Kent State Baseball Splits Saturday Doubleheader At Western Kentucky
Career day by Hamilton powers Golden Flashes (5-3) to big win over Hilltoppers (3-7) in game two.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Kent State baseball team split a Saturday (March 3) doubleheader at Western Kentucky, falling in the first game, 5-2, but bouncing back with a big 13-3 victory in the second.
DOUBLEHEADER GAME 1 – WESTERN KENTUCKY 5, KENT STATE 2
The Hilltoppers broke a scoreless tie with a two-run fourth inning.
Kent State cut Western Kentucky's lead in half when redshirt sophomore left fielder Troy Summers (Minerva, Ohio) coaxed a one-out walk in the sixth, moved to second on a single to left center by senior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.), stole third and then scored when junior first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) lifted a sacrifice fly to center.
The Hilltoppers answered back with three more runs in the seventh. The Golden Flashes got a run back in the ninth freshman outfielder Alex Miklos (Grove City, Pa.) drew coaxed a one-out walk and later scored on a single to left field by fifth-year senior right fielder Joe Koch (Austintown, Ohio), but that's as close as the Flashes got.
Sophomore second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) led Kent State with two singles.
Senior left-handed starting pitcher David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) took the loss on the mound for the Golden Flashes, falling to 1-2 on the season. He gave up two earned runs on six hits and three walks over five innings. He struck out two.
DOUBLEHEADER GAME 2 – KENT STATE 13, WESTERN KENTUCKY 3
Kent State's offense exploded to the tune of 13 runs on 17 hits to even the series with Western Kentucky.
Six Flashes recorded multi-hit games. Redshirt junior third baseman Nick Hamilton (Avon Lake, Ohio) had a career day at the plate, going 4-for-5 – including two doubles -- with five RBIs and a run scored. Senior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) finished with four hits -- including a double – and drove in two runs and scored three more. Junior center fielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) tallied three hits – including a double – in addition to two runs scored. Koch, Roberts and Toadvine each posted two singles.
The Flashes struck early with two runs in the first. Campbell led the game off with an infield single and advanced to third courtesy of a double to right by Rider. Roberts drew a walk one out later to fill the bases, and Hamilton took advantage by driving home Campbell and Rider with a base hit to left.
The Hilltoppers got a run back in the bottom of the frame, but Kent State broke the contest open with five more runs in the third. Campbell got things rolling by legging out a bunt single to open the inning. Rider followed with a single to right, and both moved up 90 feet on a passed ball. Lyon walked to load the bases. Campbell scored on a single through the right side by Roberts. Hamilton capitalized on another bases loaded situation, ripping a double to left center to plate Rider and Lyon. Sophomore right fielder T.J. Sutton (Uniontown, Ohio) allowed Roberts to tag up and score when he lifted a sacrifice fly to center. Hamilton then scored on an RBI groundout by freshman catcher Jeff Revesz (Grove City, Pa.) to make it 7-1 in favor of the Golden Flashes.
After Western Kentucky scored its second run in the bottom half of the third, Kent State tacked on two more runs in the fourth. Rider captured some two-out lightning when he singled to center, then stole third. Lyon coaxed another walk, and Roberts followed by plating Rider with a single to center. Hamilton drove in Lyon for his fifth RBI of the game with a double to left center.
The Golden Flashes made it 11-2 with two more runs in ensuing inning. Revesz was hit by a pitch with one out. He moved to second on a base hit through the left side by Koch. Campbell drew a walk one out later to fill the bases again, setting the table for Riders' two-RBI single through the left side to bring around Revesz and Koch.
Kent State tacked on its final two insurance scores in the sixth. Sutton reached on a fielder's choice, and freshman pinch hitter Tommy Monnot (Canton, Ohio) followed by drawing a two-out walk. Both advanced a base on a wild pitch, and both scored when Koch cracked a single up the middle.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Ryan Bores (Strongsville, Ohio) improved to 2-1 on the hill for Kent State, fanning four while allowing two earned runs on four hits and two walks in six frames of work. Freshman lefty Brian Clark (Munroe Falls, Ohio), redshirt freshmen right hander Dan Kopcak (Streetsboro, Ohio) and freshman righty John Birkbeck (Canton, Ohio) all made their career debuts on the mound, each tossing an inning of relief.
Kent State (5-3) goes for the series win over Western Kentucky (3-7) Sunday (March 4). First pitch is slated for 2 p.m. ET (1 p.m. CT). Sophomore righty Tyler Skulina (Strongsville, Ohio) will take the ball to start the game for the Flashes.