Baseball completes two sweeps

Red-shirt senior right hand pitcher Eli Martin pitches a strike against a player from Youngstown State University Wednesday April 13, 2016. The Flashes would go on to win 5-2.

Zach Harley

Kent State baseball (30-10) continued their winning ways this weekend as the Flashes took their second-straight conference sweep and ninth-straight victory when they traveled down to Ohio University (17-22) for a three-game set.

Junior Eric Lauer pitched game one of Saturday’s double-header. The lefty shut out the Bobcats through six and two-thirds scoreless innings, striking out six Ohio batters in the process and upping his total strike-out numbers to 80.

Saturday’s 6-0 game one victory turned out to be Lauer’s ninth-straight outing, where he gave up one run or fewer through at least five innings and his first since the first outing of the year against the reigning champion, the University of Virginia Cavaliers.

Because of that fact, Lauer now owns the second-lowest ERA in NCAA baseball holding a 0.81 ERA, only sitting behind Clemson’s junior left-handed pitcher Patt Krall, who holds a 0.79 ERA.

In game two of Saturday’s twin-bill it was junior pitcher Andy Ravel who dazzled once again—matching Lauer almost step for step in the process—coasting his way to a 8-0 victory.

Ravel’s game two stats compared to Ravel’s game one are almost identical: Each ended their outings with the same stat-line and each struck out six Bobcat batters and walking two. Each Kent State pitcher also allowed four hits.

The only difference in the stat-lines was Ravel going six innings while Lauer recorded two more outs.

Ravel and Lauer sparked the team to a 2-0 series lead, but the pitching wasn’t the only outstanding portion of the day. The bats made their own headlines as well.

Kent State managed 14 runs on Saturday, combining for the most runs in a double-header this season for the Flashes.

Leading the offense both games was a mix of Flashes between games one and two.

Redshirt-junior outfielder Luke Burch continued his 2016 tear, upping his average once again to .333 on the season with a 4-8 game in the second game of the two.

The catcher position stood out in both games, though, as freshman catcher Pete Schuler put one out of the yard in game one for his first home run of the year that brought in three runs in the process.

In game two it was sophomore DalPorto who put together a 3-5 day, with three runs batted in of his own.

On the weekend the Flashes managed 26 hits after a nine-hit ballgame in Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Bobcats, scoring a total of 20 runs in the three-game sweep as well.

After the weekend sweep, the Flashes now sit a game and a half above the Miami University for first place in the MAC East and two games ahead of Ball State University for the conference lead.

Kent State will travel over to Penn State University on Wednesday for a rematch of last week’s 10-9 victory of the Nittany Lions.

Freshman starter Connor Wollersheim will face Penn State for the second-straight start after allowing only one earned run last week.

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