Five-game winning streak ends for KSU

Amanda Vasil

After defeating Winthrop Friday and Saturday afternoon, the Kent State baseball team fell in the final match of the series 6-5 yesterday at the Winthrop Ballpark.

The loss snaps the Flashes’ five-game winning streak and gives them an overall record of 5-4, while moving the Eagles up to 12-4.

The teams scored a pair of runs each in the first inning, but Winthrop grabbed a third in the second. Third baseman Andrew Davis, center fielder Kurt Eichorn and first baseman Jason Patton hit a single apiece and scored in the sixth inning, but Winthrop responded with three runs in the bottom of the same inning.

Ryan Davis received his first loss of the season after giving up two runs and four hits in 2.67 innings of relief of junior starting pitcher Evan Smith, who went 4.33 innings.

“We battled today,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said in a press release, “but we came up a little short. All things considered, we played great baseball this weekend. We went to a Top 25 team’s place and took two out of three and only made one error all weekend.”

In the series opener, the Flashes upset No. 24 Winthrop 7-5 with a six-run rally in the eighth inning. With Winthrop leading 4-1 in the bottom of the seventh, Kent State’s catcher Todd Balduf threw a double-play to end the inning and Winthrop’s lead.

To start the eighth inning run, leadoff hitter Emmanuel Burriss stole second base off a Winthrop error. The Flashes then hit four singles, including one from Davis that drove in two runs.

Kent State followed the win with a 12-0 win the next day with 16 hits and four-run innings in the first, sixth and seventh.

Senior Chad Wagler led the Flashes’ pitching, tossing seven scoreless innings and marking his second straight start without allowing an earned run. In his second victory of the season, Wagler struck out three batters and walked one.

Offensively, Burriss grabbed three hits, two home runs, five RBIs and three runs scored. Senior Drew Saylor contributed to the win going 4-for-6 with a double and two RBIs, while freshman Brad Winter went 3-for-4 with two runs scored.

The Flashes will continue this weekend with their fourth of five straight trips to the South where they will face North Carolina in a three-game series.

Contact assistant sports editor and gymnastics reporter Amanda Vasil at [email protected].