KSU baseball bats strong to defeat Youngstown 14-4

Tim Dorst

A cold and rainy afternoon forced the first game of a scheduled doubleheader to be cancelled, but the Flashes’ bats heated things up in the second game.

The Kent State baseball team defeated the Youngstown State Penguins 14-4 at Schoonover Stadium Wednesday to win the only matchup between the two teams this season.

The Flashes (19-13) tallied 17 hits for the game, including eight doubles, and 11 Kent State batters recorded at least one hit. Only one Flashes batter struck out in the entire game.

Coach Scott Stricklin said he and the coaching staff challenged the players before the game to show better discipline at the plate.

“We wanted to make sure that our guys were getting after it and focusing with every at-bat,” Stricklin said. “I thought we did a much better job at that, and that’s what we need to do to continue to get better.”

The Flashes broke a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the third inning with an RBI double by freshman catcher Tommy Monnot. A pair of RBI singles by junior designated hitter Jason Bagoly and sophomore right fielder T.J. Sutton extended the Flashes’ lead to four.

Junior center fielder Evan Campbell capped off the third with an RBI double to left field, making it a six-run inning and an 8-2 lead for Kent State.

The Flashes tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Sophomore right fielder Troy Summers, who came into the game for Sutton, drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to center field. Freshman second baseman Sawyer Polen followed up with an RBI double to left center, and senior left fielder Joe Koch drove in Polen with a single.

Freshman center fielder Alex Miklos came in to replace Campbell in the lineup and smashed a double to deep center field to drive in Koch and extend the lead to 10. Miklos went 2-for-2 with three RBIs off the bench for the Flashes.

Miklos said it is always a good day when the team can put 14 runs on the scoreboard.

“The coaching staff has been stressing pitch selection and consistency among all our hitters,” Miklos said. “It was good to see everyone working and having good at-bats. Things are looking up, and it feels pretty good.”

Stricklin said it was nice to see players like Miklos and Polen come up with big hits, and he said he was pleased with the way his team played overall.

“I thought we were a little bit sloppy early, but overall, I thought we played well,” Stricklin said. “Our offense was effective, and our pitching was solid.”

Freshman left-handed pitcher Tim Faix made his first career start for the Flashes and allowed two runs on two hits in three innings pitched. Sophomore right-handed pitcher Dan Slavik pitched two innings of relief and allowed just one run on one hit to earn his first victory of the season.

The Flashes’ bullpen continued to provide strong support, as five relief pitchers allowed just two runs in six innings of work.

Kent State will now travel to Bowling Green for a three-game series this weekend against the Mid-American Conference-rival Falcons. The Flashes are 9-0 against MAC opponents this season.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].