Flashes drop midweek game to Nittany Lions



Kent outfielder T.J. Sutton slides into second base at Mural field on April 3 against Penn State. Kent State lost against the Nittany Lions 9-7. Photo by Brian Smith.

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In non-conference play, the Kent State baseball team fell behind Penn State early in the game Tuesday, and a late rally by the Flashes came up short.

The Nittany Lions defeated the Flashes 9-7 at Schoonover Stadium Tuesday afternoon, handing Kent State its second straight home loss.

The 14-13 Flashes couldn’t capitalize on opportunities to score, batting 6-for-24 with runners on base and leaving 12 potential runs on the base pads.

Penn State scored six of its nine runs in the first three innings, including three runs in the first inning to take the early advantage.

Trailing 6-2, the Flashes began to make a comeback in the bottom of the fifth inning when senior shortstop Jimmy Rider led off an inning with a double. Junior first baseman George Roberts and junior third baseman Nick Hamilton followed up with back-to-back RBI doubles to cut the Nittany Lions’ lead to two. Both Hamilton and Roberts batted 3-for-4 in the game.

With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, junior center fielder Evan Campbell blasted a solo home run, his third of the season, over the right field wall, making the score 6-5 in favor of Penn State. Campbell batted 2-for-6 and scored two runs.

The Nittany Lions answered in the top of the seventh inning with a two-run homer by designated hitter Joey DeBernardis and tacked on another run in the top of the ninth to extend their lead to four.

The Flashes began the bottom of the ninth with a leadoff double by Roberts, followed by walks from Hamilton and freshman catcher Tommy Monnot to load the bases. Junior Jason Bagoly pinch hit for senior left fielder Joe Koch and hit a two-run single with one out in the inning to bring the Flashes within two again.

With a chance to tie the game or take the lead, sophomore second baseman Derek Toadvine struck out swinging, and Campbell grounded out to end the game.

Sophomore left-handed pitcher Michael Clark struggled in his start for Kent State and suffered his third loss of the season. Clark allowed six runs on six hits and walked three batters in four innings pitched.

The Flashes will be on the road again Wednesday as they take on the University of Toledo Rockets in a rematch from last week. The Rockets defeated the Flashes 4-3 in 12 innings on March 27. Game time for Wednesday’s game is 3 p.m.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected] or @TimmyD_DKS