Kent State keeps hot streak alive against MAC opponent

Andrew Bugel

Kent State (19-12, 8-4) took two out of three games against Mid-American Conference foe Ball State this weekend during the season’s second home stand.

The Flashes kept momentum by winning the series, as they have won nine of their last 10 games overall.

The team had a lot to be proud of, especially the play from the offense.

“Our offense is very confident right now,” coach Jeff Duncan stated. “We’re growing and getting better and better, and we did an excellent job staying patient and staying resilient. We’re getting a lot of production.”

Friday, April 10: Kent State 3, Ball State 0

It was another strong performance by junior ace pitcher Nick Jensen-Clagg. Jensen-Clagg (6-3) threw a shutout, only allowing three hits and striking out five.

As a team, Kent State only managed three runs off of nine hits, but it was more than enough to get the job done.

The only runs Kent State scored were in the third inning after sophomore Corey Simonetti was hit by a pitch and sophomore Curtis Olvey hit a two-RBI single.

Saturday, April 11: Ball State 4, Kent State 2

The Flashes were going for their ninth-straight win Saturday, but it wasn’t meant to be as Ball State took the victory in the second game of the series.

Three runs in the fourth inning hurt Kent State as Ball State was able to pull away to a commanding 4-2 win.

Freshman Dylan Rosa homered to start the game for the Kent State offense, but they weren’t really able to capitalize on that the rest of the game.

Sophomore Eric Lauer (2-3) took the loss on the afternoon but only gave up one earned run and struck out 11 over the course of seven innings.

Kent State only registered four hits the entire way, and the only other run came off a Rosa fly out in the fifth inning.

Sunday, April 12: Kent State 11, Ball State 7

In the final game of the three-game series, sophomore pitcher Andy Ravel calmed down after allowing two early runs in the first two innings and pitched a gem en-route to his fifth victory of the season.

The offense did a good job giving Ravel run support during the afternoon.

Senior Sawyer Polen went 3-5 with five RBI, including a three-run double in the eighth inning to put it away for Kent State.

Junior Zarley Zalewski also added two RBI and had three hits of his own.

Ravel talked about calming down after his rough start and finding his groove.

“When things don’t start out your way, you just have to battle through it,” Ravel said. “We practice a lot of mental toughness.”

The bullpen struggled in the ninth inning, giving up five runs over the course of the last inning, but scored the win.

On the hot streak, Ravel said the team is just focusing one game at a time right now.

“We’re just taking it one game at a time and coming to the ballpark and playing hard everyday,” Ravel said.

Kent State will play the University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday at 3 p.m.

Contact Andrew Bugel at [email protected].