Kraus pitches shutout in first round MAC tournament win

Flashes+junior+LHP+Eli+Kraus+winds+up+for+a+pitch+during+the+first+round+game+of+the+MAC+Tournament+on+Wed.%2C+May+25%2C+2017.

Flashes’ junior LHP Eli Kraus winds up for a pitch during the first round game of the MAC Tournament on Wed., May 25, 2017.

Will Kovach

Although rainy, the day belonged to the Flashes Wednesday, as the baseball team won its first game of the Mid-American Conference Tournament with a 7-0 shutout against University of Toledo.

When Kent State left-handed pitcher Eli Kraus threw the final strikeout at the top of the ninth inning, the team poured out of the dugout and mobbed the junior.  

“(The win) was good for us,” Kraus said. “Anytime you get a win in the first game of the playoffs, you get a little momentum building, and hopefully we start to roll.”

The game was scoreless into the bottom of the third inning, until the Rockets’ left-handed pitcher Steven Calhoun walked Rosa on a 3-2 count with bases loaded, allowing sophomore infielder Josh Hollander to score the first run of the day. The Flashes didn’t score again until the bottom of the fifth inning after an RBI double by Mamarella sent Hollander to home plate.

During the top of the sixth inning, Mamarella made a jumping catch over the wall to save a home run by the Rockets, which would have been the team’s only score of the night.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Rosa hit a grand slam, allowing senior outfielder Luke Burch, Mamarella and junior outfielder Nick Kanavas to score, sealing the victory for the Flashes.

“It feels great (to pitch a shutout),” Kraus said. “Did you see that catch from Mamarella? That was unbelievable. I wouldn’t be able to do anything without our offense rolling through a really good pitcher.”

The Flashes move on to the next round, while the Rockets fall to the loser’s bracket. The Flashes’ next game is Thursday against Ball State University, airing on ESPN3 at 8 p.m.

Will Kovach is a sports reporter, contact him at [email protected]