Updated Sun, Apr 6, 2014 1:45 pm
Before the weekend series with Ohio, the Kent State Golden Flashes had one of the best offenses in the Mid-American Conference. With a collective .280 batting average and 167 runs scored on the season, the Flashes ranked second-best in the conference.
In game one of the doubleheader with the Bobcats, the Flashes flexed those offensive muscles in their half of the seventh inning, as they scored seven times in the inning on the way to an 11-1 victory over the Bobcats at Bob Wren Stadium.
The game was one of the worst outings of the season for Roehn, as he gave up nine runs and 10 hits over his 6 1/3 innings on the mound. His record dropped to 2-4 on the season and raised his season ERA from 3.89 to 4.73.
With Kent State (17-10, 5-2) leading 4-1 to begin the seventh, the outburst started when the MAC’s second-leading hitter, Zarley Zalewski, came to the plate with the bases loaded. He drove a 2-1 pitch from Roehn down the right field line for a two-run double to boost the Flashes lead, 6-1. Teammates Cody Koch and Sawyer Polen then followed Zalewski with a pair of two-run doubles themselves, which extended the Flashes lead,10-1.
Ohio’s (5-21, 1-7 MAC) only run of the game came the bottom of the second inning, when shortstop Tyler Finkler drew a bases-loaded walk to bring in John Adryan and cut Kent State’s lead at the time, 2-1.
Ohio’s offense just couldn’t get anything going against Kent State starter Eric Lauer. He gave up just one run and four hits over six innings, and struck out five Bobcat batters. Lauer improved to 7-1 on the season and lowered his ERA to 1.90.
One of the few positives for Ohio’s offense was once again super-freshman Mitch Longo, who led off the game for Ohio with a single into left field. The hit extended his season-best hit streak to 10 games.
With two men on base Ohio trailed Kent State in the ninth inning 5-3. Junior Tyler Wells stepped to the plate representing the winning run for the Bobcats.
He had the chance to redeem himself for his fielding mistake earlier in the game, when he lost an easy fly ball in the sun in right field that allowed two runs to score – the two runs that were the difference in the game.
Wells had a tough task at hand, as he was facing the Golden Flashes best reliever, Eric Dorsch, who had only given up three runs in 17 innings pitched this season.
Ultimately, Dorsch got the best of Wells in the at-bat, getting Wells to hit a soft pop-fly right back to the Kent State hurler for the easy out. Dorsch then struck out John Adryan to end the game, sealing Kent State’s victory over the ‘Cats, and giving the Golden Flashes the sweep of the Saturday doubleheader at Bob Wren Stadium.
Jake Rudnicki, who started the game on the mound for Ohio (5-22, 1-7), suffered his first loss of the season, as he was responsible for all five of the Kent State runs on six hits. He was bested by the opposing pitcher, Nick Jensen-Clagg, who allowed only two runs on four hits in 6 2/3 innings on the mound. He also struck out seven Ohio batters.
Super-freshman Mitch Longo led Ohio offensively once again, picking up three hits out of his five at-bats, which included a two-run single in the seventh inning, and an easy triple to begin Ohio’s threat in the ninth inning. With his three hits, Longo extended his hitting streak to a season-high 11 games, and bumped his batting average to .427 – a mark that is tops in the MAC.
Kent State began scoring in the second inning, when Sawyer Polen smacked a sacrifice fly to deep right field, scoring Cody Koch from third base to give the Flashes an early 1-0 lead. With the Flashes scoring first, the Bobcats are now 0-17 on the season when their opponent scores first in games.