Kent State Baseball Aims At Maintaining Hold On MAC East Lead With Weekend Series At Ohio
The Kent State baseball team looks to tighten its grip on the Mid-American Conference East Division lead with a three-game series against Ohio this weekend at Bob Wren Stadium in Athens, Ohio. The Golden Flashes (27-12, 12-3) and Bobcats (19-21, 5-10 MAC) will meet Friday (April 29) at 6 p.m., Saturday (April 30) at 3 p.m. and Sunday (May 1) at 1 p.m.
The Flashes have won 19 of their last 23 games.
Kent State had to wait 30 minutes through a rain shower, but at the end of the day when the skies had cleared, it had recorded a 6-4 non-conference win over Cleveland State Wednesday (April 27) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.
The triumph improved Kent State (27-12) to 11-1 on its home field. The Flashes are 116-40 at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium since 2004.
Redshirt junior left fielder Joe Koch (Youngstown, Ohio) started for the first time in three games after dealing with a shoulder injury and collected two singles, two RBIs and a run scored to propel Kent State's offense.
The Flashes used four pitchers in the victory, with fifth-year senior Brennen Glass (Springfield, Ohio) earning the win in relief work to improve his season record to 3-1. He struck out two and allowed one hit in two innings of work. Junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) posted a four-out save -- with all four outs coming by way of strikeout – to garner his 12th save of 2011 and 15th of his career.
The Golden Flashes are coming off a Mid-American Conference series sweep of Buffalo last weekend (April 22-23).
Kent State fought off relentless rain and a scrappy Bulls squad that forced a five-all tie heading into the bottom of the seventh inning of last Friday's game. Kent State made its final push for the win when senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) ripped a one-out double to right field to chase Buffalo senior left-handed starting pitcher Josh Edwards from the contest. Senior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) followed with a single to left. Klafczynski was able to scamper home courtesy of an error on the play to give Kent State the lead. Sophomore first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) stroked a double to right one out later to plate Lyon and give the Flashes a 7-5 edge.
The Flashes enjoyed a doubleheader sweep of Buffalo the following day, winning the first game, 13-3, and the second, 7-0.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.
Kent State was scheduled to host Niagara Tuesday (April 26), but the contest was cancelled due to the threat of severe thunderstorms. No make up date has been set.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
The Bobcats took two of three games in their first MAC East series of the season last weekend at Bowling Green.
Shortstop Garrett Black leads the way offensively with a .329 batting average to go with a .402 on-base percentage.
Kent State hosts Miami next weekend (May 6-8) in a series that could decide the division crown at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium.