Kent State Baseball Heads To Music City To Battle Lipscomb
Golden Flashes (2-1) visit Nashville for three-game weekend set against the Bison (3-1).
at Lipscomb Bison (3-1)
Feb. 24-26, 2012
Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium
Game will be broadcast via Internet radio on KentStateSports.com
(Dan Scotchmer, play-by-play)
Follow on Twitter @FlashesBaseball
--Friday, Feb. 24 • 5 p.m. ET (4 p.m. CT)
PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
KENT STATE: #37 David Starn (Sr., LHP, Hudson, Ohio) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 9 SO, 2 BB, 1 GS, 8.0 IP
LIPSCOMB: #37 Connor Sinclair (Sr., RHP, Wichita, Kan.) 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 SO, 2 BB, 1 GS, 6.0 IP
Saturday, Feb. 25 • 3 p.m. ET (2 p.m. CT)
PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
KENT STATE: #19 Ryan Bores (Jr., RHP, Strongsville, Ohio) 0-1, 4.50 ERA, 2 SO, 0 BB, 1 GS, 6.0 IP
LIPSCOMB: #38 Blake Fonfara (Jr., LHP, Rosemont, Minn.) 0-0, 2.25 ERA, 3 SO, 2 BB, 1 GS, 4.0 IP
Saturday, Feb. 26 • 2 p.m. (1 p.m. CT)
PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
KENT STATE: #31 Tyler Skulina (So., RHP, Strongsville, Ohio) 1-0, 1.50 ERA, 5 SO, 0 BB, 1 GS, 6.0 IP
LIPSCOMB: #35 Josh Cotham (R-Jr., RHP, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) 0-0, 1.80 ERA, 8 SO, 2 BB, 1 GS, 5.0 IP
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION - Lipscomb Bison (3-1) • Atlantic Sun Conference
Head Coach: Jeff Forehand - Sixth Season All-Time Series: Kent State leads, 2-0.
• Lipscomb enters the weekend series having swept a doubleheader over Middle Tennessee State Tuesday (Feb. 21) by way of 3-2 and 3-1 victories. The Bison received a school-record 16 strikeouts from their pitchers in the game one win -- including eight from Cotham, who worked five innings in his first start of the season and will oppose Skulina in the Sunday matchup. • Junior outfielder Zach Lowery is Lipscomb's top offensive threat through four games in 2012, batting a team-best .467 with a team-high seven hits -- three of which came in the game one triumph over MTSU. • Lipscomb head coach Jeff Forehand is in his sixth year as skipper of the Bison and has guided the program to its first NCAA Championship Regional berth in 2008. • Eighth-year Kent State head coach Scott Stricklin is no stranger to Nashville, having spent two seasons (2000-01) as the pitching coach at neighboring Vanderbilt.
The Kent State baseball team invades the Music City this weekend (Feb. 24-26) to take on Lipscomb in a three-game non-conference set at Ken Dugan Field at Stephen L. Marsh Stadium.
The Golden Flashes (2-1) are looking to build off of the momentum of a strong opening weekend showing at the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic in Winthrop, S.C. last weekend. Kent State got the 2012 campaign off to a strong start by blanking No. 9 Georgia Tech, 5-0, last Friday (Feb. 17). Kent State split a pair of games on the final day of the Classic the following day, falling to No. 9 Georgia Tech, 6-2, but bouncing back to route host Winthrop, 11-3.
AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
The Flashes once again provided concrete proof as to why they are one of the top teams in the Midwest with another win over a top-10 nationally ranked team.
The Golden Flashes earned their second victory over a top-10 team in their last four games dating back to last season courtesy of the triumph over Georgia Tech. Kent State downed then-No. 5 Texas, 7-5, in the second game of the 2011 NCAA Championship Austin Regional last June. The victory also marked the second time Kent State downed GT in as many seasons. The Flashes posted a 6-1 win over the then No. 19-Yellow Jackets on Feb. 20, 2011, at Russ Chandler Stadium in Atlanta.
