Kent State Baseball Sweeps Season Series Over Youngstown State, Captures 11th Straight Win
NILES, Ohio -- Junior right-handed starting pitcher Ryan Mace (Hudson, Ohio) tossed five frames of two-hit ball and struck out seven to match his career best while senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) tallied his team-best 15th multi-hit game of the season as the Kent State baseball team downed Youngstown State, 5-2, today (April 13) at Eastwood Field.
The Golden Flashes (22-10) defeated the Penguins (8-22) for the second straight day to sweep the season series. Kent State blanked Youngstown State, 7-0, Tuesday (April 12) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. The winning streak is Kent State's longest since reeling off 12 consecutive victories from April 6-22, 2008. The Flashes are a perfect 10-0 so far in the month of April.
Mace improved to 3-1 on the season with the mound triumph. Junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) earned his ninth save of the season and 13th of his career, tossing 1.1 frames without allowing a hit or a run. McMillen's nine saves are the 6th most in a single season by a Kent State hurler.
The Flashes opened with an early lead thanks to three runs in the top of the first. Redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) led off the contest by reaching on an error. He advanced to second on a failed pickoff attempt, then stole third one out later. Koch scored the game's first run when junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) served up a sacrifice fly to left. Klafczynski and Lyon followed with back-to-back hits to left. Sophomore designated hitter Jason Bagoly (Austintown, Ohio) plated them both courtesy of a triple down the right field line.
Kent State tallied its final two runs of the game in the third to take a 5-0 lead. Klafczynski coaxed a two-out walk to extend the inning. Lyon followed with a single to center, followed by Bagoly drawing a walk to fill the bags. That set the stage for a two-RBI single by Campbell that brought home Klafczynski and Lyon.
The Penguins pecked at Kent State's lead by plating one run in both the sixth and seventh. Youngstown State had runners at second and third with two outs when McMillen was called upon to finish the game for the Flashes. He responded by forcing a fly out to end the threat, then shook off issuing a leadoff walk in the ninth to force three straight outs to nail down the win.
The Flashes return to Mid-American Conference action with a three-game road trip at Central Michigan next weekend (April 15-17).