Schuler’s late home run keeps Flashes alive


Kent State starting pitcher Jared Skolnicki throws a pitch to a Pittsburgh batter during the Flashes’ 2-0 win over Pittsburgh on April 18, 2018. Kent State swept the two-game season series against the Panthers.

Ariel Stahler

With New Mexico State leading 1-0 in the eighth inning of the NCAA Lubbock Regionals elimination game, the end of the season seemed likely for Kent State.

Pete Schuler changed all that, however, as his two-run home run in the eighth inning gave the Flashes a 2-1 lead, the margin they would go on to win by.

It was a duel between starters Jared Skolnicki, and Kyle Bradish that kept the game scoreless until the sixth inning.

Excellent defense from the Flashes also played a part. New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales was thrown out at home to end the second inning, while a Caleb Henderon double play induced by Skolnicki with the bases loaded ended the third.

The Aggies scored the first run of the game in the sixth when Henderson hit a double to left center to score Marcus Still from second base.

The aforementioned double ended Skolnicki’s day. He scattered six hits over five 1/3 innings. 

The Flashes finally broke through against The Aggies in the eighth inning. Bradish was pulled for reliever Brock Whittlesey after after allowing a one-out walk to Pavin Parks. Whittlesey proved to be The Aggies undoing, as Schuler  sent Whittlesey’s first pitch over the right field fence to give the Flashes a two to one lead.

New Mexico State continued to battle against Kent State closer Collin Romel in the ninth. Tristen Carranza was hit by a pitch and was replaced by pinch runner David Bellamy, but was promptly thrown out on a Gonzales bunt. With two outs and two runners on, Braden Williams hit the ball to first, where Michael Turner grabbed it on one hop and took it to the bag for the last out.

The Flashes will face the loser of the Texas Tech/Louisville game Sunday at 3 p.m.

Ariel Stahler is a sports reporter. Contact her at [email protected].