Kent State loses sight of ball, victory at CSU

Joseph Gartrell


Sophomore infielder Chris Tremblay dives safely back to the bag in the Flashes 4-0 loss to Duquesne on March 20.

Credit: Adam Griffiths

All signs pointed toward a slugfest between Kent State and Cleveland State yesterday afternoon.

In their two previous match ups, including a 12-7 Kent State win last week and a 12-10 win last season, a combined total of 41 runs were scored.

And during yesterday’s game, the physical conditions for the inauguration of The Pipe Yard – Cleveland State’s new park in Lorain – also suggested a slugfest was about to occur.

While it wasn’t all slugging, the new field, which could use better lighting, proved an unfriendly spot for Kent State, as they lost to the Vikings, 14-11.

As the game began, the wind was blowing as Kent State senior Andrew Davis came to the plate in the first inning with two on and no outs, and he didn’t waste time taking advantage of it. He lofted a fly to center that carried over the wall for his team-leading fifth homer of the season.

The Flashes’ first out of the game, a sac fly from freshman Jared Bartholomew, produced their fifth run of the game.

But the Vikings, just 4-21 coming into the game, celebrated the opening of their field by tying the game with five runs of their own in the bottom of the second against Kent State left-hander Alan Morrison.

Morrison, a sophomore, was able to work out of bases-loaded jam in the first, but he allowed a walk and five hits in the second, including a two-run, game-tying double by sophomore designated hitter Ryan Baechel.

The Vikings then took a 6-5 lead in the third when sophomore second baseman Matt Madrid knocked Morrison’s 2-2 offering over the wall in left.

Kent State (11-16, 3-3 Mid-American Conference) scored three times in the fourth, regaining the lead and knocking Cleveland State right-hander Dylan Henry out of the game.

“Pull him out,” a fan yelled after sophomore Brad Winter tied the game, 6-6, with a single to left.

Cleveland State coach Kevin Kocks then granted the fan’s wish. Both starting pitchers lasted just 3.1 innings and allowed eight runs, seven earned.

Morrison was coming off five innings of one-hit ball against Pittsburgh last week, but yesterday, he allowed seven hits, hit three batters and walked another.

The Flashes’ 8-6 lead was temporary. Morrison and freshman right-hander Robert Sabo combined to allow three runs in the fourth. Sabo then allowed another in the fifth, and the Flashes fell behind, 10-8.

But Greg Rohan, a red-shirt sophomore for the Flashes, homered in the sixth, and a two-run homer for Winters put the Flashes up, 11-10, in the eighth.

In the bottom of the eighth, however, Cleveland State was given a park-warming gift.

With two outs and runners on first and third, Kent State right-hander Reid Lamport induced a pop-up in front of the plate, but with the dim lighting at the new park, he was unable to locate the ball. The ball dropped, and the Vikings tied the game at 11.

Lamport then issued an intentional walk to load the bases, but he surrendered a bases-clearing double to Madrid.

Contact sports editor Joseph Gartrell at [email protected].