Missed opportunities haunt Flashes in loss to Youngstown State


Senior Kian O’Brien slides into home after tagging up on a sacrifice fly against Malone on April 2. Kent State won, 14-6.

John Conley

The Kent State baseball team split their midweek series, recording a win against Malone on Tuesday while falling to Youngstown State on Wednesday.

The Flashes beat down on Malone, winning 14-6.

However, that win was followed by the loss to Youngstown State in a game in which the Penguins tied the game in the ninth before winning 4-3 in 11 innings on a walk-off wild pitch.  

“ We have to sharpen our knives back up because in two days Western Michigan comes in,” coach Jeff Duncan said. “If we do what we’re capable of doing, we can take care of business, but we have to make sure we are ready to go and play the game.”

The Flashes held a slim one run lead heading into the ninth inning against YSU that evaporated when senior Pavin Parks allowed a two strike RBI single to Blaze Glassner. The winning run came across in the 11th when senior Chris Martin uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Phillip Glassner to score the winning run.

“We got doubled up twice with the bases loaded in key situations, which was huge for Youngstown State,” Duncan said. “However we have to play better. All in all, it was unfortunate we didn’t come out with a win today. We have to do better in our preparation and we just came up short in extra innings.”

The Flashes sent a total of five pitchers to the mound. Freshman Luke Albright made his first collegiate start and found himself in trouble early when he loaded the bases before recording an out. He was able to minimize the damage, however, only allowing one run to cross the plate. Albright tossed two innings, allowing one hit, three strikeouts and the aforementioned run.

“Our defense was really good today,” Duncan said. “We played sound and made some good stops.  We had a lead going into the ninth and we just weren’t able to pull out a win.”

Sophomore Trevor Pittman came in after Albright and recorded six strikeouts over three innings. Sophomore Peyton Deats pitched two innings before being relieved by Parks.

The Kent State offense was led by sophomore Ben Carew, who went 4-for-5 with a triple and a run scored. Carew gave the Flashes the lead in the seventh scoring a run off Pete Schuler’s RBI single.

The Flashes left 11 men on base, which gave the Penguins a chance to come back into the game.

Kent State took care of business in the game against Malone University on Tuesday. The Flashes jumped out to an early 5-0 lead in a first inning in which every Flash visited the plate.

Kent State totaled a season-high 16 walks in the game, including six hit batters.

“They walked a lot of guys, and we did a good job watching our pitches,” Duncan said. “We did good driving in runners in scoring position, finding a few sac-flies and we put the ball in play.”

Junior John Matthews picked up his third win of the season on the mound, throwing two scoreless innings while striking out three.

Senior John Schreiber came in after Matthews in the top of the third and struggled to find the strike zone, allowing five hits and four runs, which cut the Flashes lead to 6-4.

The Kent State offense would respond in the bottom half of that inning, scoring four additional runs to put the game at 10-4.

Carew lead the offense for the Flashes, going 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI.

Kent State would add three more runs on the bottom of the fifth, putting the game out of reach.

The Flashes would go onto win 14-6.

“They always play us pretty good, they just didn’t get off to the start they wanted,” Duncan said. “We gained another win and I thought we played winning baseball and that’s all that matters.”

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