Flashes baseball to take part in College of Charleston Tournament

Outfielder+Alex+Miklos+is+ousted+at+second+base+by+Niagara+player+Thomas+Rodrigues+at+Schoonover+Stadium+Tuesday+April+16%2C+2013.+Kent+State+is+competing+against+the+College+of+Charleston%2C+Univeristy+of+Michigan+and+Appalacian+State+Univeristy+in+the+College+of+Charleston+tournament+starting+Friday%2C+March+14%2C+2014+in+Charleston%2C+SC.

Outfielder Alex Miklos is ousted at second base by Niagara player Thomas Rodrigues at Schoonover Stadium Tuesday April 16, 2013. Kent State is competing against the College of Charleston, Univeristy of Michigan and Appalacian State Univeristy in the College of Charleston tournament starting Friday, March 14, 2014 in Charleston, SC.

Richie Mulhall

The Kent State baseball team will head to Charleston, S.C., this weekend to participate in the College of Charleston Tournament at the College of Charleston Baseball Stadium at Patriot’s Point.

In the tournament, the Flashes (7-6) will play a three-game series against host College of Charleston (13-3) Friday, Appalachian State (4-13) Saturday and Michigan (6-10-1) Sunday in a three-game series.

Kent State is coming off a three-game sweep, the victim of Liberty University (12-6) last weekend in Lynchburg, Va.

The first game on Friday between these two ball clubs was canceled, so they played a doubleheader the following day. In the opening matchup, the Flashes fell 2-6 to the host Liberty Flames. Junior starting pitcher Brian Clark (1-3) was credited with the loss. He went 5.2 innings and gave up six hits, two runs, two walks and four strikeouts. 

In the second game of the double header, Kent State claimed the lead early in the second inning when sophomore slugger Zarley Zalewski, who leads the team in hitting this season with 24 hits, a .436 batting average and a .527 slugging percentage, kicked off the inning with a walking and eventually scored the Flashes’ first points of the ball game when junior Tommy Monnot drove in the run with an RBI single.

Kent State stretched the lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning when Monnot picked up a second RBI off a double to left-center field, bringing home redshirt senior first baseman Cody Koch, who reached on a walk earlier in the inning.

Liberty came back in their half of the inning with two runs of their own and added two more in the seventh and eighth innings to steal the lead from the Flashes and go on to win the second part of the double header 4-2.

In his first loss of the season, up-and-coming sophomore pitcher Eric Lauer (3-1) provided a bright spot on the mound for the Flashes, throwing the most innings of his collegiate career in his start Saturday and recording a career-high seven strikeouts.

In the three-game series finale, Kent State racked up eight hits in the ball game, but couldn’t make those hits count with runners in scoring position. The team was just 1-for-13 from the plate with runners in

scoring position.

The Flashes had solid looks at the scoreboard all night long, but couldn’t capitalize on numerous opportunities to score.

Kent State had good opportunities to score in both the second and ninth innings with runners in scoring position at second and third base, but a strikeout in the second and a strikeout and flyout in the ninth doomed the Flashes and could not push the runners across to score.

The only run of the night came on an RBI double from senior T.J. Sutton, who ultimately could not be brought home after his double.

Freshman pitcher Andy Ravel (1-1) held his own in the first inning, striking out a batter in his first career start, but he struggled the rest of the game. He only saw two innings with five hits, five earned runs, four walks and two strikeouts.

This Friday, the Flashes will face a talented baseball team in the College of Charleston. 

The Cougars already won 13 games this season and are currently riding a three-game winning streak; the team’s most recent win was against Jacksonville at home Tuesday. In that game, the Cougars narrowly won 4-3.

Appalachian State and Michigan have had a rougher go of it than the Flashes and Cougars this season, only winning four and six games, respectively, so far this season. 

The first pitch of Friday afternoon’s game is set for 4 p.m. Saturday, and Sunday’s games will begin at 11 a.m. 

Contact Richie Mulhall at [email protected].