No. 30 Kent State Baseball Takes To The Road For Weekend Battle At Bowling Green
KENT STATE GOLDEN FLASHES (34-13, 17-4 MAC)
BOWLING GREEN FALCONS (18-26, 10-11 MAC)
Friday, May 13 • 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 14 • 1 p.m.
Sunday, May 15 • 1 p.m.
STELLER FIELD • BOWLING GREEN, OHIO
INTERNET RADIO: KENTSTATESPORTS.COM (Ty Linder, Dan Scotchmer)
PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
Friday, May 13
Kent State: #39 Andrew Chafin (R-So., LHP, Wakeman, Ohio) 5-1, 1.60 ERA, 87 SO, 16 BB, 9 GS, 67.1 IP
Bowling Green: #32 Cody Apthorpe (So., RHP, Windham, Ohio) 5-5, 3.90 ERA, 42 SO, 23 BB, 11 GS, 64.2 IP
Saturday, May 14
Kent State: #5 Kyle Hallock (Sr., LHP, Sandusky, Ohio) 8-4, 1.92 ERA, 65 SO, 20 BB, 12 GS, 79.2 IP
Bowling Green: #19 Nick Bruns (So., RHP, Saint Henry, Ohio) 3-3, 6.79 ERA, 41 SO, 14 BB, 11 GS, 55.2 IP
Sunday, May 15
Kent State: #37 David Starn (Jr., LHP, Hudson, Ohio) 7-2, 1.79 ERA, 87 SO, 17 BB, 12 GS, 80.1 IP
Bowling Green: #34 Charles Wooten (Sr., RHP, Elmore, Ohio) 3-6, 3.76 ERA, 49 SO, 18 BB, 12 GS, 64.2 IP
BIRDS OF PREY
The Kent State baseball team, the Mid-American Conference East Division leader and 30th-ranked squad in the nation, according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper, takes to the road to battle third-place Bowling Green this weekend (May 13-15) at Steller Field.
The Golden Flashes (34-13, 17-4 MAC) own a seven-game edge over the Falcons (18-26, 10-11 MAC) in the division race. The Flashes have come away victorious in six of their seven conference series in 2011 -- including winning all three of their MAC East Division series. Kent State is 8-1 against the MAC East and 7-2 in MAC road games this season.
Kent State took two of three games in last season's series against Bowling Green at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. The highlight of the weekend series was a thrilling Friday opener on May 14 in which the Golden Flashes erased a 10-3 deficit after three innings and plated four runs in the bottom of the eighth to win a 14-12 barn burner.
Kent State has won 25 of its last 29 games and seven straight. The Flashes have won at least 30 games for the 13th straight season and 24th time in the last 28 years – including all seven seasons current head coach Scott Stricklin has been at the helm. The Flashes are ranked 45th in the country in the latest RPI report.
The Golden Flashes have matched their best start in MAC play in school history through 21 games. The 2003 squad also began conference play with a 17-4 mark.
MILE MARKER 400
Sunday's game at Bowling Green will mark seventh-year head coach Scott Stricklin's 400th at the helm of the Golden Flashes.
AT THE POLLS
Kent State maintained its place in the Collgiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 30 NCAA Division I poll, coming in at No. 30. The Golden Flashes entered one of the four major college baseball polls for the first time this season last week, coming in at No. 28. The Flashes were ranked No. 40 in the publication's preseason poll.
Collegiate Baseball Newspaper's Top 30 NCAA Division I Poll
3. Oregon State
4. South Carolina
7. Arizona State
8. Texas Christian
9. Georgia Tech
10. Florida State
11. Cal State Fullerton
12. Texas A&M
17. North Carolina
18. Southern Miss
21. Oklahoma State
22. U.C. Irvine
23. Fresno State
24. Coastal Carolina
30. Kent State
Kent State redshirt sophomore left-handed starting pitcher Andrew Chafin (Wakeman, Ohio) has been named to the 60-man midseason Golden Spikes Award watch list, USA Baseball announced May 3.
Chafin is the lone representative from a MAC school on the list.
Chafin ranks sixth in the country strikeouts per nine innings (11.63), is tied for 20th in the country in strikeouts (87) and tied for 26th in the nation with an ERA of 1.60, helping the Golden Flashes rank sixth in team ERA (2.48). He has allowed five or more hits in only three of his nine starts, worked through the seventh inning in six of his starts and has tallied 10 or more strikeouts in four of his starts.
Chafin hurled a complete-game four-hit shutout and tallied a career-high 15 strikeouts with no walks as Kent State won its MAC opening game and 2011 home opener, 1-0, over Toledo on March 25. He hurled 113 pitches with a whopping 88 going for strikes, sat down the side in six innings – including striking out six straight between the seventh and ninth frames – in addition to issuing 22 first-pitch strikes. He was awarded MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for the performance. Chafin tallied 13 strikeouts, allowed one earned run on seven hits in 8.2 innings of work and did not issue a walk as Kent State defeated Eastern Michigan, 4-2, on April 8. He totaled seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball for the Golden Flashes and had a no-hitter going through five frames at then-No. 23 Louisville on March 4 in his second start of the season, garnering MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week accolades for his effort.
