Flashes battle Huskies

Sean Joseph

The Kent State baseball team extended its winning streak to five games with explosive offense Friday and Saturday, but fell short of a series sweep in a pitching duel yesterday afternoon.

Friday and Saturday’s scores weren’t the usual for baseball, as the Flashes (17-10, 6-3 Mid-American Conference) defeated the Huskies 13-10 and 21-2. They have now scored 13 or more runs in five consecutive games during the winning streak.

Kent State and Northern Illinois totaled 30 hits in Friday’s game after the teams had only three hits in as many innings. The Flashes took a 7-1 lead after a six-run burst in the fifth inning to take the lead for good.

The Flashes committed two errors with the Huskies down, 13-7, in the bottom of the ninth. Northern Illinois was able to convert them into three more runs before Kent State pitcher Ryan Davis was able to force a ground out to seal the victory.

Saturday, Northern Illinois (12-17, 5-4 MAC) committed eight errors and allowed Kent State 17 hits to total their season-high 21 runs.

The Flashes scored six runs in the third inning after the Huskies had recorded two outs. Third baseman Andrew Davis hit a single to send in two runs, and freshman second baseman Chris Tremblay tripled to right-center field to put Kent State up by seven.

The Flashes scored in all but three innings and reeled off another six-run inning in the ninth.

Sophomore Steve Ross (3-3) won his second straight decision in his seven-inning outing. He only allowed three hits and two runs.

Emmanuel Burriss went 4-for-5, recording two RBIs, two stolen bases and four runs in Saturday’s game.

Yesterday’s game was a pitchers’ duel into the seventh inning when Northern Illinois, down 2-1, scored two runs. The Huskies increased their lead to 5-2, scoring another two runs in the eighth.

Davis went up to bat with two outs and got the Flashes’ only hit in the ninth inning. He was then advanced to second when senior catcher Todd Balduf was walked by Northern Illinois pitcher Matt German. Brad Winter was sent into pinch hit and could have been the tying run, but flied out to center field and snapped Kent State’s five-game winning streak and hopes to sweep the series.

Northern Illinois held Kent State to four hits yesterday; they also recorded three errors.

Kent State remains in first in the MAC East Division, only one game ahead of Bowling Green (16-12, 5-3 MAC). The Flashes are next in action at 3 p.m. tomorrow at Duquesne in Pittsburgh.

Contact baseball reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].