Baseball team earns a one-run victory

A.J. Atkinson

Another late inning run led to a 7-6 win for the Kent State baseball team on Tuesday.

Similar to Friday’s game, the Flashes scored a run in the eighth to setup their closer for the save.

“You have to come up with big hits late in the game, and we’ve been able to do that,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said.

With a 6-6 tie in the eighth, junior centerfielder Evan Campbell got in position to score the go ahead run in Tuesday’s game after forcing a one out walk. Sophomore George Roberts then followed with an RBI double to center field to put the Flashes ahead 7-6.

The hit was Roberts’ second of the year, with the first coming earlier in the game, and first run batted in of the 2011 season.

“It was great to see George bat like that,” Stricklin said.

Junior Kyle McMillen then came in to pitch the ninth and closed it out for his fifth save of the season.

The Flashes held a large lead for five innings, up 6-1 after right fielder Ben Klafczynski’s grand slam in the fourth. The home run was the senior’s seventh of the season and fourth grand slam of his career.

Kent State’s pitchers cruised until the fifth when the Nittany Lions scored five runs off Kent State reliever Spencer Bryant. The freshman fell behind in the count, allowing Penn State batters to expect fastballs and tie the game 6-6.

“We put them in hitting counts and they did a good job of getting good pitches to hit and hitting them hard,” Stricklin said. “Basically, they did a good job as hitters.”

Stricklin said using five pitchers in the game was part of the plan.

“Our starting pitching has been so good during the weekends that they’ve taken a lot of innings away,” Stricklin said. “Some of the guys in the bullpen need to get their work, so that was certainly planned today.”

Overall, Stricklin said he was happy with his team’s performance and hopes they play the same in Wednesday’s 3 p.m. game against Pittsburgh at Schoonover Field.

Contact A.J. Atkinson at [email protected]