Dukes keep Flashes’ bats frozen in home opener

Tyler McIntosh


Sophomore infielder Brad Winter swings at a pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Flashes were held to just three hits all afternoon in yesterday’s home opener.

Credit: Adam Griffiths

The Kent State baseball team’s bats were just like the weather yesterday – cold.

Duquesne’s Alex Sharick struck out six and allowed just three hits in a complete-game shutout for the Dukes as Kent State dropped their home opener, 4-0. The loss is Kent State’s fourth straight.

“Offensively, we just couldn’t get anything going,” coach Scott Stricklin said. “You credit their pitcher – he did a good job. He threw a lot of strikes and didn’t give us anything. In order to score, you have to earn it against a guy like that. We didn’t have good enough at-bats.”

Sharick, who was 0-2 with a 12.66 ERA coming into the game, didn’t allow any Flashes to reach base after the fourth inning and only found himself in serious trouble once.

Kent State freshman leftfielder Anthony Gallas led off the second inning with a triple, but Sharick proceeded to force three straight outs to leave Gallas stranded at third.

Sophomore shortstop Chris Tremblay and senior third baseman Andrew Davis were responsible for the other two hits, both singles.

“I was able to get into a pretty good rhythm,” Sharick said. “I was able to get all my pitches over for strikes and make them put the ball in play.”

For Kent State (5-11), the three-hit, no-run performance ties a season-low output. Stricklin said that offensively, the team is trying to force things.

“They are not swinging the bat particularly well,” Stricklin said. “We’ve got to find a way to get them into a positive state of mind. If you have a team that is trying too hard, trying to do too much your results are not going to be very good. We are starting to get into that mode where our hitters are pressing and they know that.”

Sophomore starter Steven Davis took the loss for Kent State. Davis (0-2) gave up four runs – two were earned – and walked three in 3.1 innings.

After hitting one Duqesne batter and walking another, Davis was pulled for junior reliever Dominique Rodgers in the top of the third inning. Errors by Tremblay and sophomore catcher Adam Whiting led to two unearned runs before Rodgers was able to get out of the inning.

“I was walking more guys than usual and getting behind in the count,” Davis said. “That was forcing me to throw pitches over the middle and they were hitting them pretty hard.”

Davis, who pitched just 5.1 innings this season before yesterday, said inexperience and inclimate weather didn’t affect his performance.

“I started mid-week games last year, so I’m used to starting,” Davis said. “It was only my second start of the year, but I still feel like I was in my routine. Obviously, it hurts a little bit. Today was pretty cold. We’ve played in cold weather all year long, so it’s nothing new. It’s not an excuse for what happened.”

Contact baseball reporter Tyler McIntosh at [email protected].