Baseball team shows off in preseason victory

Doug Gulasy

Kent State sophomore designated hitter John Blike takes a practice swing during the Flashes’ game Saturday against the Ontario Blue Jays. Kent State defeated the Blue Jays 17-7. LESLIE CUSANO | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State baseball team provided a sneak preview of its season this weekend, and if the result is any indication of how the team will fare, fans should expect a good season.

The Flashes defeated the Ontario Blue Jays 17-7 in a 12-inning exhibition game Saturday afternoon. It was a day for the offense to flex its muscles, as the team pounded out 28 hits en route to the victory.

“I like the way we swung the bats,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “We had a good approach at the plate, and we really produced in RBI situations.”

Every Kent State player who had an at-bat collected at least one hit. Leading the way was sophomore outfielder Jared Humphreys, who had six hits, including three triples and a home run. He had three RBIs and scored four runs.

“I think I did well,” Humphreys said. “We did well as a team, too; we had a lot of hits and played good defense too. For the first time we played another team, we did pretty well.”

Kent State’s pitching staff also performed up to expectations, limiting Ontario to seven runs and 10 hits in 12 innings.

The Blue Jays took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, but the Flashes tied the score in the bottom of the inning and never trailed after that. The closest Ontario came to reclaiming the lead was in the sixth inning, when it cut Kent State’s lead to one at 6-5. However, the Flashes scored the game’s next six runs and ran away with the victory.

The Flashes do not play another game until the spring. Though Saturday’s game does not count in the standings, Stricklin was pleased by what he saw.

“We lost a lot from last year’s team, and I’m glad to see some guys step up to replace them,” he said. “Our offense was very good today, but I think pitching is our real strength; we’re very deep on the mound. As a whole, I think we have a very strong team; there are a lot of guys who love to compete.”

Contact sports reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].