Kent State Baseball’s Comeback Bid Halted At Houston
HOUSTON -- The Kent State baseball team could not overcome a three-run fifth inning by Houston, dropping the first contest of a three-game set, 5-3, Friday (March 18) at Cougar Field.
Junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) accounted for three of the seven hits for the Golden Flashes (8-7, 0-0) while junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) smacked a double to extend his hitting streak to 18 straight games -- including at least one in all 15 games in 2011.
Kent State got on the scoreboard first when Lyon placed a one-out base hit into center and scored one out later on a single back to the mound by freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) in the top of the second.
The Cougars (10-9, 0-0) tied the contest in the bottom half of the fourth, then took a 5-1 advantage into the seventh thanks in large part to plating three in the fourth.
The Golden Flashes did not go quietly, though. Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) drew a one-out walk to begin the comeback attempt and later scored on an RBI fielder's choice that put Toadvine on.
Kent State cut the Houston lead to two runs in the eighth as redshirt sophomore pinch hitter Nick Hamilton (Avon Lake, Ohio) cracked a leadoff base hit to third and scored one out later on courtesy of Rider's double down the left field line. Unfortunately, the Golden Flashes stranded Rider at second and went down in order in the top of the ninth.
Kent State redshirt sophomore left-handed starter Andrew Chafin (Wakeman, Ohio) fell to 2-1 on the season despite striking out eight. He allowed four runs -- two of them earned -- on seven hits.
The Cougars were led by senior right fielder Caleb Ramsey, junior designated hitter Matt Creel and junior catcher John Cannon, who posted two base hits apiece.
Junior right-handed starter Mo Wiley earned the mound triumph for the Cougars, working seven frames with three strikeouts and allowing two earned runs on four hits. Sophomore righty Dakota Dill was credited with the save for Houston, giving up one earned run on three hits in two innings.
Kent State looks to even the series Saturday (March 19) when the Flashes and Cougars square off again. Senior lefty Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) gets the start on the mound for the Golden Flashes. First pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m. EST.