overall. The win also places YSU a half game ahead of NKU in the Horizon League standings.
Bellardini earned his second consecutive victory and his third win in four starts with a dominant outing. The senior allowed only one run on six hits and struck out four while walking one over six innings. Bellardini was named the Horizon League Pitcher of the Week on Monday after a similarly strong outing last weekend at Oakland.
The YSU offense continued the hot streak its been on as of late by recording double-digit runs and hits for the fourth consecutive contest. Jeff Wehler and Trey Bridis paced the Penguins with three hits each. Wehler drove in three runs while Nick Massey posted a career-high four RBIs and hit his first home run of the season. Web Charles also homered in the contest as six different Penguins recorded at least two hits.
Bridis led off the game with a double and Lucas Nasonti followed with a walk. Wehler and Blaze Glenn then hit back-to-back RBI singles to put YSU ahead 2-0. The Penguins scored two runs before the Norse were able to record a single out. A fielder's choice later in the inning allowed Wehler to score and make it 3-0 after a half inning.
The Penguins added five runs on four hits and batted through the order in the top of the second inning to extend their lead to 8-0. Nasonti, Wehler, Nick LaBrasca and Massey all had RBIs in the frame.
Griffin Doersching led off the bottom of the second with his fourth home run in two days to get the Norse on the board. The freshman hit three homers in NKU's win in game one of the series on Friday.
Bridis drew a leadoff walk to begin the sixth and scored from first on a double down the left field line by Nasonti. Wehler followed with an RBI single and Massey hit his first home run of the season, a two-run shot, later in the inning to push the advantage to 12-1.
The Norse scored twice in the bottom of the seventh and three times in the eighth to cut the deficit to 12-6.
Charles' second home run of the seaosn, a two-run shot to left field, provided some added insurance and increased the lead to 14-6. NKU plated a run in the bottom of the ninth to produce the final tally.
Mike Moffatt and Shane Paradis led the Norse with three hits each while starting pitcher Sam Williams suffered the loss. He allowed eight runs on six hits over 1 and 1/3 innings.
The Penguins and Norse will play the rubber match of their three-game series tomorrow at noon.