Baseball sweeps Ball State in first MAC series

Kent+State+redshirt+junior+Robert+Ziegler+pitches+against+University+of+Pittsburgh+at+Schoonover+Stadium+on+Tuesday%2C+March+21%2C+2017.+Kent+State+won+7-6.

Kent State redshirt junior Robert Ziegler pitches against University of Pittsburgh at Schoonover Stadium on Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Kent State won 7-6.

Henry Palattella

The Kent State baseball team’s (15-6, 3-0 MAC) Mid-American Conference schedule opened about as well as they could have wanted it to this weekend, as the Flashes completed a sweep of Ball State (11-13, 0-3 MAC) Sunday.

The Flashes started the series off with a 6-5 win over Ball State on Friday before following that up with a 6-3 victory on Saturday. 

Junior Zach Willeman (4-2) set the tone early on the mound, throwing 5 1/3 innings. Willeman gave up three runs in those innings to go along with two strikeouts. 

Redshirt junior Jared Skolnicki (S, 1) followed Willeman’s solid outing up with 3 2/3 innings out of the bullpen, where he only allowed one hit.

On offense, Kent State was led by junior Tim DalPorto and redshirt junior Mason Mamarella, who each had three hits and one RBI. In total, five different Flashes recorded RBI’s in the victory.

The Flashes finished the sweep on Sunday with their 9-4 victory over the Cardinals. Pitching was once again the catalyst for the Flashes, as sophomore Joey Murray (3-0) struck out 11 in 5 1/3 innings. He was relived by sophomore Connor Wollersheim, who threw the final 3 2/3.

Mamarella once again made his presence known in the batter’s box, finishing with three hits and a team-high three RBI. Mamarella’s first RBI came in the second when he roped a triple down the right field line. His last two RBI came in the ninth inning on a single to center field. Redshirt senior Luke Burch scored on both hits. Burch finished with four hits.

Sophomore Pete Schuler and senior Sam Hurt each hit their first home run of the year in the victory.

The team takes on Purdue on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Henry Palattella is the sports editor, contact him at [email protected]