Baseball outmatched by explosive Pitt offense

Kent+State+sophomore+Kyle+Jackson+swings+for+the+ball.

Matthew Brown

Kent State sophomore Kyle Jackson swings for the ball.

Jacob Hansen, Reporter

The Kent State baseball team’s offense couldn’t keep up with the explosive offense of the University of Pittsburgh and Kent fell 12-5 against the Panthers.

KSU, which is in fourth in the Mid-American Conference, is now 12-15 overall and remains 7-7  in conference play while Pittsburgh is 19-12.

The Flashes started off hot in the first inning, singling and drawing a walk where sophomore first baseman Aidan Longwell doubled home a run to take an early 1-0 lead.

Then in the top of the second, freshman pitcher Rocco Bernadina started to struggle, walking three straight batters, loading the bases. Pittsburgh capitalized by driving the ball to right center where senior center fielder Collin Mathews slid for and missed the ball, allowing three runs to score, for an RBI triple.

Pittsburgh would go on to single in the runner on third to take a 4-1 lead.

Kent State responded with back-to-back singles in the bottom half of the inning. The two runners advanced on a fielder’s choice and then scored on a wild pitch down, bringing the Flashes within two runs.

The Flashes scored in the bottom of the fifth to bring it within one run when junior catcher Justin Miknis doubled home sophomore shortstop Michael McNamara after he tripled earlier in the inning.

Pittsburgh responded with a run in the top of the sixth inning. However, KSU sophomore third baseman Kyle Jackson hit a towering solo shot to right field in the bottom half of the inning to keep it within one 5-4.

Pittsburgh loaded the bases with a single and a pair of walks in the top of the seventh. The Panthers scored one on a bases loaded walk. Then scored three runs after pop up to center field where the Kent State fielders couldn’t find the ball, allowing the runners to score.

Junior second baseman Mack Timbrook singled home a run in the bottom half of the seventh but was all too late for the Flashes. Pittsburgh tacked two more on in the eighth and one in the ninth to put away the game.

Kent State gave up 10 walks in the game and nine hits. Kent State actually out hit the Panthers with 13 hits, but it wasn’t enough.

KSU moves on to the weekend series against Toledo (9-10 MAC, 15-16 overall), which is in fifth, this weekend starting on Friday.

Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]