Flashes don’t give Scots a chance

Sean Joseph

Second baseman Chris Tremblay catches a fly ball and forces out Wooster’s Jake Sankal in yesterday’s win. The Flashes beat the Scots 12-1 with the help of senior catcher Todd Balduf’s grand slam. GAVIN JACKSON | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

The Kent State baseball team poked holes all over Wooster’s defense and lit up the score board in its 12-1 victory last night, extending its winning streak to five games.

Freshman pitcher Steven Davis took the mound for the second start of his career and allowed only one run in six innings to improve his record to 2-0.

“His (Davis) pitching was huge for us,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said. “We were a bit concerned before the game and said we needed at least five innings out of him and got six. It is great to see him throw well. He’s going to be a good pitcher for us.”

Stricklin said his bullpen was beat up coming into yesterday’s game after Cleveland State scored nine runs in the last four innings Tuesday. But after the Flashes opened up with two runs in the first inning and put up eight more in the third, Stricklin did not need to worry about Davis not having run support.

Junior shortstop Emmanuel Burriss got on first base with a perfect bunt to open up the third inning. The first four batters of the inning got on base after senior center fielder Joe Tucker hit a single and Wooster starting pitcher sophomore Adam Samson walked seniors first baseman Drew Saylor and left fielder Kurt Eichorn.

With the bases loaded and one out, senior catcher Todd Balduf hit a grand slam over the left field fence.

“I had a 3-1 count, so I knew it was going to be a fastball I could hit,” Balduf said. “I had that to my advantage, and I’ve been feeling pretty good lately so it really worked out for me.”

Stricklin said the grand slam was crucial because up to that point it was a tight game and it gave them some cushion. And even after Balduf cleared the bases and the Fighting Scots made a pitching change, the Flashes were able to do some more damage.

Kent State loaded the bases for the second time in the third inning on a single by freshman designated hitter Brad Winter, a high fly ball off the bat of freshman right fielder Jason Patton that should have been caught was lost in the sun and dropped into fair territory, and freshman second baseman Chris Tremblay walked.

Burriss singled to send Patton and Winter in on an error. Burriss was able to steal his second base of the inning and was then driven in by Saylor.

Davis did not let Wooster respond by striking out all three batters in the top of the 4th by throwing only 12 pitches.

The Fighting Scots’ only offensive success came in the fifth inning. Wooster sophomore second baseman Dan Skulina ripped a double into centerfield to send junior catcher Brandon Boesiger in for their only run of the game. Wooster freshman shortstop John Quimby singled into centerfield to give his team another chance to score, but Balduf tagged Skulina out at homeplate.

Stricklin said his team is feeling good and ready to take its winning streak on the road to Athens this weekend where it faces Ohio for a three-game series.

Contact baseball reporter Sean Joseph at [email protected].