AVON: Kent State’s been playing its best baseball as of late and that hot streak continued on Wednesday night as the Golden Flashes pummeled Central Michigan 15-8 in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament at All Pro Freight Stadium.
The Flashes had to wait until 8:20 for their first pitch but didn’t waste much time before jumping all over CMU starting pitcher Jordan Foley. The four-time defending tournament champion Flashes turned the first game into a hit parade.
Every hitter in the KSU lineup to start the game, except for one, drove in at least one run. Leadoff hitter Derek Toadvine finished 3-for-4 with an RBI and three stolen bases. Left fielder Alex Miklos went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two stolen bases. T.J. Sutton added two hits and two RBI and George Roberts, Jason Bagoly and Jeff Revesz all drove in a run.
Third baseman Justin Wagler led the charge, going 2-for-5 with five RBI, and added the exclamation point in the seventh inning with a towering home run to left field. Cody Koch, pinch hitting, added another home run in the eighth inning to cap KSU’s scoring.
This game was, for all intents and purposes, over in two innings. Three walks, three hits and a sacrifice fly plated four KSU runs in the first inning. Four more hits and three more walks brought home five runs in the second. Foley didn’t even make it out of that inning, and KSU’s 9-2 lead would be more than enough for starting pitcher Taylor Williams.
Williams pitched six innings, allowing three earned runs and striking out 10. Williams has lasted at least six innings in every one of his starts this season but also gave up his first home run to CMU’s Jordan Adams.
The KSU bullpen had a big lead but struggled. Spencer Bryant pitched the seventh and eighth innings, allowing one earned run. Aaron Tadian failed to complete the ninth inning and gave up four runs. He was relieved by Jason Revesz, who finished the game. Even with the poor pitching late into the night — the game ended after 11:30 p.m. after a scheduled 7:30 p.m. start — the outcome had been decided for three hours by then.
The top-seeded Golden Flashes will face No. 4 seed Ball State at 4 p.m. today. Tyler Skulina is scheduled to pitch for KSU.
The Flashes took the regular-season series against Ball State two games to one. KSU first-year assistant coach Alex Marconi should know them well, as he was Ball State’s head coach from 2010-2012.