ROLLIN' LIKE A BIG SHOT
Senior ace southpaw David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) reminded everyone why he is considered one of the top pitchers in the country last Friday in the victory over the Yellow Jackets.
A 2012 Louisville Slugger Third Team Pre-Season All-America selection, Starn twirled eight shutout innings and tallied nine strikeouts while scattering just four hits and walking only two on 104 pitches. He upped his career strikeout total to 229, passing current Los Angeles Dodgers right-handed reliever Matt Guerrier (220; 1997-99) for sole possession of third place in school history and improved to 19-9 in his collegiate career with the win. His career strikeout total ranks fourth among active NCAA pitchers behind Dayton senior Burny Mitchem (252), Arizona junior Kurt Heyer (25) and Jackson State senior Quintavious Drains (242). The co-captain tossed his fourth career shutout and second in three starts and struck out six or more batters for the 18th time.
In addition to being named the Mid-American Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week, Starn was also named a College Baseball 360 Primetime Performer Honor selection and the College Sports Madness MAC Baseball Player of the Week for his efforts.
Starn garnered First Team American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA)/Rawlings NCAA Mideast Region, First Team All-Mid-American Conference and MAC Tournament MVP honors in 2011 as a junior. He tied Andy Sonnanstine (2004) for the most strikeouts in a single season in school history with 117, which was tied for the 16th-most in the nation in 2011. Starn was the Sunday starter in an all-left-handed rotation that anchored a pitching staff that ranked sixth in the nation in team ERA with a 2.66 mark under the tutelage of associate head coach/pitching coach Mike Birkbeck. He went 2-0 in two starts in the 2011 MAC Tournament, striking out 15 and allowing just two earned runs on 10 hits in 14.1 innings en route to garnering MVP accolades. He also ranked 48th in the nation with a 2.18 ERA.
Thirty NCAA baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates Thursday (Feb. 23) for the 2012 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. Among the elite? Kent State senior co-captain and catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.).
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Lyon put together a career season last year, posting a career-best .315 batting average, .384 on base percentage and .538 slugging percentage with a career-high 75 hits, 36 runs, seven triples (most on the team, second in the MAC; tied with Matt Rundels, 1991 for most in a single season in school history), nine home runs, 27 walks, 53 RBIs and 128 total bases (third on the team, fourth in the MAC). He also led Kent State with 404 putouts, the eighth most in a single season in school history. He earned 2011 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Mideast Region Second Team and Second Team All-MAC honors for his efforts. He earned All-NCAA Championship Austin Regional honors after he produced perhaps the most memorable hit in Kent State history to help down then-No. 5 Texas, 7-5, on its home field as the Golden Flashes earned their first regional final berth since 2001. Trailing 2-1 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Lyon sent a 1-2 pitch sailing over the left field wall and into the Kent State bullpen to give the Golden Flashes a 5-2 lead with his second career grand slam. Lyon was named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team under Stricklin, who served as an assistant coach for the squad and helped the USA win three of five games against Japan.
Lyon collected four hits in last weekend's action -- including the 15th round tripper of his career with a leadoff homer to open the sixth inning to help push the Flashes to an 11-3 win Saturday over host Winthrop.
Check out Lyon's Lowe's Senior CLASS profile here.
After beginning the 2011 campaign mired in an 0-for-23 slump, Kent State junior first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) got his 2012 campaign off to a strong start, batting a team-best .538 with a team-high .692 slugging percentage, seven hits, two doubles and three RBIs. Roberts posted multiple hits in each contest, including going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored to power Kent State's bats in the victory over the Yellow Jackets.
Kent State sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Skulina (Strongsville, Ohio) picked up his first collegiate pitching win in his first start wearing the Blue & Gold as the Golden Fladshes cruised to an 11-3 triumph over host Winthrop last Saturday, striking out five in six innings of work and allowing one earned runs on six hits.
Skulina sat out last season after transferring to Kent State from Virginia and was a 46th round pick out of Walsh Jesuit High School by the Oakland Athletics in 2010 after earning Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball First Team High School All-American honors in 2009 and honorable mention accolades in 2010 as well as Division II First Team All-Ohio selection in 2009 and 2010.