Skulina Shines, But Flashes Fall as San Diego Walks Off
San Diego, Calif. – Pre-season All-American Tyler Skulina proved to be what his accolades claim him to be, as he went eight innings allowing just two hits, no runs and two walks while striking out six.
However, the Kent State (0-5) bullpen could not hold on to a one-run lead, giving San Diego (1-3) their first win of the season in two-out, bottom of the ninth, walk-off fashion.
"Tyler Skulina was outstanding, he deserved to win," head coach Scott Stricklin said of his ace. "We couldn't hold on in the ninth, but it was really encouraging to see Tyler pitch like that. That's what we expect to see out of him."
The game was a pitchers duel, with no team scoring until the Flashes took a one run lead after an Evan Campbell solo homerun in the seventh.
With Skulina's performance on the mound, Kent State looked to finish off San Diego for their first victory of the season.
But, the Flashes' bullpen surrendered a walk and two doubles to the Toreros to give the home team their first notch in the win column this year.
Kent State had many scoring opportunities, but left ten men on base and went 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
"I think that comes with time," Stricklin said of improving in that realm of the game. "I also think it's a mental thing. Sometimes guys get runners in scoring position and they try to do too much instead of sticking with their game.
"That hurt us early in the first three innings. We easily could have been up three to nothing if we would've just hit ground balls up the middle, and we couldn't do it. It's a little frustrating."
Campbell finished the night 2-for-5 with a homerun and Kent State's lone RBI and run scored. Alex Miklos also picked up two hits in four at-bats with a triple.
Eric Dorsch (0-2) suffered the loss, allowing San Diego's two runs on one hit and one walk in 0.2 innings of work. He also struck out two.
The Golden Flashes have two chances to bounce back tomorrow as the teams face each other in a double-header. Game one will begin at 4:00 pm EST with game two coming shortly after the opening game's completion.
"We're going to keep getting more opportunities and we're going to keep working on it and get better, said Stricklin. "I see positive things happening with this team. We've got a good baseball team. It's not showing up in the win column right now. We're playing really good teams in tough venues and it's going to help us as we go through the season.
"I feel really confident we're going to have a great team. It's going to take a little bit of time, and it usually does."