Offense carries KSU baseball to sweep of Buffalo

Lance Lysowski

fense continued to carry the Flashes this weekend as the team swept Buffalo in a three-game road series.

“Anytime you go on the road it’s difficult to even win the series,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “It’s certainly very good for us to sweep Buffalo and help our chances in the Mid-American Conference.”

On Saturday, the Flashes played the Bulls in a doubleheader due to inclement weather. In the second game, Kent State held a 4-3 advantage heading into the seventh inning. Senior left fielder Anthony Gallas doubled to left center field and was driven in by sophomore second baseman Jimmy Rider’s two-out single. After the Bulls walked a batter, sophomore catcher David Lyon hit a two-run double to give the Flashes a 7-3 lead.

Gallas went 7-for-14 on the weekend with two home runs and seven runs batted in.

“The amazing thing is that the outs he recorded, he couldn’t have hit the ball harder,” Stricklin said. “His outs were loud and he had a great weekend for us. He continues to be a rock defensively for us in left field, a great senior and a great leader for this team.”

The Flashes added on an insurance run in the top of the ninth to secure the series sweep. Junior pitcher Kyle Hallock earned the victory with 5 2/3 innings pitched, three earned runs and two strikeouts.

The left-hander’s record improved to 4-3 with a 6.06 earned run average.

Stricklin said the team’s pitching staff had an impressive weekend on the road.

“I thought our pitching was solid, and our defense was very good,” Stricklin said. “(Sophomore pitcher) David Starn and Hallock had good outings, and continue to get better.”

After starting the season slow, the team’s pitching staff has continued to improve as the Flashes’ ERA is 5.01, compared to their opponents’ 6.71 ERA.

“We’ve become more consistent,” Stricklin said. “Our pitching staff battled this weekend. (Junior pitcher) Robert Sabo struggled a bit, but got us into the fifth inning of his start with a lead. We are continuing to get better.”

On Friday, the Flashes defeated the Bulls 9-4 behind Gallas’ four RBIs and six strikeouts by Starn, who earned his sixth win of the season.

Saturday’s first game was a 16-8 victory in favor of Kent State. Junior right fielder Ben Klafczynski’s grand slam in the sixth inning aided the Flashes’ victory. Klafczynski went 2-for-2 on the game with six RBIs.

The Flashes will travel to Youngstown State on Tuesday to face the Penguins at 5 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Lance Lysowski at [email protected].