Flashes score 18 runs in win over Duquesne

Jeff Russ

Junior infielder Ryan Mitchell fields a grounder in the Flashes’ 18-10 win over Duquesne at Schoonover Stadium yesterday. BRIAN MARKS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

At the beginning of the season, it took the Kent State men’s baseball team five games to reach 18 runs.

Yesterday at Schoonover Stadium, the Flashes reached that number in just nine innings, as the Flashes defeated Duquesne 18-10.

The 18 runs were the highest output in a game for the Flashes this season.

“It is good to swing the bats,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “In the middle of the week you have to score some runs. Usually the pitching is a little watered down and your offense has to score some runs, and that is what we did today.”

The Flashes(12-15 overall, 2-5 Mid-American Conference) showed signs of a big offensive day early on, as a three-run homerun by freshman outfielder Ben Klafczynski led to a six-run first. The inning was indicative of the Flashes’ offense all day and into the night.

“I felt pretty good about the way our guys have been swinging the bat lately,” Stricklin said. “We took our walks when we had the opportunity and we drove guys in.”

The pattern would continue throughout the next two innings, as the Flashes followed that six-run first with three in the second and six more in the third to make it 15-6.

The offensive explosion made it easy for starting pitcher junior Alan Morrison, who got the win despite giving up eight runs in three and two thirds innings.

“(The offense) was struggling a little early this season,” junior second baseman Doug Sanders said. “If we can get going maybe it will help the pitching staff get going.”

Junior Steven Davis came in to relieve Morrison, and he responded with by throwing two and two thirds scoreless innings in which he didn’t allow a hit.

However, today was about the offense. For the first time since 2003, all nine men in the starting lineup scored for the Flashes.

Sanders went 5-5 with a RBI and four runs scored. He became the first Kent State player since 2003 to get five hits in one game. Right now, he is trying to be the catalyst of the offense’s improvement.

“I’m just trying to help out the team any way possible,” he said. “We’re just trying to get going, we had a rough start, and I’m just trying to get us going.”

Junior first basemen Greg Rohan also carried the Flashes offense, as he went 1-3 with five RBI on the day. He also produced the play of the day, as Rohan reached his glove as far over the right field foul line fence as possible to bring a ball back into the stadium in the fourth.

“Greg’s our big RBI guy in the middle of the lineup,” Stricklin said. “We need him to drive in runs like that.”

With Sanders on base at Rohan at the plate, the coach said he expects Sanders to score.

“That’s the way it’s suppose to work,” Stricklin said. “Top of the order’s supposed to get on base and the middle is supposed to knock them in.”

Yesterday’s offensive performance comes just one day after the Flashes’ offense scored 14 runs in a win against Wooster. Stricklin said getting on base more has been the key of the last two games.

“Guys have been drawing a lot of walk,” Stricklin said. “We swung the bats well, and when the wind is blowing out, guys are going to score runs if we get walks.”

The team stays in Kent this weekend, as the offense looks to keep the momentum going in tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday games against Toledo.

Contact sports reporter Jeff Russ at [email protected].