Late-Game Heroics Lift Penguins to 10-9 Win at Ohio

Nick LaBrasca (Photo by Chris Kilroy)
Nick LaBrasca (Photo by Chris Kilroy)

The Youngstown State baseball team trailed 9-8 heading into the eighth inning, but rallied to score the final two runs of the game and earn a 10-9 win over Ohio at Bob Wren Stadium on Wednesday evening. The Penguins have now won two straight and three of their last four overall.

Trey Bridis' one-out solo home run in the top of the eighth inning tied the game and Nick LaBrasca's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth allowed Blaze Glenn to score the winning run. With the win, YSU improved to 5-1 against opponents from the Mid-American Conference this season.

The Penguins scored six runs over the first three frames and led 6-1 through three and a half innings. The Bobcats battled back to tie the game with a five-run third inning and eventually took the lead before the Penguins' late game heroics.

Lucas Nasonti paced the Penguins on offense, going 3-for-5 with a two singles, a double and three runs scored. LaBrasca recorded a team-best three RBIs while Bridis, Andrew Kendrick and Jeff Wehler each homered in the contest.

Ohio had four different batters record at least two hits, led by Aaron Levy with three. Rudy Rott added a pair of home runs and posted four RBIs.

The Penguins went in front quickly with a pair of runs in the top of the first inning. Nasonti reached on a one-out single and Wehler followed with his second home run of the season to give the Penguins any early 2-0 lead.

Kendrick hit YSU's second homer in as many innings with a solo shot down the left field line in the top of the second. Kendrick's eighth four-bagger of the season pushed the advantage to 3-0.

The Bobcats responded with a run in the bottom half of the second as Tony Giannini sent a solo home run over the wall in left field.

Youngstown State struck again in the top of the third inning as Nasonti reached on a leadoff double and Glenn drew a one-out walk. Drew Dickerson followed with an RBI double to left center that scored Nasonti. Later in the frame, a two-run single from LaBrasca pushed the YSU lead to 6-1.

Ohio closed the gap once again with five runs in the home half of the third. Rott's three-run homer to center cut the deficit to two and RBI singles from Levy and Jack Longo tied the game at 6-6.

However, the Penguins came right back with two runs in the top of the fourth. Nasonti reached with a one-out single and scored later in the inning on a sacrifice fly from Glenn. Wehler walked and came around to score on an error to put the Guins back in front 8-6.

OU got within a run when Noah Weiner hit a solo home run to left field in the bottom half of the fifth and Rott tied the game at 8-8 in the sixth with this second homer of the contest. The Bobcats took their first lead at 9-8 when Giannini scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh.

Ohio's lead was short-lived however as Bridis produced the third tie of the game with a solo homer to left center in the top of the eighth. It was the senior's third home run in two days after going yard twice in yesterday's win at Toledo. Glenn led off the top of the ninth with a double and eventually scored the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by LaBrasca to produce the 10-9 final.

Chad Coles earned the win for the Penguins after retiring all six batters he faced over the final two innings. Kenny Ogg, one of nine pitchers used by the Bobcats, suffered the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the ninth.

Youngstown State will return to the diamond this weekend for a three-game, Horizon League series at Northern Kentucky. Game one at the Bill Aker Baseball Complex is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m.

Baseball 2018 Season Preview
February 6, 2018 Baseball 2018 Season Preview