Early lead helps Flashes to home opener win

Sophomore+Ben+Carew+slaps+a+line+drive+down+the+third+base+line+against+Youngstown+State+on+March+12.+Carew+finished+the+day+with+three+hits+and+two+RBI.

Sophomore Ben Carew slaps a line drive down the third base line against Youngstown State on March 12. Carew finished the day with three hits and two RBI.

John Conley

The beginning of the Kent state lineup proved to be too much for Youngstown State asthe top three hitters in the lineup combined for five hits and added six runs to beat the Penguins 10-5.

Kent State returned home for the season opener after a 14 game road trip where the Flashes went 4-10.

“Our top of the lineup is starting to get comfortable as the season goes on,” coach Jeff Duncan said. ”Ben Carew has been solid all year, along with Pete Schuler who is capable of doing well. All in all, it’s not so much the result, I think they are settling in mentally and getting comfortable at the plate.”

Carew has sustained a .347 batting average bringing in nine RBI through 15 games and seven stolen bases. He also has a .962 fielding percentage in centerfield giving up only one error. Schuler comes off the win with 15 hits posting a .288 average on the season. The senior catcher adds a .976 fielding percentage as well.

Kent State got the scoring going in the bottom of the first when Schuler doubled to right center driving in two runs. It wouldn’t stop there as the second inning brought four more runs when Ben Carew doubled to center field driving in two runs. Schuler would get his third run batted in with a single and a sacrifice fly from Patrick Ferguson put Kent State up 6-1 early.

The Flashes hit two home runs coming from senior Pavin Parks hitting a solo shot to right center in the third inning along with sophomore Nick Elsen’s two-run homer in the seventh to add insurance.

Freshman Peyton Deats got the start on the mound for the Flashes in his first ever start at Schoonover Stadium. Deats recorded his second win of the season going three full innings allowing one earned run off two hits. A total of four relief pitchers came in after Deats with Pavin Parks coming in the ninth to finish it.

“Deats did well today he is a freshman with all the potential in the world,” Duncan said. “His best days are ahead of him and he can learn from his performance today to get better.”

The Flashes have been on the road the past 14 games and are looking forward to playing at home more this season.

“Playing at home is a different vibe,” Lewandowski said.”Being on your own turf in front of your own fans creates an overall better atmosphere. “This was a quality win over a good team and we expect to keep this rolling going into the weekend.”

The stage could not be better for a Kent State baseball home game. With the weather in the 40’s and perfect blue skies, it made for an ideal home opener at Schoonover Stadium.

“It felt great to get that win in our home opener,” said Pavin Parks.”The win brought us a lot of energy and it will hopefully push us to work harder in these next few games at home. “We expect guys to continue to step up and today showed that.”

Kent State will continue the homestand this weekend with a three-game series against Northwestern. The series will start on Friday with a doubleheader to follow on Saturday. Northwestern comes into Kent with a 5-9 record, coming off a 9-0 victory over Division III MacMurray college.

“We have learned a lot this year,” Duncan said.” Knowing we are in games halfway through we just have to finish. “Our team knows we have to finish and we look forward to a good Northwestern team to come and compete.”

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