USA Baseball kicked off GSA season in 2011 with a 50-player preseason watch list on Feb. 17, and the midseason list includes 23 new athletes who have played themselves into consideration for the award, while 13 players have been removed. The watch list will continue to be a "rolling list" up until May 31 when 30 semifinalists are announced. This will ensure that athletes can still play themselves into consideration over the course of the month of May.
HALLOCK'S HEATING UP
Senior southpaw starting pitcher Kyle Hallock (Sandusky, Ohio) has won six straight starts to improve to 8-4 in 2011. His eight victories are good for the team and MAC lead and are tied for 19th in the nation.
Hallock's 214 career strikeouts -- 65 of which have come in 2011 -- ties him for fourth place on Kent State's all-time list. He needs seven more strikeouts to pass Matt Guerrier (1997-99) for second place.
He has pitched through seven or more innings in his last six starts and struck out seven or more batters in his last four starts.
Hallock tossed a career-high eight innings, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits to help Kent State earn a 12-2 victory over Wagner in the Johnny Gill Memorial Tournament on Feb. 25. He matched his career high by throwing eight innings, limiting Western Michigan to one earned run on six hits and struck out five while walking three in game one of Kent State's doubleheader sweep of the Broncos on April 2. He was named MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for his efforts. Hallock twirled a five-hit masterpiece over seven innings, striking out four while issuing one walk in Kent State's 1-0 win over Eastern Michigan on April 9. He fanned seven, walked one and allowed one earned run on eight hits in Kent State's 9-3 victory at Central Michigan on April 16. Hallock fanned seven over seven innings and allowed one earned run on seven hits and two walks while sitting down the side in three frames in game one of Kent State's doubleheader sweep of Buffalo, a 13-3 Kent State triumph. He twirled an eight-strikeout effort and worked 7.1 scoreless innings and issued just one walk in game one of Kent State's doubleheader sweep at Ohio. Hallock threw a three-hit gem over 7.1 innings in Kent State's 14-1 route of Miami on May 7. He fanned seven and allowed one earned run and one walk en route to picking up his team and conference leading eighth victory of the 2011 season. Hallock sat down 12 in a row at one point during the contest.
Junior left-handed starter David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) is tied for 20th in the nation with 87 strikeouts and ranks 35th in the country with a 1.79 ERA. Starn has pitched through seven or more innings in six of his starts and struck out seven or more batters in eight of his starts.
Starn tossed seven innings of four-hit ball and fanned six, surrendering one earned run as Kent State defeated then No. 19-Georiga Tech for its first victory of the 2011 season on Feb. 20. He went eight innings and hurled seven strikeouts while allowing just three hits and one walk at No. 23 Louisville on March 6. Starn had a no-hitter going into the top of the eighth inning against Notre Dame at the Caravelle Resort Classic on March 13, fanning 10 batters and surrendering just one walk in eight innings. He struck out nine and gave up one earned run on six hits in seven innings of work in game two of Kent State's doubleheader sweep of Western Michigan on April 2. Starn totaled eight strikeouts and scattered six hits in 7.1 innings while sitting down the side in two of those frames in Kent State's doubleheader sweep of Buffalo on April 23. Starn struck out a career-high 11 batters over 7.1 frames his start against Miami on May 8.
ENTER, BIG MAC
Junior right-handed closer Kyle McMillen (North Canton, Ohio) is tied for first in the country and ranks first in the MAC with 15 saves. He has recorded a save in 12 of his last 14 appearances. Of his 18 career saves, which ranks as the fourth-most in school history, 15 have come in 2011, which matches Dan Adams (1999) for the most in a single season in school history.
McMillen closed out two victories for the Flashes last week. All four of the outs he tallied came by way of strikeout in Kent State's 6-4 win against Cleveland State April 27. He then fanned two in 1.2 scoreless innings of work in Kent State's 4-0 shutout at Ohio last Saturday (April 30) in game one of a doubleheader.
KLAF'S KRUSHING IT
Senior right fielder Ben Klafczynski (Granger Township, Ohio) leads the Golden Flashes in batting average (.355), slugging percentage (.579), on base percentage (.442), runs scored (42), hits (65), RBIs (41) and total bases (106). Klafczynski has hit safely in 38 of Kent State's 47 games in 2011 -- including 19 multi-hit games. He opened the 2011 season with seven straight multi-hit games.
Klafczynski has made his mark on Kent State's career records, ranking second in doubles (71), third in total bases (480), third in runs scored (197), third in at-bats (827), fourth in hits (286), fifth in RBIs (180), tying for eighth in home runs (35) and tying for 10th in walks (96). He went a career-best 5-for-5 with two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored in Kent State's 22-2 win at Xavier on March 23.
