The rematch of the home and home series between Kent State and Canisius turned the Flashes way this time, as the Flashes avenged their earlier loss to the Griffins with a 10-1 on Wednesday.
The Flashes improved to a 19-19 record on the year, putting them at .500 for the first time this season.
“We are getting better and better,” coach Jeff Duncan said. “We haven't been at .500 all year and our team continues to keep going. We have a big series coming up to look forward too.”
Kent State had five pitchers come in to pitch, with none going more than three innings. Every pitcher recorded a strikeout and did not allow an earned run.
Junior Zach Schultz got the start, going two innings with two strikeouts. He was relieved by freshman Peyton Deats, who picked up his third win, going three innings with three strikeouts. Sophomore Tyler Drabick came into the game in the sixth inning, tossing two innings allowing no hits and two strikeouts. Junior John Matthews and senior Pavin Parks finished out the game, each throwing an inning.
“We have to string together pitchers in the middle of the week,” Duncan said. “We were able to use our bullpen and it is good for them to get work. I was proud of the way we pitched today. We threw strikes and kept pounding the zone. It was a clean game.”
The Flashes 10 runs were highlighted by 10 hits, with Parks getting the scoring going in the second inning with a solo home run off the scoreboard in right field. Parks finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBI.
In the third, Kent State added three more runs, giving them a comfortable 4-0 lead.
The scoring started after a ground ball from sophomore Ben Carew was called out at first, a call that was overturned by the umpires after they realized the first basemen was off the bag when receiving the catch.
Junior Cam Touchette followed with a single, advancing Carew to second and sophomore Michael Turner doubled down the left field line, scoring Carew and Touchette. Parks added a double to score Turner.
Canisius held Kent State hitless for the next four innings as only one baserunner reached base by a walk.
The Griffins managed a run in the eighth inning off a sacrifice-fly, but the Flashes responded with six runs, putting the game out of reach.
Senior Kian O’Brien scored off a dropped third strike and Parks scored a batter later off a wild pitch. Freshman Justin Kirby hit an RBI single and Carew added a two-run single to follow. Touchette put up an RBI single to increase the lead to 10-1.
Moving into the weekend, Kent State travels to Ohio University for a three-game Mid-American Conference series.
Ohio enters the weekend 14-24 overall, with an 8-7 conference record. Ohio is coming off a series sweep over Eastern Michigan last weekend and a midweek win against Youngstown State on Tuesday. The Bobcats sit in fifth place in the conference standings, one spot below the Flashes, making this a crucial series for both teams.
“We have to attack the game this weekend,” Duncan said. “We have to keep the game simple and attack both offensively and defensively and good things will happen.”
John Conley is a sports reporter. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.