Flashes baseball swept out of Buffalo

Kevin Battaglia

After riding a season-high five-game winning streak and first place in the Mid-American Conference, Kent State saw everything unravel over the weekend.

A week after sweeping Miami and claiming first place in the conference, Kent State (19-19, 9-6 MAC) fell to second place in the conference after being swept by Buffalo (21-16, 11-4 MAC) in a three-game series that ended Sunday in Buffalo, N.Y.

The sweep by Buffalo gives the Bulls sole possession of first place in the conference while Kent State is now tied in second place with Miami.

“It’s disappointing; a disappointing weekend,” Flashes head coach Scott Stricklin said after the series. “I give a lot of credit to Buffalo, they out-competed us and they deserved to win the series.”

After dropping the first two games of the series, the Flashes sent pitcher Casey Wilson to the mound to try to avoid the sweep in the third game. Wilson provided the Flashes with a solid performance, tossing seven innings and allowing three unearned runs, but Kent State lost 3-2.

The Bulls led 3-0 until Kent State managed to put the game within reach by scoring two runs off of a Zarley Zalewski single in the ninth inning.

Kent State finished scoring two runs on eight hits. The Bulls put together three runs on eight hits with both teams committing one error.

The second game was another one-run heartbreaker for the Flashes. The Bulls broke a 3-3 tie game in the eighth inning on a Mike Burke fly out to right field that scored Jon Mestas to give them a 4-3 final over Kent State.

The series started with a 6-5 Kent State loss. Despite having a 5-1 lead after an Evan Campbell grand-slam home run in the fifth inning, the Flashes’ bullpen surrendered five runs in the final four innings. The Bulls won the game in walk-off fashion when Mestas scored on a Mike Scarcello fielder’s choice to break a 5-5 tie.

“That set the tone for the weekend,” Stricklin said.

Contact Kevin Battaglia at [email protected].