Flashes double their pleasure in home doubleheader sweep

Josh Johnston

Two-baggers, Gallas’ homer highlight wins

Freshman second baseman Jimmy Rider connects with the ball in the second game of a doubleheader Saturday against Bowling Green. Rider hit the second of four straight Kent State doubles in the first inning, as the Flashes went on to win 9-4. RACHEL KILROY

Credit: DKS Editors

Anthony Gallas always wanted to toss his helmet after hitting a walk-off homer. Saturday at Schoonover Stadium, he got his chance.

The junior left fielder launched the second pitch he faced over the left-field wall in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Kent State baseball team a 12-9 win over Bowling Green. The three-run bomb was Gallas’s first walk-off home run of his career.

“I wanted to make sure I tossed my helmet up in the air because every time something like that happens – (senior Jason) Patton hit one my freshman year and (freshman Travis) Shaw hit one this year – neither of them threw their helmet into the air, and I’ve always wanted to do that,” Gallas said.

“I was happy because all my friends and family were there … I was happy that they got to come and see a good game.”

The Flashes needed to rally from a 7-3 fourth inning deficit to set up the extra-innings win in game one of a doubleheader. Kent State chipped away at Bowling Green’s lead with two runs in the fourth, fifth and seventh innings.



Friday: Bowling Green 9, Kent State 2

Saturday (game one):

Kent State 12, Bowling Green 9

Saturday (game two):

Kent State 9, Bowling Green 4

Player of the series:

Anthony Gallas: 4-12 (.333): 2 HR, 5 RBI

A solo home run by Bowling Green center fielder T.J. Blanton in the eighth inning tied the game 9-9. Freshman reliever Andrew Chafin then tossed three scoreless innings to set up Gallas’s walk-off.

Kent State’s batters continued to hit in game two of the double header, as the Flashes led off the first inning with back-to-back-to-back-to-back doubles.

“We definitely had the momentum going in the second game,” said Gallas, who hit the team’s third double. “Both teams were worn out. An emotional game like (the first one) pretty much sets the tone for the next game.”

The four doubles led to a quick 3-0 advantage that Kent State increased over the next two innings. Senior designated hitter Ryan Mitchell hit a solo shot to straight away center in the second inning and Shaw slapped a grounder up the middle for two runs an inning later.

Mitchell finished the rally with a sacrifice fly to put the Flashes up 7-2.

Starting pitcher sophomore Kyle Hallock looked promising early on, retiring the first three Falcon batters, but surrendered four straight singles in the fifth inning to give up a run and load the bases. With no outs, senior Steve Ross relieved Hallock.

Ross pitched out of the jam by striking out his first two batters and then forcing a groundout.

“In that situation, you tell your pitcher to cut his losses. I was hoping to come out 7-5,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “It was huge for this team. Ross was a huge reason we won.”

Ross retired the next 11 batters he faced before giving up two hits in the ninth. He finished with five strikeouts over five innings.

“I just took it pitch by pitch,” Ross said. “I take every opportunity to do the best I can. I’ve felt good, and the arm’s felt good.”

With the two wins Saturday, the Flashes won their fourth straight Mid-American Conference series. On Friday, Kent State lost 9-2 to the Falcons.

“Our goal is to win the weekend,” Stricklin said. “When you drop the first game, that’s tough to do. We fought through adversity to win game one (Saturday). I’m very proud of how the team responded.”

The Flashes (28-8, 11-3 MAC) next play a doubleheader at Youngstown State on Wednesday. Both games will be seven innings, and game one will begin at 3 p.m. Earlier this season, Kent State beat the Penguins 5-3 at Schoonover Stadium.

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].