Kent State Baseball Visits Malibu For Three-Game Weekend Series At Pepperdine
at Pepperdine Waves (13-4)
March 16-18, 2012
Eddy D. Field Stadium
There will be no Kent State Sports Network radio broadcasts of this weekend's games, but you can watch the action via Pepperdine's 'Wavecast' (FREE), follow all the action by clicking on the Live Stats link above and also follow on Twitter @FlashesBaseball for play-by-play updates.
--Friday, March 16 • 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT)
PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
KENT STATE: #37 David Starn (Sr., LHP, Hudson, Ohio) 2-2, 2.03 ERA, 26 SO, 11 BB, 4 GS, 26.2 IP
PEPPERDINE: #27 Jon Moscot (Jr., RHP, Pacific Palisades, Calif.) 3-1, 2.43 ERA, 29 SO, 5 BB, 4 GS, 29.2 IP
Sunday, March 18 • 4 p.m. ET (1 p.m. PT)
PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
KENT STATE: #19 Ryan Bores (Jr., RHP, Strongsville, Ohio) 3-1, 4.03 ERA, 13 SO, 6 BB, 4 GS, 22.1 IP
PEPPERDINE: #44 Scott Frazier (So., RHP, Upland, Caif.) 2-2, 2.89 ERA, 17 SO, 5 BB, 4 GS, 28.0 IP
Monday, March 19 • 6 p.m. ET (3 p.m. PT) PROBABLE PITCHING STARTERS
KENT STATE: #31 Tyler Skulina (So., RHP, Strongsville, Ohio) 2-1, 2.31 ERA, 26 SO, 10 BB, 4 GS, 23.1 IP
PEPPERDINE: #37 Corey Miller (So., RHP, Laguna Niguel, Caif.) 3-1, 2.08 ERA, 21 SO, 3 BB, 4 GS, 30.1 IP
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION - PEPPERDINE WAVES (13-4) • Western Coast Conference
Head Coach: Steve Rodriguez - Ninth Season All-Time Series: First Meeting
• Pepperdine rides a five-game winning streak into this weekend's series. The Wave defeated UC Irvine, 3-2, Tuesday (March 13) at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles before returning home to take down Columbia, 3-1, the following day.
• Junior infielder Zach Vincej boasts a .390 batting average, with 23 hits, 16 runs scored, 10 RBI, five doubles and one leadoff home run.
The first leg of the Kent State baseball team's California spring break trip features a visit to Malibu to lock horns with Pepperdine in a three-game weekend series (March 16-18) at Eddy D. Field. This weekend marks the first time the two storied programs have ever battled on the diamond.
The Golden Flashes (7-6) were forced to settle for a weekend series split at New Mexico State after a pair of doubleheader losses Sunday (March 11). Kent State dropped the first game to Aggies, 12-6, and fell 12-4 in eight innings in the second contest to finish the weekend with a 2-2 mark. Kent State won the series opener, 7-4, last Friday (March 9) and earned a 10-9 triumph Saturday (March 10) in the second game of the series.
THE LEGACY OF #37 CONTINUES TO GROW
Senior ace southpaw David Starn (Hudson, Ohio) evened his season record at 2-2 and improved to 20-8 in his collegiate career with Kent State's win at New Mexico State last Friday, fanning five while surrendering two earned runs on two hits, four walks and two hit batsmen in six innings. The 2012 Louisville Third Team Pre-Season All-America selection increased his career strikeout total to 246 and is now 29 strikeouts away from passing Dirk Hayhurst (274; 2000-03) in the school's record book. He passed Lou Bocci (247.2; 1952-56) for sixth place in career innings pitched, upping his total to 248.
Kent State rode the arm of Starn to blank No. 9 Georgia Tech, 5-0, to lift the lid off of the 2012 season in grand fashion in the opening game of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic on Feb. 17. He twirled eight shutout innings and tallied nine strikeouts while scattering just four hits and walking only two on 104 pitches en route to being named Mid-American Conference East Division Pitcher of the Week.
Starn currently ranks fifth in the nation among active NCAA pitchers in career strikeouts.
ACTIVE NCAA CAREER STRIKEOUTS LEADERS
1. Kurt Heyer, Jr., Arizona - 276
2. Burny Mitchem, Sr., Dayton - 271
3. Quintavious Drains, Sr., Jackson State - 263
4. Ross Stripling, Sr., Texas A&M - 250
5. David Starn, Sr., Kent State - 246
THE BEST ROOMMATE COMBINATION IN THE COUNTRY
Redshirt junior infielder Nick Hamilton (Avon Lake, Ohio), junior outfielder Evan Campbell (Beloit, Ohio) and junior infielder George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) combine to make up arguably the best trio of roommates in NCAA baseball.
