Week off doesn’t hurt KSU against Malone

Joshua Hudson

Baseball team slugs its way to 12-0 victory

After last weekend’s games with Bowling Green were canceled, Kent State coach Scott Stricklin was worried about the lack of playing time the Flashes have seen recently.

With a week between games, Stricklin was worried that his team would come out sloppy with their game against Malone.

But any worries that he had were quickly put to rest after the first few innings.

The Flashes (23-14) scored a run in each of the first five innings and cruised to a 12-0 victory over Malone yesterday at Schoonover Stadium. The Flashes have now won seven of their last games, including four straight.

“We played well for not having played in a week,” Stricklin said. “We competed and set the tone early. Everyone on the team contributed to this victory.”

Kent State used seven pitchers to contribute to a two-hit shutout. Sophomore Evan Smith earned the victory. He pitched two innings and allowed only one hit. The seven pitchers combined to strike out seven batters and walk two.

Stricklin said the pitching staff was key to the Flashes’ success.

“All of the pitchers came out and threw strikes,” he said. “They came out and set the tone for our offense.”

The offense responded by scoring a run in each of the first five innings. The Flashes then blew the game open with seven runs in the seventh inning. Junior Joe Tucker highlighted the inning with a three-run home run over the left-field wall.

Tucker finished the game with four RBIs. It marks the second straight game that Tucker has knocked in four runs.

“He is the catalyst for the rest of our lineup,” Stricklin said of Tucker. “Even when he makes an out, it’s a hard out. He has been swinging the bat well.”

Junior Todd Balduf added three hits, including two doubles and scored two runs. Junior Drew Saylor and sophomore Andrew Davis each added two hits for the Flashes.

Kent State returns to action with a weekend series at Buffalo. It will be the first time the Flashes have played a Mid-American Conference game in more than two weeks. The first pitch is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday.

Contact baseball reporter Joshua Hudson at [email protected].