Kent State baseball team completes season sweep against No. 24 Pittsburgh

Lance Lysowski

Bagoly gets 4 hits, collects 4 RBIs

Last May, the Kent State baseball team upset nationally ranked Cal Poly in the NCAA Tournament.

Yesterday, the Flashes’ offense carried them to another win over a nationally ranked opponent as the Flashes defeated the No. 24 Pittsburgh Panthers 16-3.

Kent State held a 1-0 lead heading into the third inning when their offense took over. Senior center fielder Jared Humphreys led off the inning with a solo homerun, and six consecutive Flashes reached base.

Junior right fielder Ben Klafcyznski walked, followed by senior left fielder Anthony Gallas’s double down the left field line. Sophomore infielder Kyle McMillen followed with a two-run double to start the eight-run inning by the Flashes.

Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said his team’s offense continues to improve and was impressed with its outing yesterday.

“We put a lot of runs up on the board,” Stricklin said. “It was a week where our offense had to score to win games, and our offense really answered by putting up a lot of runs against a good Pittsburgh team.”

The Panthers answered in the bottom of the third with two runs, but Kent State (21-18, 7-5 Mid-American Conference) increased its lead in the fourth with runs batted in by freshman designated hitter Jason Bagoly and freshman shortstop Evan Campbell.

Bagoly, who filled in for junior infielder Brett Weibley, went four-for-six with four RBIs.

The freshman said the team’s second win over Pittsburgh (26-10) this season will give the Flashes belief that they can compete with any team in the MAC.

“It makes us feel a lot more confident when we get to a MAC game because we definitely know we can play with anybody,” Bagoly said. “We all feel a lot better, and we’re confident about our team.”

McMillen gave the Flashes a 13-2 lead in the fifth inning with a two-run single, and Kent State drove in three insurance runs in the ninth to secure the win. The win marks the second over the Panthers the season as the Flashes outscored Pittsburgh 35-9 over two contests.

Stricklin said he hopes the victory will carry into this weekend’s conference series against Buffalo.

“When you’re playing mid-week, you just want to give yourself some momentum coming into the upcoming conference weekend too,” Stricklin said. “I wouldn’t say it was our best game offensively, but it was very good. We are swinging the bats better, and I think our bats are warming up as we move along. Hopefully we continue that trend.”

Junior pitcher Brennan Glass improved his record to 3-0 in his fifth start of the season, surrendering one earned run on two hits and six walks.

Although Glass aided Kent State’s victory, Stricklin said the junior struggled at times against the Big East opponent.

“He kept them off the scoreboard, but he struggled with his command a little bit,” Stricklin said. “Overall, it was a positive outing because he kept a team that is one of the top offensive teams in the country off the scoreboard.”

The Flashes will continue conference play Friday with a three-game weekend road series at Buffalo (16-17, 4-8 MAC).

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].