The Youngstown State baseball team fell 8-3 to UIC on Sunday afternoon in the finale of three-game Horizon League series at Eastwood Field.
The Flames jumped ahead with a run in the first inning before the Penguins briefly went in front by scoring twice in the second. UIC tied the game with a run in the third, and crossed the plate twice in the fifth to grab the lead for good.
YSU got within a run after Blaze Glenn's second home run of the series in home half of the fifth, but the Flames plated three in seventh and one in the eighth to produce the final score. UIC's bullpen did not allow a hit while blanking the Penguins over the final four innings of play.
UIC improved to 12-13 and 7-4 in Horizon League play while Youngstown State fell to 7-24 and 4-8. The Flames salvaged the final game of the series after dropping the first two contests of the weekend. The defeat snapped the Penguins' three-game winning streak, and halted a streak of four straight victories at Eastwood Field.
Glenn was 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two RBIs while Dylan Swarmer doubled, walked and scored a run. Lucas Nasonti recorded an RBI single and a stolen base, and Cameron Murray had a base hit and a steal.
Derrick Patrick and Ryan Hampe each had three hits to lead the Flames' offensive attack. Patrick, Hampe and Scott Ota each homered in the contest, and that trio combined for eight of UIC's 14 hits in the middle of the order. Patrick also scored four times, and Hampe notched a team-high two RBIs.
Patrick hit a one-out single, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch in the top of the first inning. After YSU starter Marco DeFalco struck out Ota, Hampe delivered a two-out RBI single to give the Flames an early 1-0 lead.
After a pair of strikeouts to begin the bottom of the second inning, Swarmer walked and reached second on a throwing error by UIC starter Patrick Martin as part of a failed pickoff attempt. Nasonti came through with a two-out RBI single to tie the contest, and the Penguins loaded the bases after Murray singled and Phillip Glasser walked. Glenn was then hit by a pitch to give YSU its first lead at 2-1. UIC answered in the top of the third as Ota hit his second home run in as many days, this one a solo shot, to even the score 2-2.
Swarmer doubled down the left-field line to leadoff the bottom of the fourth, and advanced to third on an ensuing throwing error by the left fielder. After a strikeout, Swarmer was thrown out at the plate on a groundout as the Flames were able to get out of the inning with no damage done.
Patrick hit a one-out double for the Flames in top of the fifth, and was the last batter faced by DeFalco. After Ota was intentionally walked, Brandon Matthews hit Hampe to load the bases and David Becker to put UIC back in front. Alex Dee followed with a sacrifice fly to left field to make it a 4-2 advantage in favor of the visitors.
The Penguins responded quickly and shaved the UIC edge to 4-3 when Glenn led off the bottom of the fifth by blasting his fourth home run of the season over the wall in left center field. However, the Flames got the run back in the top of the seventh when Patrick led off with a solo home run of his own. Later in the inning, Hampe also homered and Joshua Figueroa hit a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded to extend the UIC lead to 7-3. After reaching on a one-out walk, Patrick came around to score on a wild pitch in the eighth to account for the Flames' final run.
DeFalco suffered his first loss of the season after allowing three runs on eight hits and striking out three over 4.1 innings. Matthews permitted one run in 1.1 innings of relief, and Chad Coles was responsible for three runs over two-thirds of an inning. Kip DeShields recorded the final two outs in the top of the seventh before Dalton Earich was charged with a run in the eighth. Brett Souder came on to register a pair of strikeouts during a scoreless ninth.
Martin surrendered two runs on four hits and fanned four over 3.1 innings of work for UIC. Fred Gosbeth was awarded the victory after allowing only Glenn's solo home run during his 4.1 innings. Ryan O'Reilly got the final out of the eighth inning before Alex Padilla closed things out with two strikeouts in the ninth.
Youngstown State will return to action Tuesday with a non-conference contest at Penn State. First pitch from Medlar Field at Lubrano Park is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET.