Flashes cool off after early innings, four-game win streak snapped


Senior Brad Hamilton heads toward first base after a base hit during the second game of Kent State’s doubleheader against Northern Illinois on April 13, 2018. The Flashes won the game, 7-2. 

Ian Kreider

The Kent State baseball started Tuesday’s game at Wright State in unfamiliar territory, down, 2-0, after the first inning in an opposing stadium against a team they had not played since March 26, 2014.

Kent State (28-13, 13-5 Mid-American Conference) quickly realized Wright State (29-13, 16-5 Horizon League) came to play. Not only did the Raiders grab the early lead off two singles and an error, they also held the Flashes scoreless through the first inning, a feat that few teams have accomplished recently.

Kent State responded in the top of the second as they scored four two-out runs. A patient at-bat by senior left fielder Reilly Hawkins resulted in a bases loaded walk that put the Flashes on the board. Senior center fielder Mason Mamarella drove in the remaining three runs of the inning after he smacked the ball to center field for a double as Kent State took a 4-2 lead.

However, the Raiders showed why they had an 11-2 record at home heading into today’s contest, as they responded by scoring one run apiece in the second and third innings to knot it up, 4-4. Two innings later, they were able to take a commanding lead as they scored four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take an 8-4 lead.

“On the mound, we didn’t get ahead of hitters like we have been,” Kent State coach Jeff Duncan said. “It felt like a bit more of a grind today.”

Kent State had limited their opponents to three or fewer runs in each game during the team’s four-game win streak. The Flashes threw a variety of pitchers after the tough fifth inning, and they held the Raiders scoreless for the remainder of the game.

The offense was only able to muster two more runs in the sixth and seventh en route to an 8-6 loss, as the Flashes four-game win streak was snapped.  

“The wind was blowing pretty good to left center, and they hit a couple more balls to left center,” Duncan said.

Kent State will be blown back home for a quick turnaround, as they play against Walsh (22-19, 14-10 Great Midwest Athletic Conference) at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Schoonover Stadium.

Ian Kreider is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].