Baseball regains footing on offense, secures two wins


Kent State junior Zarely Zalewski hits a ball foul, but scores two runs later during Kent State’s 12-6 win over Youngstown State at Schoonover Stadium on Tuesday, March 31, 2015. With this week’s wins, Kent improves its record to 14-11 as they head into a weekend of games on the road.

Jimmy Miller

After a week when a stagnant offense plagued the Flashes, Kent State baseball regained some savvy at the plate—and earned a pair of wins in the process.

Kent State (14-11, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) defeated both Youngstown State and Penn State, two opponents the Flashes have scheduled for later in the season. The Flashes trounced the Penguins 12-6 at home, and then turned around the next day and edged the Nittany Lions 9-7.

Tuesday, March 31: Kent State 12, Youngstown State 6

Things looked bleak for the Flashes early on: the Penguins opened up the contest with three runs in the first inning, and then they blanked the Kent State offense when the Flashes had their first turn at the plate.

But freshman Brad Hamilton, who had yet to record a career collegiate hit, lined a single and knocked in an RBI.

The Penguins struck back again in the fourth inning, but the Flashes worked from the 6-2 deficit and ignited for a five-run fifth inning, and a five-run eighth inning. The Penguins would go scoreless for the rest of the game, as freshman pitcher Chris Martin picked up his first win of the year and freshman Zach Willeman registered his fifth save of the season.

Hamilton would finish the day with three hits and four RBI, and sophomores Zach Beckner and Conner Simonetti registered two hits apiece.

Wednesday, April 1: Kent State 9, Penn State 5

Once again, the Flashes presented a high-octane offense versus the Nittany Lions. This time, however, Kent State wouldn’t have to work from behind, as the Flashes put up three runs to open the first inning.

Penn State would tie the game in the fifth inning at 5-5, but the Flashes would break it open again when Simonetti hit a two-run double. Kent State would score three more times in the contest, and held off a ninth-inning Penn State surge. The Nittany Lions threatened to take back the game by tacking on two late runs, but the Flashes stopped them there and held on for the victory.

The Flashes head to Northern Illinois on Friday for a three-game weekend series versus conference foe Northern Illinois. The Huskies dropped a 13-11 contest to Milwaukee on Tuesday, but possess a 4-2 conference record.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].