Baseball team hosts Buffalo in MAC series


Sophomore outfielder Troy Summers hits a foul ball March 25.. Photo by Grace Jelinek.

Tim Dorst

The Kent State baseball team will look to continue its success in the Mid-American Conference after starting the season with a perfect conference record.

The Flashes will take on MAC rival Buffalo in a three-game weekend series starting Friday afternoon at Schoonover Stadium. Kent State holds a 6-0 MAC record following back-to-back weekend sweeps of Northern Illinois and Ball State.

Coach Scott Stricklin said he wants his team to take advantage of the home games to extend its lead in the MAC East division.

“Anytime you’re at home, it’s important to go out and win the series,” Stricklin said. “We have a lead in our division, and we need to do our best to continue to add to that lead.”

The 15-13 Flashes are coming off of a solid 8-4 road victory over Toledo Wednesday. The Flashes are 3-2 at home, dropping their last home game to Penn State, 9-7, Tuesday.

The Bulls (7-16, 1-4 MAC) come into the series on a six-game losing streak and have dropped 10 of their last 11 games.

In the last meeting between the two teams, Kent State defeated Buffalo 7-0 at home April 23 of last year. The Flashes lead the all-time series 32-5.

Senior left-handed pitcher David Starn will start for the Flashes in the series opener Friday. Starn is 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA and is seven strikeouts away from breaking the Kent State school record for career strikeouts.

Stricklin said it is only a matter of time before Starn breaks the school record.

“It just shows us how consistent he’s been throughout his career,” Stricklin said. “He’s passed up some very good pitchers that have pitched here and guys who pitched in the major leagues. So it also shows how valuable he’s been to the program.”

Starn has compiled a team-leading 48 strikeouts this year and has 268 strikeouts for his career.

Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Bores will get the nod in Saturday’s game, and sophomore right-handed pitcher Tyler Skulina is scheduled to start on Sunday.

The Flashes have a team batting average of .301 this season, led by junior third baseman Nick Hamilton with an average of .508. Senior shortstop Jimmy Ryder, senior catcher David Lyon and junior center fielder Evan Campbell are tied for the team lead in home runs with three apiece.

The series opener begins at 3 p.m. Friday, with a 1 p.m. start time for the games Saturday and Sunday.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected] and @TimmyD_DKS.