Four UIC pitchers combined to limit the Youngstown State baseball team to four hits, and the Flames scored five runs in the final two innings to pull away for an 8-2 win over the Penguins on Sunday at Eastwood Field.
UIC starter Jack Andersen held the Penguins to one earned run on three hits in 6 1.3 innings, and the Penguins had one hit off the Flames bullpen.
YSU (12-32, 6-14 Horizon League) took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning with a manufactured run. Alex Larivee doubled off the wall in left to start the inning, and came around to score on a sacrifice bunt by Phil Lipari and a sacrifice fly by Matt Sullivan.
The Flames also used a sacrifice bunt in the third to tie the score at 1. Zenon Kolakowski led off with a single to right, and Cody Bohanek bunted him to second. O’Brien got John Coen to ground out for the second out of the inning, but Mickey McDonald’s opposite-field single plated Kolakowski.
UIC (23-22, 16-11) then took a 3-1 lead in the fourth with a pair of two-out runs. Jeff Boehm and Tyler Detmer singled and advanced to second and third with two outs. Kolakowski brought in both runs with a single to left after Patrick O’Brien thought he hit the outside corner for strike three on the previous pitch.
After Larivee’s leadoff double, Anderson retired the next 11 hitters and didn’t allow another hit until Brent Gillespie’s two-out single in the fourth. He needed just 66 pitches to get through the first six innings, but YSU chased him with a run in the seventh to cut the deficit to 3-2. Gillespie reached on an error and Josh White was hit by a pitch. Both runners advanced when David Saluga was called out on a close play at first, and Gillespie scored on Kevin Hix’s sacrifice fly.
UIC added three runs in the eighth to go up 6-2. Alex Lee started the inning with an infield single, and Boehm walked. Josh North got Alex Jurich to pop up a bunt, but the Flames loaded the bases with one out on a throwing error by Sullivan. Lee scored on a wild pitch, and Conor Philbin doubled in the other two runs on an 11-pitch at bat. The Flames posted two more runs in the ninth to stretch their lead to 8-2.
O’Brien struck out a season-high six in six innings.
YSU hosts Toledo at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Eastwood Field.