Another Week, Another MAC Weekly Awards Sweep For Kent State Baseball
Skulina named conference's Pitcher of the Week for a second week in a row while Polen garners Player of the Week honors for the first time in his career.
CLEVELAND – Kent State freshman third baseman Sawyer Polen (Wooster, Ohio) has been named the Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week for the first time in his career while sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Skulina (Strongsville, Ohio) garnered Pitcher of the Week accolades for a second straight week and third time in 2012, as announced by the conference office Monday (May 7).
The duo helped the Golden Flashes (30-17, 18-3 MAC) clinch the MAC East Division title by winning their sixth MAC series of the 2012 season in seven tries and earning their fifth straight conference series sweep and second straight thanks to their three victories over at Ohio last weekened. The Flashes weathered a lightning suspension that pushed their Friday (May 4) series opener into Saturday (May 5) to post a 4-1 win over Ohio, then followed it up with an 8-1 triumph in game two. Kent State completed the sweep of the Bobcats with a decisive 13-4 win in the Sunday (May 6) finale. Kent State has won 22 of its last 29 games – including 11 of their last 13 and six in a row. The weekend series win allowed Kent State to maintain its hold on first place in the race for the conference's regular season championship and number one seed in the 2012 MAC Tournament, which will be held May 23-26 at All-Pro Freight Stadium in Avon, Ohio. Kent State could clinch the MAC's regular season title with a win over rival Miami next Friday (May 11) coupled with a Toledo loss at Bowling Green. Kent State has won at least 30 games 25 times in the last 30 years – including 13 years in a row and all eight seasons under eighth-year head coach Scott Stricklin's watch.
Polen batted a team-best .571 with a team-high eight hits in the weekend set against the Bobcats. He recorded multi-hit efforts in all three games, saving his best for last by going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. The rookie infielder is hitting .357 (second on the team) in conference play with 25 hits - including two doubles, a triple and a home run - to go along with 14 RBIs and 16 runs scored.
Skulina was dominant on the mound for a third straight weekend. He earned his team-high seventh pitching victory of the season, improving to 7-2 thanks to nine strikeouts over 6.1 innings in the Sunday finale at Ohio. He surrendered two earned runs on six hits and a walk. Over his last three starts, Skulina has piled up a team-high 25 strikeouts against five walks.
The weekly conference honors increase Kent State's season total to nine.
Kent State hosts rival Miami Friday (May 11) at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. The Golden Flashes could clinch the MAC's regular season title with a win over the RedHawks coupled with a Toledo loss at Bowling Green.
2012 Kent State Baseball MAC Weekly Award Winners
Week 12 (May 7) - Sawyer Polen, Player of the Week & Tyler Skulina, Pitcher of the Week