Baseball drops three in Myrtle Beach


The Kent State baseball team congratulates catcher/utility Tim DalPorto on his first collegiate home run in a doubleheader Eastern Michigan University on Sunday, March 29, 2015. The Flashes beat the Eagles 8-6 in the first game.

Zach Harley

Opening weekend in Myrtle Beach did not go as planned for the Flashes as Kent State’s baseball team went winless to start the 2016 season.

The pitching, expected to be dominant this year, was anything but as the team’s two aces, juniors Eric Lauer and Andy Ravel, combined for 10 innings, giving up three earned runs apiece and allowing nine hits with five walks. Ravel was the only starter this weekend to not finish with a decision.

Kent State was close in all three games, starting with a huge six-run ninth inning comeback against the University of Virginia, the defending College World Series champs. But it wasn’t enough to nudge the Flashes to victory. The Cavaliers took the opener 8-6.

A big ninth-inning rally led some to believe the line-up would take the momentum of sending 12 players to the plate on Friday into Saturday’s match-up against Old Dominion University, but the Flashes went on to get shut-out 2-0. No help came from the middle of the line-up as redshirt senior Alex Miklos, senior Zarley Zalewski and junior Conner Simonetti combined to go 2-12 over the course of the match-up. Only one batter in the starting nine drew a walk.

The final game of the three-day road-trip marked the first time all season where the Flashes led at any point in a game.

With only five players stepping to the plate in the bottom half of the fifth against North Carolina State University, freshman Pete Schuler managed the only hit of the inning with a double to center, scoring junior Dom Iero, who walked in the previous plate appearance.

The Wolfpack and Flashes swapped runs, forcing four different lead changes throughout the game, all coming within two full innings. The scoring started in the bottom of the fifth with a Schuler double and ended in the top half of the seventh, thanks to North Carolina State’s Joe Dunand’s double to left scoring the WolfPack’s seventh and final run of the game.

The Flashes dropped Sunday’s match-up by a score of 7-5, finalizing a winless weekend and losing all three match-ups by two runs.

Inconsistency on the offensive side may be cause for concern. The Flashes were only able to score in three different innings in their 21 total frames.

The team will practice at home this week.

The team’s next game will be Friday when they travel to Winter Haven, Florida, for four more games including two against George Washington University, followed by single games against Ball State University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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