Flashes escape with 7-6 win over Oregon in Super Regional

Tim Dorst

In its first ever Super Regional game, the Kent State baseball team withstood an Oregon rally

and came away with a 7-6 victory over the Ducks Saturday night.

The Flashes, who extended their winning streak to 21 games, are one win away from advancing

to Omaha, Neb. to compete in the College World Series for the first time in school history.

Oregon created some late-inning drama and threatened to steal the game away from the Flashes.

With Kent State leading 7-4 in the ninth-inning, the Ducks loaded the bases on two occasions

and scored twice to cut the lead to one.

With the winning run on second base and two outs, Oregon shortstop J.J. Altobelli belted a lining

fly ball to deep center field, but junior center fielder Evan Campbell made a spectacular over-the-

shoulder catch to rob Altobelli of a double and end the game.

Kent State earned the win despite a season-high 11 walks recorded by the Flashes’ pitching staff.

Starting pitcher David Starn accounted for seven walks, a career-high for him, but struck out

five batters in six and a third innings to get the win. Freshman right-handed pitcher Josh Pierce

recorded the save.

The Flashes scored the first runs of the game in the third inning. Senior shortstop Jimmy Rider

hit an RBI single to left field and later scored on a throwing error. Rider went 2-5 in the game

with two RBIs and two runs scored.

Sophomore right fielder T.J. Sutton led off the fourth inning with a double to right field, and

freshman third baseman Sawyer Polen drove Sutton in with an RBI single. The Flashes added

two more runs in the fifth inning to take a 5-1 lead.

Oregon began to make a comeback in the bottom of the fifth, scoring a run on a sacrifice fly. The

Ducks scored a run in the sixth inning and another in the seventh to cut into the deficit.

The Flashes responded in the top of the eighth inning, when Oregon left fielder Aaron Jones

misplayed a ball hit by freshman left fielder Alex Miklos. Kent State scored two runs on the play

to extend the lead back to three.

Kent State will take on Oregon again Sunday night with a chance to secure a spot in the College

World Series. The game will start at 10 p.m. ET and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].