UIC scored the first six runs and held off a big threat in the seventh to beat the Youngstown State baseball team 6-2 on Thursday evening at Curtis Granderson Stadium.
The Flames were dominant on the mound for most of the game, holding the Penguins to just two hits to take the first of three games in the series. YSU got a one-out single from Drew Dickerson in the second inning, and Web Charles singled and scored in the sixth inning. The Penguins drew six walks in the game, including four straight in the seventh inning as they got the tying run to the plate.
Youngstown State sophomore Blaze Glenn was 0-for-4 and was kept off the bases for the first time in a game since Feb. 23. He had reached base in 46 consecutive games, which was believed to be the longest streak in the country.
Flames ace Ryan Campbell allowed just one unearned run over six innings in his final regular season start. The all-league candidate walked two batters and struck out five and left with a 6-1 cushion. The only run the Penguins mustered against him came in the sixth when Charles led off with a single, stole second, advanced on a groundout and scored on an error.
Flames reliever Noah Masa retired the first two batters he faced in the seventh, but he walked Nick Caruso, Andrew Kendrick, Charles and Trey Bridis consecutively to force in a run. With the tying run at the plate, UIC called upon Braeden Toikka out of the bullpen, and he struck out Lucas Nasonti to end the inning.
Toikka and Alex Padilla combined to retire the final seven Penguins batters of the game, including Glenn on a strikeout in the eighth in his final chance to keep his streak alive.
UIC got a pair of unearned runs in the second inning, and Dominic Smith hit a three-run home run with two outs in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 5-0. A sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fifth allowed the Flames to tack on their final run and go up 6-0.
YSU starter Alex Bellardini allowed the two unearned runs in the first inning, and he surrendered two hits and walked three batters in his three innings. Zack Minney went the remaining five innings in relief and allowed four runs.
The Penguins will try to even the series on Friday at 7:35 p.m. Eastern.