Matt Sullivan hit a grand slam in the sixth inning and Alex Larivee’s sacrifice fly in the ninth lifted the Youngstown State baseball team to a 5-4 victory over Kent State on Wednesday night.
The Penguins (10-28) beat the Golden Flashes in their last at bat for the second straight meeting. YSU, which also won against Kent State on April 8, topped the Golden Flashes twice in the same season for the first time since 1979.
Josh North allowed one run in three innings of relief to earn the victory, and Kevin Yarabinec retired the Golden Flashes in order in the ninth to earn his third save of the season. Phil Lipari had three hits, and five different Penguins scored.
Neither team’s starter allowed a run while being held to a pitch count, and the game was scoreless after until Kent State (28-16) broke the tie with three runs in the fifth. Justin Wagler led off with a single and scored four batters later on a wild pitch. Sawyer Polen scored on an error, and Jon Wilson came in on a passed ball.
Lipari started the top of the sixth with a double and Jason Shirley had an infield single. After Larivee’s sacrifice bunt, Brent Gillespie walked to load the bases. Sullivan then hit the first pitch from Eli Martin for a grand slam that gave the Penguins a 4-3 lead. It was YSU’s first grand slam of the season.
North got a strikeout to end a bases-loaded KSU threat in the eighth and the Penguins rewarded the reliever with a run in the ninth. Shane Willoughby drew a nine-pitch walk to start the inning and Lipari was hit by a pitch. Both advanced on a passed ball, and Willoughby scored the game-winner on Larivee’s sacrifice fly.
YSU starter Jared Wight allowed two hits and a walk in 22/3 innings, and Alex Frey did not allow a run in two-thirds of an inning.
The Penguins start a three-game series Friday at Wright State.