Five Flashes pitchers dominate Canisius in bounce-back win

Senior+Mason+Mamarella+swings+at+a+pitch+against+Canisius+on+April+11%2C+2018.+The+Flashes+held+off+a+furious+ninth-inning+comeback+from+the+Griffins+to+win%2C+13-11.+%5BFILE%5D

Senior Mason Mamarella swings at a pitch against Canisius on April 11, 2018. The Flashes held off a furious ninth-inning comeback from the Griffins to win, 13-11. [FILE]

Ian Kreider

Where Kent State struggled to close the door twice in last weekend’s series loss against Ohio, the Flashes responded Tuesday by dominating early and keeping their intensity up for nine innings in a 10-1 win over Canisius.

“Saturday and Sunday were very similar,” Kent State coach Jeff Duncan said. “It was just one of those things where we didn’t finish the deal. You learn from it and move on.”

The Flashes have not lost three straight games this season, and that didn’t change on Tuesday. The Flashes held Canisius (21-15, 10-5 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) scoreless through the first four innings. Freshman pitcher Ryan Lane came to play; over five innings, he allowed only one run on three hits.

The Flashes early offensive efficiency helped Lane gain confidence as Kent State (25-12, 10-5 Mid-American Conference) secured a 5-0 lead through three innings. Senior left fielder Reilly Hawkins drove in the first run of the day after a double to right field. The Flashes added another run later in the inning when junior shortstop Josh Hollander hit an infield single, which scored junior infielder Pete Schuler.

Hawkins would drive in two more runs in the fourth inning on a double to left to increase the lead to 4-0. He would score on the next at-bat as Schuler smacked a double to right field.

“I thought there was a sense of urgency today,” Duncan said.

Lane was pulled after five innings, and four other pitchers combined to dominate the Golden Griffins throughout the rest of the game. Junior John Schreiber, freshman Tyler Drabick, freshman Jack Zimmerman and sophomore John Matthews combined to pitch four scoreless innings, while allowing only three hits. The offense went on to add five more insurance runs, and the Flashes won in dominating fashion, 10-1, for their ninth win in 11 games.

The Flashes will take on Toledo (14-22, 8-7 MAC) for a three-game weekend series, starting at 3:05 p.m. Friday at Scott Park Field. Toledo took two out of three games against Ohio earlier this season.

“They’re tough, they’re older and they always play us well, so we have a good challenge ahead of us, and we’re excited for it,” Duncan said.

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