Baseball takes two out of three from Ohio despite bats cooling off in finale


Luke Albright pitches against Central Michigan on April 13. 

John Conley

The Kent State baseball team drove in 30 runs in its wins on Friday and Saturday  before being held scoreless in its series finale against Ohio.  

The Flashes won comfortably on Friday, 12-3 behind an early lead. On Saturday, Kent State rallied from an early 8-2 deficit, earning the 18-11 win. Sophomore Michael Turner launched a grand slam in the sixth inning, giving the Flashes momentum for a comeback. Sunday’s game didn’t turn the Flashes way as they lost in a close one, 1-0.

In the series opener, Kent State senior Connor Wollersheim pitched six innings, giving up one run off five hits. Wollersheim dealt eight strikeouts in his fourth win of the season. Freshman Max Rippl came in relief, going three innings to end the game to earn the save.

The Flashes offense had 17 hits producing 12 runs, keeping the Bobcats active on defense.

Junior Cam Touchette went 4-for-6, scoring two runs and sophomore Ben Carew followed with a 3-for-5 performance, a triple away from hitting for the cycle.

The Flashes scored in the top of the first off a two-run double from senior Kian O’Brien. They would add to the lead in the fourth inning, with two solo home runs from Freshman Collin Matthews followed by Carew.

Kent State put four more runs on the board the next inning. Senior Pavin Parks hit a solo home run to start the inning, and Carew would hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Matthews. Sophomore Alex Ronnebaum and Freshman Justin Kirby both would score off throwing errors to put the score at 8-0.

Ohio secured its first run of the game in the bottom of the fifth from an RBI single and would get two more runs in the seventh inning off a two-run home run. Kent State added its final runs the last few innings, when senior Josh Hollander hit a triple and would be brought in by a Ronnebaum single. O’Brien and Parks finished the scoring with two RBI doubles to end the game, 12-3.

The Flashes would collect its fifth win in a row on Saturday with a season-high 20 hits, making Ohio use eight pitchers on the mound.

Ronnebaum led the offense, going 4-for-6 with two RBI and two runs scored. Touchette went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBI. extended his hitting streak to 12 games. O’Brien and Hollander also had three hits while Turner went 2-for-5.

Kent State had another good pitching performance in game two from junior John Matthews. Matthews threw 6 ⅓ innings of relief after freshman Trevor Pittman got into some early trouble through the first three innings. Matthews collected his fourth win with six strikeouts.

Turner’s grand slam in the sixth inning gave Kent state their first lead of the game, putting the Flashes up, 9-8.

The whole batting order would come to the plate in the same inning. Ronnebaum had two hits in the inning for the first time since last season. The Flashes got three more runs to give them a 12-8 lead.

Kent State added another in the seventh off a ground ball, scoring Carew. The Bobcats didn’t go away, hitting a three-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 13-11. The Flashes got five runs in the eighth to end the game, 18-11.

In the series finale, the lone run of the game came in the first inning off an RBI-single. The Flashes threatened in the top of the first with bases loaded, but did not produce any runs.

Junior Zach Schultz got the loss, going 4 ⅔ innings with six strikeouts. Freshman Luke Albright came in relief going the rest of the game, giving up just one hit.

Kent State was shut out for the first time since early this season, snapping a six-game streak in which the Flashes scored more than 10 runs.

Sophomore Michael Turner went 3-for-3, getting three of the six hits Kent State had. Collin Matthews had two hits and O’Brien added a hit as well.

The Flashes move into the week with a four-game home stand. Starting with a midweek game on Tuesday against Dayton and then a three-game series against Toledo this weekend.

The Flyers won the first meeting this season 12-5.

Kent State has a 21-20 record and sits in fourth place in the Mid-American Conference standings.

John Conley is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].