The heart of the Penguins order combined for 10 hits, and Travis Perry pitched 7.2 solid innings to lift the Youngstown State baseball team to a 6-5 victory over UIC on Saturday afternoon at Eastwood Field.
A day after Colin Clark held the Flames to one earned run over eight innings, Perry continued the solid series on the mound for the Penguins as they beat the Flames for the second straight game. Perry allowed four runs on eight hits and struck out three batters in the longest outing of his career. After allowing a one-out RBI double to Joshua Figueroa in the top of the fourth inning, the freshman right-hander retired 11 straight batters through the seventh.
Jeff Wehler and Trevor Wiersma both had three hits from the fourth and fifth spots in the lineup, and Blaze Glenn and Drew Dickerson had two hits apiece from the third and sixth positions for the Penguins. YSU had 14 hits collectively, which was a season high.
Youngstown State has now won three straight games and improved to 7-23 overall, 4-7 in Horizon League play and 5-2 at home. UIC dropped to 11-13 overall and 6-4 in the conference.
Figueroa was one of three Flames with two hits, and he had a game-high three RBIs.
The Penguins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Wiersma hit a one-out double and scored on Dickerson's RBI single to left center. Wiersma then drove in a run in the third as the Penguins had three straight two-out hits to go up 2-0. Glenn started the rally with a double down the left field line, and Wehler and Wiersma followed with singles.
The only run Perry surrendered over the first seven innings came with one out in the top of the fourth as David Becker singled and scored on Figueroa's double to right center. Perry retired the next two batters to end the threat, and he set down the Flames in order in each of the next three innings as the Penguins built a 6-1 lead.
Youngstown State upped the margin to 3-1 with four singles in the fifth inning. Cameron Murray started the rally with a single, and Phillip Glasser advanced him 90 feet with a sacrifice bunt. Glenn's single to left put runners at the corners, and Wehler followed with an RBI single to left.
It was Glasser's turn to ignite the offense in the seventh with a leadoff single, and the Penguins went on to score three runs with two outs in the inning to go up 6-1. Wehler hit a one-out single for his third hit of the game, and Dickerson and Web Charles followed with back-to-back two-out doubles to plate the three runs. Dickerson's double inside the first-base bag brought in Glasser, and Charles' double down the left-field line scored Wehler and Dickerson.
Matt Bottcher led off the top of the eighth with a single to end Perry's stretch of 11 straight outs, and Scott Ota hit a two-run homer to right two batters later to make the score 6-3. Perry allowed a single to Ryan Hampe, and he struck out Alex Dee before handing the ball to Dalton Earich out of the bullpen.
Earich walked the first batter he faced, and Figueroa followed with a two-run double to the wall in left to get the Flames within 6-5. Earich got Derrick Patrick to fly out to end the inning, and Brett Souder allowed two baserunners in the ninth before getting two fly outs to earn his second save.
UIC starter Joey Fredrickson allowed four runs on 10 hits over 6.1 innings, and Ryan O'Reilly was charged with the two runs in the seventh that scored on Charles' double.
Youngstown State will go for the series sweep of the Flames on Sunday at noon at Eastwood Field.