Three run sixth inning helps Flashes record comeback win against Pitt

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Kent outfielder Nick Elsen rounds third after hitting a two run homer out of left field. Kent beat Youngstown State 10-5 on Tuesday. 

John Conley

Kent State pitcher Cory Schreiber got off to a slow start Wednesday, walking the first four batters he faced. In total, Schreiber and the Flashes found themselves down 2-0 in the top of the first.

The Flashes would not back down from the early deficit, however, coming back to win 6-4 against the University of Pittsburgh.

“To Schreiber’s credit, he held Pitt to only two runs with the bases still loaded, minimizing the damage,” coach Jeff Duncan said of the first inning. “When Trevor Pittman came in, he settled things down and our offense was able to keep chipping away at the lead.”

Pittman came in to relieve Schreiber in the second inning, going three scoreless innings while recording four strikeouts.

“We tried not to get to flustered, getting behind early like that,” infielder Pavin Parks said. “We knew to keep having strong at-bats and to manage the deficit on the defensive side. Pittman pitched well, allowing our offense to heat up and get going.”

The offense got going in the fourth inning when sophomore Nick Elsen drove in senior Pete Schuler for an RBI single. Elsen would finish 1-for-3 at the plate with an RBI and a run scored. Schuler went 2-for-4 with two singles and and RBI while extending his hitting streak to six games.

Kent State would add three more runs in the sixth with a bases loaded walk from junior Patrick Ferguson. Parks followed with a two run hit to give the Flashes a 4-3 lead.

“Our middle of the lineup continues to get comfortable at the plate and that is a huge key for us,” Duncan said.”They continue to make it tough for opposing pitchers when they come up to bat.”

The Flashes brought four more pitchers to the mound. Pittman was relieved by freshman Peyton Deats, who threw two scoreless innings to record the win. Freshman Max Rippl and Parks would come in as well before senior Chris Martin came in the ninth to close the game.

“We knew we were going to use a lot of arms today,” said Duncan. “All the relief pitchers that came in did a great job in maintaining focus and getting the job done. “Our defense did good, making the routine play which is important.”

Kent State added insurance to their lead in the eighth when senior Kian O’Brien hit his first home run of the season to put the Flashes up 6-4. Kent State collected eight hits on the day from seven hitters, including five walks.

“I think it was a solid win for us,” Parks said. “Early on we were having trouble finishing games and we are starting to learn how to manage games and put a full nine innings together. “This win helps a lot going into Mid-American Conference play this weekend, knowing we are hitting our stride.”

The Flashes will host a three game series this weekend against Miami (OH). The RedHawks enter with a MAC-best 16-3 record coming off a win against Eastern Kentucky.

The Flashes enter the weekend with a four game winning streak and a record of 8-10.

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