Tremblay surges as leadoff

Josh Johnston

Flashes co-captain has 12 hits in his last 20 at-bats

Chris Tremblay’s job for the Kent State baseball team is to get on base. Whether by hitting or walking, he just needs to find his way to first base.

That hasn’t been too difficult for the senior leadoff hitter and team co-captain.

After struggling at the plate two weekends ago at Toledo, the Flashes’ leadoff hitter has found his stroke again, getting hits in 12 of his last 20 at-bats.

“I’m in the leadoff spot so I can get on base for our three, four, five hitters to knock me in,” Tremblay said. “That’s part of my job as being a leadoff hitter, and that’s what I try to do.”


BEFORE AND AFTER Before April 15

(31 games)

Batting average: .287

Hits: 37

Runs: 30

On-base percentage: .383

April 15 and after (4 games)

Batting average: .600

Hits: 12

Runs: 6

On-base percentage: .600

Tremblay has marked a .600 on-base percentage in the four games since going 1-of-11 in the Toledo series. He scored six runs in those four games, including three in Kent State’s 12-9 win Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader.

“We’ve got a lot of good run producers hitting right behind (Tremblay),” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “You’ve got to get on base for those guys to give them a chance to put some pressure on the opposing defense and the opposing pitcher.”

For Tremblay, the turnaround actually began in his final at-bats at Toledo. He drew two walks, one with the bases loaded, in the Flashes’ 9-3 win on April 12. Stricklin said Tremblay regained confidence with those at-bats.

“He was scuffling a little bit (before),” Stricklin said. “It was hard on him. He drew two walks in his last two at-bats, and we talked about that – (the walks) getting him going a little bit.”

With the way Tremblay has hit lately, he hasn’t needed free passes to get on base. In the doubleheader Saturday against Bowling Green, he went a combined 7-for-11 with two doubles and a triple.

“Sometimes you just have some days where you’re feeling really good and the ball looks like a basketball coming in,” Tremblay said. “I think Saturday was one of those days for me.”

Kent State (28-8) will count on Tremblay’s hitting today in its doubleheader with Youngstown State at Eastwood Field. In the Flashes’ last meeting with the Penguins, Kent State relied on its bullpen to edge Youngstown State 5-3.

“We didn’t play particularly well,” Stricklin said. “For the midweek games, traditionally your offense needs to win the games for you. That’s what we’re going to ask our offense to do (today).”

The first of the two seven-inning games will begin at 3 p.m., while the second game is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

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