Kent State’s baseball team fell in a close game to a struggling Ohio State in a midweek showdown.
KSU falls to 17-23 on the year and are 12-14 in the Mid-American Conference. Kent State is currently sixth in the MAC.
The top four teams in the MAC will play in the conference tournament, which will be held May 25-28.
OSU is 14-26 and 3-13 in the Big Ten.
The Flashes had the hits, recording nine, however they left 11 runners on base in the game.
Ohio State struck first, opening up the game with a single and a double to take a 1-0 lead.
The Buckeyes tacked on additional runs in the second inning,with three straight singles and a throwing error to take a 3-0 lead and putting two runners in scoring position. Another single down the right field line put OSU up 5-0 in the top of the second.
Two more singles by the Buckeyes put runners on first and second in the top of the third. A groundout put both runners in scoring position where OSU scored on a sacrifice fly.
Kent State finally struck back in the bottom of the fourth. A single from junior shortstop Mack Timbrook and a walk put runners on first and second. Senior center fielder Collin Mathews singled home a run to put Kent State on the board.
The Flashes didn’t stop there. Another walk loaded the bases for the Flashes and a second-straight walk scored another run. KSU then capitalized on a throwing error by scoring and cutting the lead to 6-3.
Ohio State would tack on another run in the top of the fifth. Kent State walked a batter, who advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then third on a fly out, where he scored on another wild pitch.
The Flashes, however, refused to give up. Junior left fielder Josh Johnson led off the bottom of the sixth with a triple and was singled home by Timbrook. Senior right fielder Justin Kirby doubled home Timbrook to bring the game within two.
A hit by pitch and a walk kicked off the bottom of the eighth for Kent State. Johnson then doubled home a run, and KSU was only down by one run.
However, Ohio State responded in the top of the ninth after a walk and a double scored the runner to extend the lead to 8-6.
The Flashes got two on base in the bottom of the ninth after OSU hit two batters, but graduate student Nick Elsen struck out to end the game.
Kent State had nine hits on six runs in the game, however the team struck out 10 times.
The Flashes will take on the best team in the MAC when it plays Ball State (29-14 overall, 23-4 MAC) for a weekend series. The first game is on Friday at 6 p.m.
Jacob Hansen is a reporter. Contact him at [email protected]