Flashes blast their way past YSU

Jeff Russ

Kent State’s losing streak ends with good start, solid offense

After being shut out Tuesday in the home opener, the Kent State baseball team ended its four-game losing streak, defeating Youngstown State 12-7 yesterday at Schoonover Stadium.

Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said his team needed this one.

“The mood was not good and there was a lot of negativity,” he said, referring to the team’s recent play.

But the Flashes erased that negativity with a quick start yesterday.

Freshman left fielder Anthony Gallas outperformed Tuesday’s offensive showing right away, singling in senior shortstop Andrew Davis in the first inning.

After the Penguins answered with two runs in the second inning, the Flashes (6-12) responded with a four-run third, where all nine hitters stepped to the plate. In that inning, Davis hit a two-run bloop single and Gallas immediately followed with his third home run of the season, a blast over the 385 sign in left-center.

Davis struck again in the fourth with a two-out, two-run home run of his own. Davis, who went 4-5 with 4 RBI, preferred the blast much more than the bloop RBI he achieved in the previous inning.

“It’s always better to hit one over the scoreboard,” he said.

He was a triple away from the Flashes’ first cycle since 1995.

“It definitely helps my confidence,” he said. “I’ve been struggling to see the ball, but I found the barrel a lot today.”

The Penguins (4-11) would cut the lead to three in the seventh inning, but three Kent State runs in the bottom of the inning put Youngstown State away for good.

Sophomore Alan Morrison picked up his fist win of season, throwing five innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs.

“Alan had a good start,” Stricklin said. “We expect a lot of him and expect him to get better.”

With the offensive output, the southpaw felt more comfortable on the mound.

“You know you don’t have to be perfect,” he said. “When you’re in a close game you know one or two mistakes can cost you the game, but when you’re winning you have more confidence.”

As Mid-American Conference play opens this weekend, Stricklin said this was a big win because it gives his team momentum.

This weekend the team hosts Western Michigan in a three-game set.

Contact sports reporter Jeff Russ [email protected].