Baseball team opens season with sweep

Cody Erbacher

The Kent State baseball team began its 2009 season this weekend with a three-game sweep over UNC Greensboro.

During the No. 18 Flashes’ three-game stay in Greensboro, N.C., their players’ bats came to life. The team scored 46 runs over the weekend.

Yesterday’s game ended with a final score of 19-6. Senior first baseman Greg Rohan drove in a career-high seven runs, hitting a 2-run homer in the fourth inning and a grand slam in the seventh.

Junior second baseman Jared Humphreys contributed five RBIs on a single and a triple.

Junior Brad Stillings was the winning pitcher, allowing three earned runs in five innings.

While the team won by blowout yesterday, Saturday’s game had the Flashes a little more worried. Kent State won 9-6 in 11 innings.

“Fortunately for us, we woke up at the sixth inning and got some big hits,” Kent State manager Scott Stricklin said.

Going to the sixth inning, the team was losing 4-1, but the Flashes scored three runs in the frame to tie the score. Sophomore center fielder Ben Klafczynski doubled in a run and scored on a balk, and senior shortstop Chris Tremblay knocked in a run with a single.

After junior left fielder Anthony Gallas tied the score again with a two-run homer in the eighth, Klafczynski hit the game-winning, three-run home run in the top of the 11th inning.

Freshman Andrew Chafin pitched two innings and recorded no earned runs to earn the win in his first collegiate game.

Stricklin said the reason for the close game was because the team felt too good about its performance in Friday’s game, which the Flashes won 18-2.

Friday’s victory was the team’s biggest win since 2006, when the Flashes beat Northern Illinois 22-1.

Tremblay led the way Friday night with a four-RBI game. The winning pitcher was junior Kyle Smith, who pitched five innings and allowed just one earned run.

The Flashes (3-0) will compete in the Coca-Cola Classic this weekend in Rock Hill, S.C. Their first game is at 11 a.m. Friday against Wagner.

Contact sports correspondent Cody Erbacher at [email protected].