Baseball sweeps Russmatt Invitational


Sophomore Pitcher Andy Ravel pitching a ball against a Ball State University batter. The Flashes won 11 to 7. April 12, 2015.

Zach Harley

Winter Haven, Florida, was good to the Flashes this weekend as Kent State’s baseball team (4-3) swept their way through the Russmatt Invitational.

After losing three-straight games last weekend in the Caravelle Resort Tournament, a new week was exactly what Kent State needed.

The Flashes started off Friday against George Washington University, rallying late to force extra innings and putting up three runs in the eleventh inning to lock down their first win of the season.

A two-team double-header was next up as the Flashes took on Ball State University in the opening game and George Washington again in the latter portion of the day.

Kent State took care of business against Ball State, thanks in part to sophomore Eli Kraus. Kraus started the game giving the Flashes five solid innings and ringing up seven, only allowing one run on six hits. Redshirt senior Eli Martin entered for relief duties, throwing a solid 3.2 innings and allowing only one run. 

Next up was George Washington, a team the Flashes had beaten the night before. The winning streak would continue as redshirt junior Luke Burch and junior Zach Beckner led the way, combining to go eight-for-nine with five RBI. 

Sunday’s game was a struggle for the rotatio, and a tale of two innings for the Flashes. Down 3-0, Kent State put up four runs in the bottom of the sixth to take their first lead of the game.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tied the game in the top half the eighth inning, but the Flashes answered right back in the bottom half by throwing up three more on the board. Seven runs proved to be enough and the weekend sweep was in the books – four-straight wins after three-straight losses the weekend prior.

The bats were out in full swing, scoring no less than six runs per game with the line-up totaling a .326 average over the weekend.

Burch led the Flashes on the offensive side, going 9-of-19 over the weekend, as well as hitting for seven RBI’s and stealing a couple bases in the process.

The pitchers did their job, only giving up 4.25 runs per game and setting the team up for success, as opposed to last weekend where they gave up almost six runs a game.

Kent State will head to Charlotte, North Carolina, on Thursday to start a three-game set against the University of Charlotte (4-3).

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