Updated Sun, May 6, 2012 5:38 pm
Updated Sun, May 6, 2012 5:38 pm
Kent State (30-17; 18-3 MAC) defeated Ohio (23-24; 12-9 MAC) 13-4 on Sunday, completing a three game sweep of the Bobcats in a very crucial point of the season.
Kent State swept Ohio by a combined score of 25-5 this weekend, pushing Ohio’s record to a sub .500 mark.
“I’d like to give the credit to Kent State, they came out and played great defense. We played all right; we hit the ball hard, but just right at people,” said Ohio right fielder Jensen Painter.
Evan Campbell opened the game for KSU with a shot to left field for a single. Jimmy Rider then hit a blooper to the same spot. With the hit, Rider became the all time hits leader in MAC history.
Ohio’s Seth Streich walked David Lyon to load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the first and Campbell scored as George Roberts grounded into a double play.
Streich proceeded to come up with a huge strikeout to end the inning, holding Kent State to only one run in an inning that could’ve gotten ugly.
Ethan Newton opened the Bobcats' at-bat with a single. Newton is tied with Marc Sims for Ohio’s all time stolen bases record. He attempted a steal in the first inning, but was thrown out.
Alex Miklos then slapped a double to the outfield to open KSU’s hitting in the second. In the next at-bat, Miklos was batted in by a Sawyer Polen double. Ohio got out of the inning on a double play, giving up one run yet again in the second.
Painter and Gaertner opened the second with consecutive outs. Dan Schmidt singled down the middle of the field for Ohio, giving the Bobcats hope to put a score on the board. But, Ohio would come out of the inning scoreless.
Streich retired Campbell to start the third. Jensen Painter then came up with two nice plays in right field to end the inning for Ohio. KSU was scoreless in the third.
Ohio was scoreless in the fourth as Kent State’s winning pitcher, Tyler Skulina, was dealing on the day.
“Skulina through the ball excellent, he’s the best pitcher we’ve seen all year. He was dominant through six innings, he’s a true big league prospect,” said Ohio Head Coach Joe Carbone.
Derek Toadvine had an infield single for Kent State to advance Polen into scoring position in the fifth. Campbell batted in Polen with a single to right field in the next at-bat.
A wild pitch by Streich brought in Toadvine for Kent State, giving the Flashes a 4-0 lead in the fifth. Streich walked Jimmy Rider in the next at-bat; KSU had runners on first and third with one out in the fifth inning.
David Lyon had an RBI single to right field to add on to Kent State’s scoring for the inning, giving the Golden Flashes a 5-0 lead in the fifth.
Ian Mezlak ripped a line drive to right field for a single to begin Ohio’s hitting in the bottom of the fifth. However, Ohio did not score in the inning. The Bobcats' bats were frigid through five innings.
KSU was scoreless in the sixth.
Tyler Wells singled in the bottom of the sixth for Ohio after a lucky bounce popped his hit over Polen’s head. Madsen advanced Wells to second base, placing him in scoring position as Ohio hoped to score in the sixth.
Yet, Ohio would let yet another scoring opportunity slip away; the Bobcats were scoreless for the sixth time on the day.
Kent State opened the seventh inning with a double by Evan Campbell, it was his third hit of the day. Streich then intentionally walked Lyon to put KSU runners on first and second with one out in the seventh.
George Roberts, who was brought to the plate after the intentional walk to Lyon, blasted a three run homer to throw a wrench in Ohio’s seventh inning strategy. Streich was pulled after the home run.
“Today their pitching was better than our hitting and their hitting was better than out pitching,” said Carbone.
Sean Kennedy then took the mound for Ohio, relieving Streich. KSU’s Pullen had an RBI double to increase the Flashes lead to 9-0 in the seventh. Kennedy got out of the inning allowing one run.
Doug Holmes got hit by a pitch to get a free base to start off the bottom of the seventh for Ohio. Holmes was then advanced to third by an Ian Mezlak double.
Brice Nikithser had an RBI single to score Holmes in the bottom of the seventh; the hit finally scored Ohio’s first run of the day.
Ethan Newton poked a blooper to left-center for an RBI single later in the inning, breathing a short breath of life into Ohio’s bats.
Ohio was down 9-2 after seven innings.
Kent State scored yet again in the eighth, increasing their lead to 10-2. Kennedy was pulled later in the inning and Tyler Backstrom took the mound and got Ohio out of the inning.
Cody Gaertner loaded the bases in the eighth with a dribbling single. The Bobcats had the bases loaded with zero outs.
Holmes batted in Painter, reaching base on an error and keeping the bases loaded with only one out.
Mezlak then batted in Gaertner to give Ohio its fourth run of the day, but that would be all for Ohio in the game.
KSU's Rider hit a laser into left field in the ninth, continuing to rattle Ohio’s pitching as the Golden Flashes had been doing for the entire day. Lyon then hit a two-run-double to give KSU a 12-4 lead.
Roberts then had another RBI of his own, making the score 13-4 Kent State.
The sweep really took the wind out of Ohio’s sails, but Coach Carbone is not discouraged.
“I think we will bounce back,” said Carbone. “These guys have come a long way and I feel that they were right on Skulina sometimes today on some pitches they had never seen before.”
Ohio’s next game is on May 8 against Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bobcats look to get back on the right track.
“We need to stay positive with the things we need to work on. I’m pretty sure, because we’ve gone through some rough times earlier in the year, that we will get through this,” said Carbone. “I have no doubts that we will.”