Klafczynski went 10-for-17 for a .588 batting average, eight RBIs, nine runs and four extra-base hits to help power Kent State to four victories at the Johnny Gill Memorial Tournament (Feb. 25-27), earning MAC East Division Player of the Week laurels. He Posted a .538 batting average and seven hits in Kent State's three-game series at Georgia Tech (Feb. 18-20) and was named MAC East Division Player of the Week. Klafczynski crushed a two-out grand slam -- the fourth of his career -- in Kent State's 7-6 win at Penn State on April 5.
IN LIKE A LYON...
Junior catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.) ranks first on the team in triples (5) second in batting average (.322), third in slugging percentage (.533), hits (58) and RBIs (39), fourth in doubles (10) and fifth in on base percentage (.380). He also calls the signals for a pitching staff that is sixth in the nation in team ERA (2.48) and 17th in team strikeouts per nine innings (8.3) as well as for a defense that ranks 22nd in the nation and first in the Mid-American Conference (.976 fielding percentage).
Lyon was named MAC East Division Player of the Week after a huge week at the plate last week. He collected 10 hits in four games – including three doubles, a triple and a home run and six RBIs. He was a double shy of hitting for the cycle while totaling a career-high five hits in Kent State's 11-3 win at Ohio last Friday (April 29). He also called the pitching and defensive signals as Kent State limited Cleveland State and Ohio to a combined eight runs in four games -- including a 4-0 shutout
of the Bobcats last Saturday (April 30) in game one of a doubleheader, which was the team's seventh shutout of the season.
Lyon has hit safely in 16 of the last 18 games and is hitting .420 with 10 extra-base hits – in cluding four home runs -- and a .710 slugging percentage.
YOU GOT MACED
Senior right-handed pitcher Ryan Mace (Tallmadge, Ohio) has excelled in his role as midweek starter/weeekend fill-in. Mace owns a 5-1 record in seven starts and 10 appearances on the hill for Kent State, posting a 1.87 ERA with 35 strikeouts. He has won three of his last four starts, including working six innings and fanning five at Ohio in Kent State's 11-3 win last Friday (April 29). Mace recorded a career-high seven strikeouts en route to earning the pitching win in Kent State's 5-2 triumph at Youngstown State on April 13.
Junior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) ranks first on the team in assists (142) as one of the leaders on a defense that ranks 22nd in the nation and first in the MAC (.976 fielding percentage) and has turned 38 double plays.
At the plate, Rider is as consistent of a contributor as there is in the Kent State lineup. He ranks first on the team in doubles (14) second in hits (62), tied for third in triples (2), third in batting average (.304), runs scored (34) and fourth in RBIs (37). He has hit safely in 37 of 47 games and opened the 2011 season with a 15-game hitting streak (18 straight games dating back to the 2010 season). He has posted a team-high 20 multi-hit games and led the way at the plate with a 4-for-6 effort - including two doubles - with three RBIs and a run scored in Kent State's 13-2 victory over Wagner Feb. 27 at the Johnny Gill Memorial Tournament.
TRAVIS SHAW: HAS BAT, WILL CRUSH BALL
Junior third baseman Travis Shaw (Washington Court House, Ohio) is tied for 34th in the nation and ranks first in the Mid-American Conference and on the team in home runs (12). He also leads the squad in RBIs (41), ranks second on the team in slugging percentage (.579), runs scored (39) and doubles (12), is third on the team in on base percentage (.429) and fourth in hits (54).
Shaw went 3-for-5 with five RBIs and four runs scored -- including the third grand slam of his career -- in Kent State's 22-2 win at Xavier on March 23. He went 3-for-4 – including a double -- with a run scored in the win at Penn State on April 5 and finished the three-game set against Eastern Michigan (April 8-10) hitting .385 with five hits -- including a double and a round tripper -- with four RBIs. to earn MAC East Division Player of the Week honors.
Shaw had a solid in Kent State's doubleheader against Xavier on May 10, led the way with four hits over two games – including a home run in the first contest and the game winning walk-off RBI double in the second.
Second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) has started 41 of 42 games as a freshman at second base. He ranks first on the team in steals with 12 and has posted 12 multi-hit games, including tallying a career-high four singles in Kent State's 11-3 win at Ohio on April 29. Toadvine smashed the first home run of his collegiate career on May 6 to help Kent State defeat division rival Miami, 8-6.
Kent State and Cleveland State have agreed to make up the April 19 game that was rained out.
The Golden Flashes and Vikings will face off next Monday (May 16) at 3 p.m. at Olga A. Mural Field at Schoonover Stadium. Cleveland State will be designated as the home team for the contest, as the washed out April 19 game was originally scheduled to be a home game for the Vikings at All Pro Freight Stadium.
The game will be the last between the Flashes and Vikings, as Cleveland State recently announced its intent to end the baseball program at the conclusion of the 2011 season.