Golden Flashes Clinch Title and No. 1 Seed in MAC Tournament
For the second straight year, the Kent State University baseball team has been crowned the outright Mid-American Conference (MAC) regular season champions, a feat now accomplished 14 times in program history.
The Kent State Golden Flashes clinched the title and the No. 1 seed at the MAC Tournament, but the 5-2 win at Ohio University on May 20 secured the outright championship.
After taking the first two games of the series, the OU Bobcats got a one-run lead in the second inning when a hit batter came around to score on a sacrifice bunt.
A two-run fifth inning would end up deciding the game. Dom Iero started things with a single before Schultz walked. Both were advanced on another sacrifice bunt from Matthews. In a pinch hit appearance, Sam Hurt would smack a single up the middle to score both, giving the Flashes a 3-1 advantage.
Ohio got a run back in the bottom of the fifth frame, but Kent State still had two more runs to score to secure the win. In the sixth, Luke Burch singled and came home on a double by Dylan Rosa. Rosa had a big bat again, homering in the third-straight game to make it a 5-2 final.
Zach Willeman got back on the mound and did well. He threw 2.2 no-hit innings while striking out two, but did allow one run on two walks and a wild pitch. Jared Skolnicki followed and got the win as he threw 4.0 innings with three hits, one run, one walk and three strikeouts. Patrick Dayton continued to impress in relief, going 1.1 scoreless innings with one hit and two strikeouts. Robert Zeigler earned the save by throwing a quick inning with strikeout, needing just 10 pitches.
Hurt had a perfect day at the plate as he finished 3-for-3 with two RBI. Burch and Rosa both had 2-for-4 days with a run scored.
Kent State will begin its postseason run as the top seed in the MAC Tournament on Wednesday, May 24, at Sprenger Stadium in Avon, Ohio, by taking on No. 8 Toledo at 4:30 p.m. Follow @KentStBaseball on Twitter for the latest information.