Flashes sail to doubleheader sweep

Kurt Snyder

Catcher Kurt Eichorn swings at a pitch thrown by a Northern Kentucky pitcher yesterday afternoon. The Flashes swept the doubleheader.

Credit: Andrew popik

Northern Kentucky asked for a doubleheader with Kent State (16-10), but it should have bargained on receiving Drew Saylor as well.

Saylor, the Flashes junior second baseman, drove in the winning runs with a two-run single to left-center in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Flashes a pair of seven-inning wins, 11-3, 4-3, yesterday at Schoonover Stadium.

Saylor also homered in the first game. Both the home run and the win were the Flashes’ first ever in the refurbished stadium.

“He is a clutch guy,” Kent State coach Scott Stricklin said of Saylor. “He’s hits the ball through the middle and doesn’t try to do too much. He’s a disciplined hitter.”

Northern Kentucky (8-10) took a 3-2 lead in the top of the seventh inning of the second game, but the Flashes rallied to set up Saylor. Senior outfielder Eric Holick began the inning and reached on a throwing error. Sophomore shortstop Emmanuel Burriss followed and reached on a perfect two-strike bunt single to first.

After junior center fielder Joe Tucker laid down a successful sacrifice, sophomore third baseman Andrew Davis was intentionally walked in front of Saylor. Saylor lined his single over the head of Northern Kentucky center fielder Alex Frank.

“You sort of take it personal on one level,” Saylor said of the intentional walk to Davis. “But on the other hand, you have to keep your head and get a job done.”

The Flashes trailed in both games 2-0, but both times Saylor started the mini-comeback. His two-run home run to left-center tied the first game, and his single to center tied the second game. Saylor’s 4-for-7 afternoon pushed his batting average back up to .400 for the season.

Tucker, Davis and sophomore catcher Will Vazquez all drove in two runs in the first game. Junior right-hander Jon Miller pitched the first four innings and earned his second win on the year.

Junior right-hander Phil Bojc threw two perfect innings in relief. Every available pitcher appeared for the Flashes either yesterday or in Tuesday’s 10-5 win over Duquesne.

“We all have a job to do,” Bojc said. “It doesn’t matter how good your starters do if you don’t have a good bullpen.”

Burriss scored a pair of runs in the second game with a 2-for-2 game. Junior right-hander Jason Seelman pitched the final 2 1/3 innings and picked up his first win despite giving up a run in the top of the seventh.

Contact managing editor Kurt Snyder at [email protected].