Flashes record first win, lose three of four at San Diego



Nick Hamilton, junior infielder, hits the ball during the home game against Youngstown State University on April 11, 2012. The Flashes beat the Penguins 14-4. Photo by NANCY URCHAK

Kevin Battaglia

Kent State (1-7) is still trying to put all the pieces together early in the season as they finished the weekend losing three out of four games against San Diego (3-4) in San Diego, Calif.

The Flashes added yet another heartbreaking finish Friday when they dropped a 2-1 game, despite a strong effort from ace Tyler Skulina.

After getting roughed up on opening day by Virginia Tech, Skulina showed why he earned All-American and first-team Mid-American Conference honors. He bounced back to toss eight innings, giving up two hits, allowing no runs, while striking out six and walking two batters.

The Flashes took a 1-0 lead into the ninth inning thanks to a seventh-inning solo home run from centerfielder Evan Campbell. Unfortunately, the Toreros scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning off closer Eric Dorsch (0-2) to win the first game between the two teams.

Saturday featured two games with plenty of offense.

In game one, the Flashes fell 18-11 in game that both teams combined to produce 29 runs on 29 hits. The Flashes finished with 11 runs on 12 hits with two errors, but the Toreros scored 18 runs on 17 hits and four errors. Kent State had a number of players contribute on offense, highlighted by shortstop Derek Toadvine, who finished 1 for 4 batting, with five RBIs, two runs scored and a home run.

The Flashes regrouped after game one and put together strong pitching combined with offense to record their first win of the season 9-5.

Pitcher Taylor Williams (1-0), who was recently named MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week, stepped up when the team needed it most.

The junior tossed seven innings, giving up eight hits, five runs (three earned) and striking out eight without surrendering a walk.

The offense came to the aid of Williams. The Flashes had contributions from everyone in the lineup and used 13 hits to produce nine runs.

Last weekend, head coach Scott Stricklin said it was encouraging to see the freshmen produce in the lineup. Saturday’s second game showed a glimpse of what the future could hold for Kent State baseball.

Freshmen Justin Wagler and Zarley Zalewski combined to hit .500 (4 for 8), driving in four RBI, scoring three runs and belting two home runs. Designated hitter Jason Bagoly also had a solid game with two hits and three RBI.

The Flashes finished the weekend with a 14-2 loss Sunday that was sparked by an eight-run second inning for the Toreros. Kent State finished with two runs on seven hits. Campbell provided the offense for Kent State, going 3 for 5 with two RBI.

The Flashes will begin their next series at 4 p.m. Friday at Louisville.

Kevin Battaglia is the baseball reporter for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Kevin Battaglia at [email protected].