Kent State Baseball’s Rally Falls Short At Pepperdine
Golden Flashes look to bounce back with two-game midweek set at Fresno State.
MALIBU, Calif. – The Kent State baseball team battled back from a 5-0 deficit but couldn't quite complete the rally, falling at Pepperdine, 6-4, Monday (March 19) in non-conference action at Eddy D. Field Stadium.
The Golden Flashes (8-8) won the opening contest of the three-game weekend set, 2-0, on Friday (March 16) but lost the series, 2-1, after the Waves (15-5) took the second game, 10-4, on Sunday (March 18) and staved off the Kent State comeback Monday.
"I'm happy with the way we competed over the weekend," said eighth-year head coach Scott Stricklin. "We were one swing of the bat away from winning the series against a very good team on the road. I'm disappointed that we lost but I'm happy that our team fought hard. This road trip has been very challenging with the amount of travel and the quality of the opponents we're facing, but we've competed hard and it should show our team that we can compete with anybody in the country."
Kent State trailed Pepperdine, 5-0, after five innings, but started a rally with a two-run sixth frame. Senior shortstop Jimmy Rider (Venetia, Pa.) smacked a two-out double to right center, setting the table for junior first baseman George Roberts (Summerhill, Pa.) to smash a two-run home run to right center – his team-leading second round tripper of the 2012 season.
The Waves got a run back in the home half, but Kent State posted runs in both the seventh and eighth innings to pull the Flashes within two runs of Pepperdine. Freshman third baseman Sawyer Polen (Wooster, Ohio) hit a one-out double to left center, moved to third on a groundout by sophomore second baseman Derek Toadvine (Springfield, Ohio) and scored on passed ball to make it a 6-3 game in the seventh. Redshirt sophomore center fielder Troy Summers (Minerva, Ohio) made it a two-run contest when he was hit by a pitch, swiped second for his team-leading 12th stolen base of the season and scored on an error by Pepperdine redshirt sophomore first baseman Sam Meyer.
The Flashes put the tying run on base in the ninth but could not capitalize.
Rider led Kent State at the plate with three hits, marking his sixth multi-hit game this season and 84th of his career. Roberts finished the game with two hits, posting his team-leading eighth multi-hit effort of the season.
Sophomore right-handed starting pitcher Tyler Skulina (Strongsville, Ohio) was tagged with the mound loss for Kent State, falling to 2-2 on the season. Redshirt freshman righty Eric Dorsch (Gibsonia, Pa.) and freshman southpaw Brian Clark (Munroe Falls, Ohio) both saw work out of the bullpen for the Flashes.
Freshman right fielder Aaron Brown paced Pepperdine's bats with four hits and was one of four waves to post multi-hit efforts.
Sophomore right hander Corey Miller was credited with the pitching victory, striking out four over 6.2 innings while allowing three earned runs on seven hits.
Kent State looks to bounce back as it heads north to face Fresno State in a two-game midweek set. The Flashes and Bulldogs are slated to open the series Tuesday (March 20). Redshirt sophomore lefty Michael Clark (Akron, Ohio) will get his first start as a member of the Blue & Gold. First pitch is scheduled for 9:05 p.m. ET (6:05 p.m. PT).