Hamilton is third in the country with a .541 batting average and ranks second on the team in hits (20), doubles (five) and RBIs (9). He led Kent State with a staggering .700 batting average, seven hits and five RBIs in the weekend series (March 3-4) at Western Kentucky.
Campbell leads Kent State with 23 hits, six doubles and 11 runs scored and ranks second with a .404 batting average. He was named MAC East Division Player of the Week after he batted .500 with seven hits and drove in six runs to help Kent State win the weekend series at Lipscomb, 2-1. Campbell powered Kent State to the victory at New Mexico State last Friday, matched his career high for hits in a single game with five. He also collected five hits on May 14, 2011, to help push the Flashes to an 8-0 win at Bowling Green. Campbell is tied for Roberts with a team-high six multi-hit games in 2012.
Roberts leads the Flashes with 11 RBIs and ranks third on the team with 18 hits and fourth in batting average with a .360 clip. After beginning the 2011 campaign mired in an 0-for-23 slump, Roberts got his 2012 campaign off to a strong start, batting a team-best .538 with a team-high .692 slugging percentage, seven hits, two doubles and three RBIs in the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic. Roberts posted multiple hits in each contest, including going 3-for-5 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored to power Kent State's bats in the season-opening victory over the ninth-ranked Yellow Jackets on Feb. 17.
Junior right-handed starting pitcher Ryan Bores (Strongsville, Ohio) leads Kent State's staff with a 3-1 mark. He fanned four over 5.1 frames in Kent State's victory at New Mexico State last Friday.
Bores came to the Flashes by way of Cuyahoga Community College. He was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 26th round of last year's draft and posseses a heavy, sinking fastball that tops out at 90-94 miles per hour.
AS GOOD AS ADVERTISED
Sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Skulina (Strongsville, Ohio) has lived up to the hype in 2012.
The Strongsville, Ohio, native sports a 2.31 ERA through four starts and has tallied 26 strikeouts to match Starn for the team lead through 23.1 innings of work.
Skulina tossed a two-hit shutout over six frames and recorded a career-high nine strikeouts at Western Kentucky (March 4) but departed the game with a no decision and the contest locked in a scoreless tie. He was named MAC East Division Pitcher of the Week for his efforts. He picked up his first collegiate pitching win in his first start wearing the Blue & Gold, striking out five in six innings of work at Winthrop (Feb. 18) in the final game of the Rock Hill Coca-Cola Classic.
A 46th round pick of the Oakland Athletics in the 2010 MLB First-Year Player Draft, Skulina sat out the 2011 campaign after transferring from Virginia. He posted an undefeated 26-0 record as a starting pitcher at Walsh Jesuit High School under head coach Chris Kaczmar, earning Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball First Team High School All-American honors in 2009 and honorable mention accolades in 2010.He was named Division II First Team All-Ohio in 2009 and 2010 in addition to garnering Cuyahoga River Baseball Conference Pitcher of the Year honors.
PUTTING OUT FIRES
One of Kent State's biggest question marks heading into the season was how a young and relatively inexperienced bullpen would grow and mature while being tasked with trying to replace two of the greatest relievers in school history in right handers Kyle McMillen and Justin Gill.
Junior righty Casey Wilson (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) has answered the call so far. He has not allowed a run in five appearances and has given up just two hits and a walk while striking out seven. He picked up his first save of the season and fourth of his career after striking out a career-high five batters over the final two innings to close out last Friday's triumph at New Mexico State.
Thirty NCAA baseball student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates for the 2012 Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. Among the elite? Kent State senior co-captain and catcher David Lyon (Emporium, Pa.).
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, Division I head coaches and fans who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
Lyon put together a career season last year, posting a career-best .315 batting average, .384 on base percentage and .538 slugging percentage with a career-high 75 hits, 36 runs, seven triples (most on the team, second in the MAC; tied with Matt Rundels, 1991 for most in a single season in school history), nine home runs, 27 walks, 53 RBIs and 128 total bases (third on the team, fourth in the MAC). He also led Kent State with 404 putouts, the eighth most in a single season in school history. He earned 2011 ABCA/Rawlings NCAA Mideast Region Second Team and Second Team All-MAC honors for his efforts. He earned All-NCAA Championship Austin Regional honors after he produced perhaps the most memorable hit in Kent State history to help down then-No. 5 Texas, 7-5, on its home field as the Golden Flashes earned their first regional final berth since 2001. Trailing 2-1 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Lyon sent a 1-2 pitch sailing over the left field wall and into the Kent State bullpen to give the Golden Flashes a 5-2 lead with his second career grand slam. Lyon was named to the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team under Stricklin, who served as an assistant coach for the squad and helped the USA win three of five games against Japan.
Lyon collected four hits in last weekend's action -- including the 15th round tripper of his career with a leadoff homer to open the sixth inning to help push the Flashes to an 11-3 win Saturday over host Winthrop.
Check out Lyon's Lowe's Senior CLASS profile here.