Kent State Baseball Smashes And Bashes Way To Win At Ohio
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Kent State baseball team totaled 20 hits -- five of them from junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) and received a strong start on the mound from junior right-hander Ryan Mace (Tallmadge, Ohio) to earn an 11-3 Mid-American Conference road victory over East Division rival Ohio Friday (April 29) at Bob Wren Stadium.
The Golden Flashes (28-12, 13-3 MAC) have won 20 of their last 24 games and five straight.
Lyon was a double shy of hitting for the cycle while collecting two RBIs in a career day at the plate. All but one Kent State starter recorded a hit with five players posting multi-hit games. Freshman second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) totaled a career-high four singles while redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) added three base hits.
Mace was impressive in a spot start in place of redshirt sophomore Andrew Chafin (Wakeman, Ohio), who sat out the game due to arm soreness but will be available out of the bullpen the rest of the weekend. Mace fanned six while allowing two earned runs on five hits over six frames. The victory vaults Mace to 4-1 on the season. Sophomore righty Casey Wilson (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) and freshman right-hander Spencer Bryant (Sandusky, Ohio) combined to toss three innings in relief of Mace.
Kent State provided Mace with run support early and often. Sophomore shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) cracked a one-out single up the middle to set the table for senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) to crush a home run over the wall in right center. Lyon followed Klafczynski's blast with a homer of his own to make it 3-0.
Junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) extended the advantage to 4-0 with a one-out solo shot to right center – his team leading 10th home run.
The Flashes made it 6-0 in the fourth. Koch got things started with a leadoff single to short, and Toadvine followed a bunt single to third. Both moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. Rider delivered a two-RBI single up the middle.
Kent State extended its advantage to seven runs in the fifth when Lyon stroked a leadoff triple to right center, then tagged up and scored courtesy of a sacrifice fly to center by freshman designated hitter T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio).
The Bobcats got two runs back in the sixth, but the Golden Flashes answered with four scores in the seventh. Sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) reached on a fielder's choice that put him on second base. Koch singled to center to drive Roberts and advance to second on the throw to the plate. Toadvine followed with a single to right to put runners on the corners. A bunt single by sophomore center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) plated Koch. Rider reached safely on a fielder's choice to fill the bases with Flashes. Shaw coaxed a walk to bump home Toadvine. A base hit through the left side by Lyon drove in Campbell and plated Kent State's final run.
Kent State will play a doubleheader Saturday (April 30) against the Bobcats due to an expected rainy forecast on Sunday. The twin bill will begin at 1 p.m. Senior southpaw Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) will start on the hill in game one while junior lefty David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) will start the second game.