Spring Flashes find success

Jody Michael

Sophomore Martina Gavier hugs freshmen Mercedes Germino after Germino made her last putt on the 18th hole, to become the Mid-American Conference individual medalist. Rachel Kilroy | Summer Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

The success of the spring sports teams continued through the end of their seasons and spurred the Kent State men’s sports teams to earn the Mid-American Conference’s Reese Trophy, which is given to the conference’s most dominant men’s athletic program. Kent State’s women’s athletic program finished second in competing for the Jacoby Trophy. This spring saw tournament championships from the baseball team and both the men’s and women’s golf teams, along with appearances at the NCAA Championships by three track and field athletes.

Here’s an in-depth recap at how each team finished its season:


The baseball team recovered from a rough 2-6 stretch late in the regular season to win its final two games before heading to the MAC Tournament in Chillicothe, Ohio, where it won all four of its contests, earning a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The final game of the regular season on May 16 ended excitingly, as Kent State scored seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat Miami.

Placed in the Tempe Regional, the Flashes faced stiff competition and couldn’t pull through. Kent State saw a 17-6 defeat to regional host, third-ranked Arizona State; a 10-9 win over Cal Poly; and a 15-10 loss to Oral Roberts, eliminating Kent State from the tournament.

Although there is disappointment from the inability to advance out of regionals, the team’s record of 43-17 gives this year’s Flashes the third most wins in school history, and the team realizes that’s nothing to be ashamed of.

Seven Kent State baseball players were selected in the MLB Draft last week. The Cleveland Indians selected two KSU pitchers – Kyle Smith and Robert Sabo – whereas Jon Pokorny was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers and Brad Stillings, the earliest-selected Kent State player, went to the Minnesota Twins in the seventh round. Position players Chris Tremblay, Greg Rohan, and Jason Patton were respectively picked by the San Diego Padres, Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Patton had an impressive year of improvement. Given the opportunity to start regularly this season, he took advantage by hitting .330, much better than last year’s .260 average. He and Rohan led the team with 15 home runs.

While Jared Humphreys had a year of experience starting at second base, he was another player that boosted many of his statistics, hitting .339 with eight home runs, 61 runs batted in (second only to Rohan’s 63), and a team-leading 23 stolen bases.

The offensive statistics run all the way down Kent State’s lineup and led to the Flashes currently being ranked eighth nationally with 542 runs scored this season, an average of nine per game.

Stillings, a junior, was the Flashes’ go-to pitcher this year. His 6-4 record and 7.52 ERA aren’t fantastic, but the Twins certainly noticed both his 75 strikeouts in 73 innings and the no-hitter that he threw in Toledo on April 10. It was the tenth no-hitter in Kent State history.

The 2010 Flashes will look quite different with the loss of eight seniors and possibly three other drafted underclassmen, but this year’s team started two freshmen – infielders Jimmy Rider and Travis Shaw – who both had an impressive season. Rider led the team with a .353 batting average, and Shaw was not far behind at .331. Stillings’ departure would make Kyle Hallock, who will be a junior, the ace of the pitching staff. Hallock was 4-3 this season, with a 4.57 ERA in 14 appearances.


In a MAC title-defending season that perfectly resembled a roller coaster ride, the softball team was able to rebound from a rough start to collect a record of 15-6 in regular-season conference games before bowing out of the conference tournament in heartbreaking fashion.

After defeating Akron in the first round of the tournament, the Flashes lost their next two games by allowing Western Michigan and Northern Illinois to score game-winning runs in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The season began with a championship at the Stetson Leadoff Classic. However, the victories did not translate into success at the Arizona State University Littlewood Classic, where the Flashes lost four out of five games. Things didn’t get better when five more losses piled up after an 18-day layoff, .

But the Flashes regrouped and finally started to get on a roll once conference play started three weeks later. They won 12 of their first 13 MAC games. That’s when the season took another turn for the worse, as the team either split or lost each of their final five series that included home sweeps to Cleveland State and Western Michigan, just before the tournament began.

The Golden Flashes were led by another strong year from junior pitcher Kylie Reynolds. She ranked seventh in all of Division I softball with 345 strikeouts.

Women’s Golf

The women’s golf team finished out the year admirably, taking first and second place at their final two invitationals before winning the MAC Championship in Nashport, Ohio. There were fantastic individual performances all around from Mercedes Germino (first), Kirby Dreher (second), Maddi Swaney (fourth), Mandi Morrow (seventh) and Martina Gavier (10th).

The Lady Flashes then finished 12th out of 21 teams at the NCAA Central Regional in Columbus.

Dreher was named an honorable mention All-American by Golfweek.

Men’s Golf

In their final four invitationals of the spring, the men’s golf team took first at Towson, Md., third at Augusta State, fourth at Ohio State, and sixth at Texas A&M.

The Flashes then finished first at the MAC Championship in Indianapolis, led by John Hahn (first), Brett Cairns (second), Mackenzie Hughes (third) and Nick Latimer (tied for fifth).

The team took eighth at the NCAA Northeast Regional. Hahn tied for third place with a score of four-over par, missing an individual trip to the NCAA finals on the second playoff hole.

Hahn was named an honorable mention All-American and teamed with Cairns to give Kent State two golfers with All-Region honors.

Track and Field

Three athletes advanced to the NCAA Outdoor Championships that were held last week at the University of Arkansas.

Kim Hamilton’s senior year concluded with a fifth-place performance in the javelin at NCAAs, which earned her All-American status. Hamilton previously took first in the MAC and third at regionals.

Also at the NCAA Championships were Diana Dumitrescu, taking 15th in the heptathlon, and Matt Pfleger, who was 24th in the hammer throw. Both athletes won their respective events at the MAC Championships.

The men’s and women’s teams were both second-place finishers at the Northeast Ohio Quad and took fourth place at the All-Ohio Championships.

At the MAC Outdoor Championships in Akron, the women’s team finished second and the men took third overall.

Other MAC-winning performances came from Curtis Eaton in the 200- and 400- meter dash, Brittni Borrero in the discus, Tony Jordanek in the 1500-meter run, Destin Heasley in the 800-meter run, and Dumitrescu in the triple jump.

Contact news correspondent Jody Michael at [email protected].