Kent State Baseball Rolls To Saturday Sweep of Buffalo
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State baseball team enjoyed a doubleheader sweep of Buffalo today (April 23), winning the first game, 13-3, and the second, 7-0, to complete the weekend Mid-American Conference sweep at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
The game one win marked the 1,500th in program history for the Golden Flashes (26-12, 12-3 MAC), while the sweep is the third MAC sweep of the season and runs Kent State's home record to 11-1.
"We had a very solid day all the way around," said seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "We played great defense and the pitching was outstanding again. Offensively, the guys stepped up. This team can't rely on one guy, and a lot of guys got big hits."
KENT STATE 13, BUFFALO 3
Junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) had a huge day offensively and defensively to help support a solid start on the hill by senior southpaw Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) as the Golden Flashes earned a milestone victory.
Shaw crushed two home runs and drove in three scores to power Kent State's offensive attack. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) collected three singles and three RBIs, and freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) added three base hits as well. Sophomore center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) recorded two base hits and three RBIs while sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) contributed a double and a single with two runs scored and an RBI.
Hallock fanned seven over seven innings to improve to 6-4 on the season. He allowed one earned run on seven hits and two walks while sitting down the side in three frames. Sophomore right-hander Casey Wilson (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) and freshman righty Dan Slavik (St. Clairsville, Ohio) each saw an inning of work in relief of Hallock.
Shaw got Kent State's offense revved up with a one-out two-run shot over the left field wall in the bottom of the second.
Toadvine added a run in the ensuing frame by cracking a two-out base hit and then later scored on a single by Rider.
Buffalo cut into Kent State's advantage with two scores in the fourth, but the Flashes upped their lead back to two runs in the bottom of the fifth courtesy of a solo homer to right by Shaw.
The Bulls got a run back in the sixth and had the bases loaded with just one out, but Shaw bailed the home team out by turning a tailor-made 5-4-3 double play to end the threat.
The Flashes continued adding onto their lead in the sixth with two runs. Roberts led off the frame by being hit by a pitch, and Toadvine followed with a perfectly placed bunt single down the first base line. Both advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Campbell, and Rider then plated them with a base hit to left.
The seventh inning brought three more runs for Kent State. Freshman left fielder T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) smacked a one-out single through the right side. Pinch running for Sutton, redshirt freshman Troy Summers (Minerva, Ohio) stole second and then scored on a double to right by Roberts. Toadvine moved Roberts to third with a single, then stole second to put two in scoring position for Campbell, who delivered a two-RBI single through the right side.
The Flashes added the contest's final runs in the eighth. Junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) reached on a one-out bunt single. Redshirt freshman pinch hitter Phil Smith (Kent, Ohio) was hit by a pinch, then Summers singled to right to bring around Lyon. Freshman pinch hitter Cody Koch (Sandusky, Ohio) scored Smith with a single to center. Campbell then brought home Summers with a base hit to center to make the score final.
KENT STATE 7, BUFFALO 0
Junior southpaw David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) totaled eight strikeouts and scattered six hits, and junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) nailed down his 11th save of the season and second in as many days to combine to toss a shutout. Starn sat down the side in the both the fourth and the sixth while McMillen competed a five-out save on just seven pitches – including two strikeouts.
Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio), Rider, Roberts and Toadvine led the way with two hits each.
The Flashes broke a scoreless tie in the fourth when Smith smacked a two-out single up the middle, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit through the left side by Roberts.
Rider cracked a leadoff single to center, then scored one out later on a single to center by Klafczynski in the fifth to make it 2-0.
Shaw coaxed a two-out walk in the seventh, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a base hit to center by Klafczynski.
Kent State added four scores in the fourth to finish off the Bulls. Roberts got the frame started with a one-out walk. Toadvine brought him home with a triple to left one out later. Campbell coaxed a walk to set the table for Rider's home run to left – his first of 2011.
Kent State completes its five-game home stand with two midweek contests, taking on Niagara Tuesday (April 26) and Cleveland State Wednesday (April 27) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. Both contests are set to begin at 3 p.m.