Flashes’ baseball topple Toledo

Tim Dorst

In a rematch from last week, the Kent State baseball team defeated the University of Toledo Rockets 8-4 Wednesday to take a split of the season series.

The Flashes are now 15-13 this season and have won seven of their last 10 games.

Coach Scott Stricklin said he felt his team played much better than they did on Tuesday when the Flashes fell to Penn State.

“We swung the bats pretty well and put some runs on the board,” Stricklin said. “We had a good showing from our bullpen as well, so overall it was a good team win.”

The Flashes tallied 15 hits in the game, including three a piece from their No. 1 and No. 2 batters in the lineup.

Junior center fielder Evan Campbell batted 3-for-5 and drove in a run, while senior shortstop Jimmy Rider finished 3-for-6 and drove in two.

Kent State took advantage of two Toledo errors in the top of the second inning to take an early 3-0 lead. Campbell drove in a run on a groundout, and Rider doubled down the left field line to send home another.

The Flashes tacked on four more runs in the top of the sixth inning to extend their lead to 8-2. With two on and one out in the inning, Rider struck again, this time with a single down the right field line to drive in his second run of the game.

Senior catcher David Lyon smashed an RBI double into left field, and Rider later scored on a rare balk by the pitcher.

Junior third baseman Nick Hamilton made his second straight start since recovering from an injury and went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Stricklin said it was nice having him back on the field.

“We need all the offensive help we can get, and Nick is really swinging the bat well and finding ways to get on base,” Stricklin said.

Hamilton is batting a team-leading .508 average with 14 RBIs in 18 games this season for the Flashes.

The Rockets scored a run in the seventh inning and one in the ninth to cut the Flashes’ lead to four, but Toledo never came any closer than that.

Senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Mace earned his first win of the season for the Flashes. Mace pitched six innings, allowed two runs (one earned) on eight hits and struck out six.

Kent State will now prepare for a three-game home series against Mid-American Conference foe Buffalo this weekend. The Flashes have a perfect 6-0 record against MAC opponents this season. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].