Baseball pulls out win over Penn State

Freshman catcher Pete Schuler slides into home on Wednesday April 20, 2016. Kent beat Penn State 10-9.

Zach Harley

The bats were active in Wednesday’s home game against the Penn State Nittany Lions, as the Kent State Flashes engaged in an offensive showcase before managing to squeak out a 10-9 victory.

A combined 29 base hits between the two squads led to a total of 19 runs in the ballgame, which is the third most combined runs in a Kent State baseball game all season. The other two highest run totals came against Central Michigan, when the Flashes posted 10 runs and 17 runs against the Chippewas. 

The Kent State offensive production was spread throughout the lineup, featuring two three-hit performances in junior first baseman Conner Simonetti and freshman catcher Pete Schuler, who has quietly put together a decent first season by batting .268 with 14 RBIs.

The Flashes only out-hit the Nittany Lions by two, posting 15 while allowing Penn State to accumulate 13 hits in the ballgame.

The deciding hit in the game ended up belonging to none other than the reigning MAC Player of the Week Conner Simonetti, who ripped a solo home run to right field to put the Flashes up two runs and make it a 10-8 ballgame.

Simonetti’s solo shot was the only thing keeping this ballgame from going into the bottom of the ninth and extras as the Nittany Lions managed to put a scare into the Flashes in the top half of the ninth.

Sophomore pitcher Zach Willeman was the man Jeff Duncan called on to close out the two run game and up the Flashes’ record to 27-10. This proved to be a smart move, but started out worrisome as Penn State was able to load up the bases with the potential to tie or even take the lead.

A passed ball from Willeman was the only hiccup that allowed any real damage as the sophomore righty was able to shut the inning down with the ultimate outcome of a win and a step closer to claiming the Mid-American Conference regular season crown.

Freshman pitcher Connor Wollersheim, who as of late has been their midday ace-in-the-hole, started the game today with another solid start. Unfortunately, a few errors helped the Nittany Lions plate three unearned runs against the young pitcher.

Wollersheim pitched a solid start, going five innings, allowing six hits while striking out only two—which adds up to his lowest strikeout total in a game since March 16 against Pittsburgh.

Wollersheim will walk away with a no-decision, as redshirt-sophomore Zach Spangler will walk away with his third win of the season. As for the Flashes, they’ll move to 27-10 and hold an out of conference record of 18-7.

Next up for Kent State is the Ohio University Bobcats as the Flashes try to extend their current win streak of six straight games.

Zach Harley is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]