Baseball to face Pitt in home opener


Then sophomore pitcher Eric Lauer pitches in a doubleheader against Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, March 29, 2015. The Flashes beat the Eagles 8-6 in the first game.

Zach Harley

Baseball will return to the Kent State campus tomorrow as the Flashes, currently riding a 10-game win streak, will welcome the University of Pittsburgh for the only time this season.

The Flashes have not dropped a home-opener under the reign of Jeff Duncan and have yet to lose an opener since 2010, when they dropped a game to Duquesne University, 3-1.

Kent State faced Pittsburgh once last year, beating the Panthers 1-0. Junior Jared Skolnicki came away with the win, going 6.2 innings and striking out five while keeping it scoreless. Junior Conner Simonetti provided the only run with a dinger to left.

Simonetti hopes he can replicate that effort in this year’s home-opener, as he has had a rough start managing a .250 average without a home run.

Slated to pitch for the Flashes is freshman Connor Wollersheim. The lefty has started one other game this year, going up against the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Wollersheim provided a mediocre day on the mound, staying out there for 3.2 innings while allowing three runs on four hits and walking four.

Wednesday’s game will start the Flashes’ first game of their four-in-five stretch, where after the one-gamer against the Panthers, they’ll travel down to Virginia to take on Liberty University.

The Flashes have been hot as of late. After dropping their first three games, they haven’t lost one.

Coming in 10-3 and riding a 10-game win streak, the Flashes have averaged 7.5 runs per game which would place them in the Top 50 if it were on a full-season scale.

Accompanying the offense is the pitching, which, over that same stretch, has provided a 3.8 ERA slightly higher than their season ERA of 3.42, which ranks 63rd in the nation.

Looking to keep addng to those 7.5 runs per game is senior Zarley Zalewski, who’s riding a .400 average while putting two over the fence and totaling 30 bases this season.

Going forward, the Flashes will lean on what they always have; pitching and base-hits. They don’t hit home-runs, but they wouldn’t mind a couple more to keep this streak going.

The Flashes will face off against Pittsburgh tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Schoonover Stadium.

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