Baseball team defeats Pittsburgh, 9-5

Sophomore Jason Bagoly went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.

Sophomore Jason Bagoly went 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs.

A.J. Atkinson

A resilient offense found its strength from unexpected spots in the lineup during Wednesday’s game against Pittsburgh.

Backup catcher Jason Bagoly and George Roberts, platoon sophomore first baseman, combined for seven of the Flashes’ 13 hits in the 9-5 win over the Panthers.

“You can be rest assured those guys are going to get more opportunities,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “You get a chance and you make the most of them, you’re going to get more chances.”

The sophomore catcher led the team with four hits in five at-bats with a run and one run batted in — quite the turnaround from the beginning of the year when Bagoly struck out six of his first seven at-bats this season.

Bagoly said he just took the positives of each at bat.

“I try to not look into the negatives,” Bagoly said. “If I played a game and went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts and a ground ball, the positive is I hit a groundball. I’d just try and keep building on that with more positive at-bats.”

Stricklin said he was happy to see another offensive threat developing in the lineup.

Final score

Kent State: 9

Pittsburgh: 5

Game highlights

  • Jason Bagoly finished 4-for-5 with a double and two RBIs for the Flashes
  • Jimmy Rider went 2-for-3 with 2 runs
  • The Flashes are 17-10

“That’s the Jason Bagoly that we recruited,” Stricklin said. “We felt like he was going to be like that from the get-go. It’s been a slow start for him, but his last three weeks he’s been swinging the bat real well.”

In Wednesday’s game, Bagoly hit 0-for-4.

Two spots down in the lineup was sophomore George Roberts. After getting his first two hits and run batted in of the season Tuesday against Penn State, Roberts added three more hits and another RBI against Pittsburgh.

Kent State was slow to get going at the beginning of the game. The Panthers led 2-0 and held the Flashes scoreless for five innings. Bagoly broke the score in the sixth when he hit a double down the right field line, scoring the designated hitter, junior David Lyon, from first base.

The double was Bagoly’s second of the season.

Pittsburgh regained the lead with two runs in the top of the seventh inning, while Kent State answered with two runs in the seventh and four in the eighth to take a 9-4 lead.

Pittsburgh added a run in the ninth before Kyle McMillen appeared to record the final out and pick up his sixth save of the season.

Reliever Justin Gill was credited with the win, improving to 2-0 on the season. The senior pitched one and two-thirds innings, gave up one hit and struck out three.

“We had a slow start, which was expected,” Stricklin said. “We got in at 1 a.m. last night from Penn State. Early on we couldn’t scratch any runs, but we had some good hits and good at-bats. We broke through and guys continued to stay in their approaches and have good at-bats.”

?The Flashes (17-10) return to Schoonover Field Friday to host a three-game series against conference opponent Eastern Michigan (18-10). Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m., Saturday’s game starts at 1 p.m. and Sunday’s at noon.

Contact A.J. Atkinson at [email protected]